SOOOOO many wedding shows for professionals to attend nowadays in our area OMG it's just out of hand silly! The latest conversations among pros in chat boards and groups is the rising price and frequency of shows in the Adirondack-Albany area. This is not only happening in our region, but all over the country. Are they all equal? How do they differ? What's the scoop? Help Mark!
How did this start? Well it's simple, and let's talk about WHO produces shows too.
1-Show promoters. Locally, and some from far away make shows happen. Both can be good, but most pros tend to lean towards local promoters for whatever reason they choose. Local shows also are usually lower priced as the promoters have stronger connections to the venues they are held in. Outside promoters are basically in business to produce shows, that means they have to make money, period. Local promoters generally spend a higher percentage of the income from booth sales on the advertising and efforts and will tend to care more about the outcome of the show from the professionals standpoint. Out of area promoters want a larger crowd generally pleasing most of the vendors on hand. Most. Promoters can include: Associations, such as ours, The Adirondack-Albany Wedding Association, radio stations, magazines, newspapers and other groups of pros who work together. Sometimes, wedding & event planners will also produce a show or two.
2-Venues. Many venues want their own show, and then..... more shows! Why are we going over and doing their show, we have our own space, we can do our own! Yes, yes you can. So each year, a half dozen new shows are popping up. This dilutes the vendor field, saturates the market and competes with other shows since many are on the same day. No problem, this is America baby, and you can do anything you want! Some of these new shows have been successful, God Bless! Since all pros don't do certain shows, having more to choose from is a good thing most of the time. If it's a venue you want to work at or service, you'll try to support their show. Some venues also limit their shows to the pros who are in their book or on their vendor list.
Rising cost is really what most pros are talking about lately and why so much for this one but these ones are only charging this much? Well, not every show is created equal. Some of the promoters charge much more because there is an ad in a magazine or includes radio spots. Make sense. If all shows are say 300.00 (that's an average lower price in our area) but this one includes an ad in a yearly magazine and it costs 650.00 to do the show, you're paying the extra for the ad, not necessarily the show. Aside from the show exposure, you're also getting that ad which will be around for a year typically continuing to get you exposure (hopefully). So when these show prices go up, it may be the actual ad price that is rising not the show, and most likely due to production costs. It could just be because they want to make more too. Another factor for businesses to raise prices is the success of the show. If the pros after a show are RAVING, expecting an increase is normal. But remember, YOU made that possible. :-)
Another hot topic is the length of the show. 3 hours is fairly normal. 4-6 hours...UGH, killing the pros! 2 hours is possibly too short, you need to allow time for couples to get there at different hours due to work and other obligations. Pros also aren't big fans of loud music, and a fashion show in the main show room is sure to upset many pros, why though? Because a fashion show, or anything that takes away selling time from the pros, removes people from one room to another, and leaves their booth empty ruins it for most of them. Of course it benefits the boutique or stylist, but for many, they are left standing watching and waiting for it to be over. Food for thought anyway. 3 hours max is perfect with most pros it seems.
Personally, I have been involved in shows from 1000 people (about 500 couples) down to some as small as 16 couples. My preference. Small show. If I can see a show for 2-3 hours with about 50 couples, that is my happy place. It means I get to spend more time with them, talk more about what I provide and how I can help them. The goal of any show is to get an appointment and by having more time to help them at the show, I feel I make a better connection. Give me the smaller shows every time, love them! Other pros gauge success on the number of attendees, the more couples the happier they are. Not me, not more and more pros each year for sure, but, if you're paying 600.00+ for a show I guess quantity is what you may be after, and sometimes you may get it as well.
No matter how many or what shows you do each year as a pro, follow up is important. By that I do not mean tons of emails, for a week or two after the show, goodness they are getting bombarded by emails! I mean long term follow up too. I'm not going to give out my secrets here on how I successfully continually book leads from shows over a year prior, but I do have a solution for you if you're interested. We like to call it training! Follow along upcoming training for wedding pros in our area at www.nyweddingtraining.com. There's a good possibility there's one coming soon on wedding show marketing and sales. ;-)
Good luck to all and see ya out there! ~Mark