In this episode, Kristina talks about wedding shows… why you should do them, how to make an impact and stand out, the follow-up after the event and more.
Wedding shows are a great way to market your business to engaged couples but are you making an impact and standing out front the competition? Listen to this episode to hear Kristina’s tips on making an impression while at a show and advice on the follow-up that occurs after the show.
Wedding shows can be multifaceted for marketing your business. Beyond communicating with engaged couples, are you building relationships with other vendors? The alliances you create with these fellow wedding professionals can be your biggest referral source! Tune in to this episode to hear Kristina’s opinion on how to go about creating these connections.
Tune into this episode to hear Kristina offer up her advice on participating in wedding shows, your booth basics, making an impression with other vendors and engaged couples and the promotion you should be doing on your own social channels and website ahead of time.
BY THE TIME YOU FINISH LISTENING, YOU’LL DISCOVER that wedding shows are an effective means of marketing your business and the follow-up you do after could win you more clients!
Kristina Stubblefield 0:00
Wedding shows can be multifaceted for marketing your business. Beyond communicating with engaged couples. Are you building relationships with other vendors, the alliances you create with these fellow wedding professionals can be your biggest referral source. Tune in to this episode to hear my useful tips on how to go about creating these connections. Welcome to Genius Marketing Solutions podcast. Hi, my name is Kristina Stubblefield. For over 15 years I've served as a marketing strategist and coach. Also, I was once a wedding vendor. In my podcast episodes, I'm providing bite size, digestible marketing solutions and information that can be immediately implemented and make an impact on your business. Now, let's dive into this episode. Today, I'm looking forward to talking to you all about this topic. Wedding shows you might be wondering to yourself, wedding shows she's talking about this on a marketing podcast. Yes, absolutely. Because wedding shows is a great outlet for marketing your business to engaged couples. Now we can debate and talk about well, how many wedding shows Should I do a year? Which one? Should I pick out the bigger wedding shows? Or the smaller type wedding shows? And how often should I do them? Because a lot of places have wedding shows that happen the first of the year, spring, summer fall, honestly, many different times of the year. And that is a question that really gets into your marketing plans and budget for marketing your business. Because you can do a wedding show every month, if that's something that fits your specific business. And today, I'm not going to talk about necessarily the number of shows you do, or the large shows versus the smaller type of scale wedding shows. And some people now call them open houses. I know there's caterers out there that do things called tastings in that is a smaller type of wedding show. When you are showcasing your business product or service in there's going to be engaged couples coming in with an opportunity to meet you and learn about your business. That is some type of wedding show or wedding showcase. What I want to talk about today is some of the things that people don't necessarily discuss with wedding professionals in regards to marketing their business at a wedding show. So you need to take yourself out of your business. And I know this is going to sound strange, but you have to take yourself out as the business owner or the marketing person in your business. Or in maybe you work for someone and you need to put yourself in the shoes of a consumer that doesn't know you is not familiar with you. And what are they going to see when they come up to your booth or your setup? That's your first impression to that engaged couple or to that potential client. And I can sit here and talk all day long about first impressions. They are very important. They are not the entire marketing puzzle for utilizing a wedding show to market your business and I'm going to explain what I'm talking about. For me and my marketing experience, I look at a wedding show for my coaching clients or clients that I help with their marketing. A wedding show is multiple puzzle pieces. And here's what I mean by that. First of all, you have your setup your first impression, you have your opportunity to talk in person with engaged couples, parents, family members, I just consider them potential clients. Then you have your relationship building with other vendors that are set up there. I'm going to come back to that in a minute. The next piece of the puzzle is your follow up. Do you know the number of wedding professionals that I talked to that absolutely do nothing to follow up with If
a show list that they get, and what I mean by show list is a lot of times when you participate in a wedding show, the promoter or the person putting on the wedding show gives you a list of couples that came through the door for that event, or that registered to come to that event. Most of the time, it's an Excel sheet that has their name, their wedding date, maybe their address, most importantly, their email address. What is your follow up? That is the other piece of the puzzle? And then let's go to what I consider the two last pieces. What is your follow up with other vendors there that you met? Or that you work with on a regular basis? And then what is your ongoing touch points? For those people that you met at that show? Meaning the potential clients? Do you send out an email newsletter? Do you call them on the phone, and we're gonna come back to that touch points, okay, so several pieces to the wedding show marketing puzzle. And that's why I want to bring this up. Because most of the time you invest money for your booth at a wedding show. So you pay to be there to market your business, then you have your time to be there. And any display, backdrops, marketing material, any expenses for stuff that you're going to hand out. So let's start from the beginning. And I'm going to kind of walk you through this in a scenario situation and my recommendation for getting the most out of a wedding show or showcase. Okay, so let's start from the beginning. First of all, before the event ever arrives, you should be posting out on your social media, I am going to be at this wedding show, I'm excited to be participating. Here's a link to register, maybe you're sharing out the event that the person has on the Facebook page who's putting on the show some kind of marketing message on your own social media, and on your website, you should have out there, hey, if you're interested in learning more about me, you can meet me in person. Or if you're participating in a virtual show, you can meet me virtually at this upcoming event. Again, you're paying money to market your business, you need to utilize every part of a wedding show. So there's things you can do before the show de gets here. Okay, so promoting it to your audience, on your social media. And on your website. Okay, so now we're at show day, number one piece of advice, show up at the earliest time you can get there. Now, why would I be recommending you do that, number one, the least amount of stress Get in, get your booth set up. If you're new in the wedding business, or if you've been in the business for a while, there are going to be people that come up to talk to you, I can assure you, there is going to want to be people that ask you questions that I'm talking about other vendors, and you want to be able to maximize the number of contacts, vendors is what I'm referring to that you can mingle with before the show starts, get in, get your booth set up, and then be able to talk to other wedding vendors. Okay, now, let's take pause, and let's talk about your booth. Because people ask me about this all the time, you can spend 1000s and 1000s of dollars on your booth. Let's go over the basics. Number one, you should have something, some kind of banner, whether it be the vertical banner, the retractable is that you pull up that have your logo on there, your branding visuals, or they are some people some people do a step and repeat that is a large kind of backdrop that's behind them with their information in front of it. Now anything that makes your business your booth feel inviting. You want people to be drawn to you to talk to you. Do not sit behind a table
while people are walking by. Get out in front of the table if you have one in your booth, and get out there and ask people questions. Hi, I'm so and so. When's your wedding date? Have you You found a venue yet? Just strike up a conversation. marketing material. This is the question I'm asked multiple times. Do I need postcards? Should I have flyers? Well, then I have business cards. What should I have? Okay. There's several answers to that. But here's my own personal opinion. You can either do postcards or flyers. Again, this is my recommendations, postcard, or flyers, yes, it's always great to have business cards, because what you're going to give to an engaged couple is probably not the same thing that you're going to give to another wedding professional, another vendor that's there, that might be like, Oh, I have somebody that would be interested in your services, you would want to give them a business card. So of course, you want to take business cards to give to other wedding professionals, but a flyer or a postcard to be able to hand out. Now, if you have some other kind of upcoming events, you have some kind of special going on. Of course, you may have postcards and flyers there. It just depends on your circumstance. But I do recommend that you have something that you can hand out, that also has your information, maybe it's a pin, maybe it is hand sanitizer bottles, some kind of promotional piece. Now, in some instances, there are people that have done business cards with a string, or ribbon tied with a mint, or with some kind of cute candy and a saying about meant to be together. You can do whatever kind of creative spin you want with your marketing material. But what's going to make an impression to someone who doesn't know you, because the likelihood unless you're in a unique category, there are probably going to be at least another if not multiple vendors that are the same type of business that you are at a wedding show. What can you let them take with them. That is something they can pull back out of their bag. Or maybe it's something that they can use down the road. I've seen some people do souvenir cups, I've seen multiple things. And I could sit here and give you ideas all day. But you can also Google that information. In my opinion, it's always great for them to be able to have something instead of just your flyer or your postcard. Now, if you're just starting out and you're thinking, where in the world does she want me to come up with all this money for marketing material, you've got to walk before you run. Just to get some postcards, or flyers that are nice quality. And I'm not saying the most expensive color copies out there on linen paper. I'm not even saying that. start somewhere. But if you're asking me what you can do to really make an impression at a wedding show and stand out, those are going to be the ideas and a promotional product is always a great idea to be able to hand out at a wedding show. Other things that you can do, of course, you can make sure that your table has floor length linens on there, you can make sure that you have maybe a centerpiece, you can also have your equipment set up. Or of course, if you're a caterer, you're probably going to give out samples of your food. So some of this depends on what type of industry you're in as a wedding professional. But ask if you're not 100% sure what you want to do, or what would make an impression.
Ask somebody that's not even in the wedding business for some feedback. And if you're new to this, make sure you have a banner or two or some kind of backdrop that has your logo because you need your branding out there for people to identify your business. Now we can go off in a separate direction and talk about your branding so important when they go to your website. The same logo should be there. When you hand out your postcards or your business cards. Your branding should match. I should say your logos should match. Not one font on a banner and one font on a postcard and then another font somewhere else. He that is not what I'm saying. But you want to make sure That it's universal, that your identifiable. When they go to your website, they go to your Facebook, your Instagram, you're using the same branding to help make you identifiable. Okay, so now we've talked about the booth. And we could talk about, I could do a separate episode just on booth setup. I've seen people have red carpets, I've seen them do cocktail tables, I've seen them have big center pieces. It's completely up to you, how you set up your booth. And large, elaborate booth setups are not always the ones that are most memorable. When you get out there. And you start asking those engaged couples and those family members questions. How do you get engaged? Have you picked a venue? What's your wedding date, invite them in and get to know that couple. Let them see your personality. Be yourself and start that relationship. Because after all, you're not just selling your business, you're basically selling yourself. Okay, so now we've got the booth set up. And as I said before the show starts mingle with as many wedding professionals that you can. Now when the show starts, and the doors open, it's really important to be at your booth and show up. Now, most of the time wedding professionals work booths by themselves. And of course, you may have to run off to the restroom. But take a couple bottles of water, make sure you're there. There's nothing worse than a booth sitting there. No one's there. And a couple's like, Oh, I wanted to talk to them. Or all I've heard about them, and there is no one there for them to ask questions you do not want to miss out on those opportunities. Side note, don't be going around to the food booths, sampling their food and stuff. Most people that put on wedding shows do say something about not doing that until the end of the show. But that's a way for those caterers, dessert companies piggeries to showcase their business, don't be that person at the start of the show before it starts about going around and getting plates. That's just a side note. Okay, so the shows going on, you're working your booth, you're not sitting in a chair or stool behind your table. You're not hiding, you didn't invest all the time, energy, effort and money to wait for someone to walk up and ask you a question. I cannot say that and emphasize that enough. It might be scary at first. But you are your business. And you're probably in this industry because you really enjoy it. After all, most of the time these events take place on the weekends, you know, in the evenings, most of the time you're in this industry, because it's something you've really wanted to do you enjoy events and weddings. So get out there and ask those questions. Use your time wisely. While the wedding show is going on. After the show is over, please do not tear your booth down until people are gone. Now if it's a larger show, and they're done with your row, and the show time has passed. That makes sense. But don't be the person tearing their booth down 15 minutes before the show's over. Because you're trying to get the heck out of there. Looks tacky, it's not professional. You signed up for the show you knew the times of it. Don't be that person. So when the show's over, you packed your stuff up. Now what? Well, you may be thinking, Well, that's it, I handed out my information. I talked to some people, maybe they're gonna call
me hopefully they're gonna call me. I hope somebody goes on my website. Side note, if you didn't listen to the episode about the top items, or the every item that wedding professionals need to have on their website, I encourage you to go back to that episode and listen to it. Because I assure you when engaged couples or their family members, potential clients again as I call them, go home. They're going to your social media and your website. They're going to be looking you up online. If you have not done that in recent a month or two, go out there and look yourself up online. Listen to past episodes about social media as well as website because your website is your best seo tool that you have. So just because you were at that wedding show handing out information you were talking to people, they're still going to go do research about you online. Hopefully, you've just done a good job at the show in selling yourself and making an impact and starting that relationship, that by the time they go to your website, or your social media, that's just the nudge, they need to pick up the phone, or fill out your contact form on your website to start the booking process. So now the show's over. And you get the show list. And again, that's the engaged couple list that registered and or showed up at the event, I highly encourage you, within five days of that show that you send some type of follow up email. Now, depending on how large the show was, you want to be careful about sending hundreds of emails from your email account without using an email marketing program. That's a whole nother topic. But what I will share with you is I encourage you to use an email marketing program, because you get analytics, you get reporting to know Did someone open this did they click on a link that was included, you get information that can let you enhance your marketing to specific people from that list. Again, we're getting into another topic. But I encourage you within five days of the show to send some type of follow up to that list of people. Then what? Well, this is getting into an email marketing topic. But as I said, there can be other follow up options for people that open the email for people that click on the links that you put in there, so forth and so on. After you've sent out that initial email as a follow up, now there are people out there, of course, could it be text messaging, it can be depending on the disclaimer that the show had in place for obtaining those registration, contacts, meaning their email address, their phone number, cell phone numbers, mailing address, things like that, not as many people send mailers. These days, again, it's based on your business. But I encourage people to use email marketing. And in some cases, most cases, text message marketing is a wonderful tool as well. So whatever your follow up is, I encourage you to be within five days of that show. From there, I always encourage clients that I work with, to roll those contacts into their database. And this is what I mean by it. Most of the clients I work with, send out a monthly newsletter now that can be referred to as monthly tips. updates from a business, I just simply refer to it as a newsletter, can now it could be monthly quarterly, it just depends. But that allows you to keep your name at the top of people's minds. So you attend Oh show, you send an email within five days of the show. And then three weeks later, it's the first of the next month, and you send out a newsletter. So now you've made contact with those people that attended that show twice within a month's period of time. That just allows you to keep communicating with those contacts. A lot of times people say to me,
Well, I just paid to be in the show. That's only one part of it. As I mentioned, when I started this episode, it's only one part of it, the follow up working that relationship maintaining that relationship. Because some people that come to that show, their wedding day could be 12 months, 18 months, two years from when they attended that wedding show. So they may not be booking someone to do their suits or their flowers or may not be looking to get their wedding rings for six months, maybe a year. And if that's the industry you're in, and you're a business that's closer to their wedding date. That's another way you can use that list. Maybe the industry you're in. People don't look for your services until six months before their wedding date. You can go through that show list and you can pull out the dates that are within six months. And then the following month, you can do the same thing, how you utilize that data is completely up to you. But a lot of times people don't even think past setting up a booth at the show. They don't realize the value in the follow up that list that you get is so important. It's just up to you, how do you utilize it. And then don't forget about the relationships with vendors that you met at the show, or maybe you already knew them. Maybe there's an opportunity to network with them, or to do referrals back and forth, reach out to them do lunch, do coffee, communicate with them over email. Again, Top of Mind is not just for consumers. Top of Mind is also for other businesses, that you can network with wedding shows is such an exciting time for vendors to get out there. And you can get a wealth of knowledge from engaged couples that help you fine tune your business, to fine tune your marketing. It is a changing world, especially with technology and marketing and systems and productivity. You've heard me talk about it multiple times. But you're getting information straight from the source. You have these people in front of you. Or if you're doing it virtual, you have them they're in a virtual room, ask questions, use that time wisely. After all, even if you got the wedding show, you got to set up for free, you're still invested with your time, energy and effort. Time is money. Now, I don't know many wedding shows out there that you can just show up and do them for free. Who knows, maybe they're out there. But most of the time, you're also paying money to be there. So there's multiple ways you're invested in marketing your business at that show. So make sure you are implementing the multiple ways to market your business, to those engaged couples, family potential clients that are at those shows, but also other wedding professionals that are there. Don't miss out on that opportunity. When you have all those people in one area. To use that as an opportunity to grow your business. I assure you the potential is there, it can be scary. No one knows your business better than you. Be proud of your business. Be proud of the hard work, the energy that you put into it. And what you do to better that engaged couples event no matter what type of business you're in, in the wedding
Unknown Speaker 28:13
Kristina Stubblefield 28:15
Your business is important. And be proud to talk about it. Tell them why they should use you tell other wedding professionals, why they should refer business to you. Don't be afraid to share with people your experience, how long you've been in the industry, even if you're new to the industry. Don't be afraid to share with people about why your business is great for their event. I hope you have found this information helpful. I hope that it's maybe started the wheels turning on something you can do different at the next wedding show you participate in, or maybe you participate in, but you've never thought about the follow up process. All the pieces to the wedding show puzzle are so important. Make sure you put them together. Because if you put those pieces together, that puzzle can work so much better for your business. Until next time, everyone take care I cannot wait to hear your feedback. Make sure that you connect with me on social media. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube. And if you want to drop me a line or share with me where you're at in your marketing, or what's your strategy or if you have questions, visit my website genius marketing solutions. podcast.com hit the microphone and record a message or hit the contact button and shoot me a message. Until next time. See ya. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of genius marketing solutions. If you would like to get notified of upcoming episodes, make sure to click the subscribe button on your favorite podcast platform. We welcome any feedback from topic ideas to questions you may have. You can visit our website for previous episodes or to send us a message visit genius Marketing Solutions podcast.com
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