by Darci Aselage
Have you ever felt that attending local Bridal Trade Shows in your area was a waste of time because the bride-to-be already has her engagement ring?
If you answered “yes” to the above question, have you thought about the other sales opportunities you may have missed? What about the wedding band purchase, other attendees that come to the bridal shows who “aren’t” engaged yet, or how about the possibility of selling a “mother-of-the-bride ring” or “mother-of-the-groom ring” or other jewelry for the bridal party?
Am I piquing your interest now?
If you have been thinking there are not opportunities for other bridal sales at these Bridal Trade Shows, then you must not want to be the Bridal business.
Positioning your store to sell Bridal involves the inventory, store policies, marketing and your staff. Again, this takes a long term commitment and you can’t give up!
Here are some ways to get involved in participating in Bridal Trade Shows and what to do after…
- Check with your local and surrounding area businesses (hotels convention centers, etc.) on when the bridal trade shows are (some will have them twice a year).
- Preview the floor layout for the optimum booth position. Also, ask where the best lighting is.
- Find out what advertising opportunities are in the show program to best position your company.
- Make sure a complete mailing list is available to you for all the registered brides so you may contact them after the show.
- Have a nice banner with your logo on the backdrop or front table of the booth.
- Have 2-3 great outgoing salespeople attend. This is very important because your salespeople need be enthusiastic about your company, your products and the event!
- Bring clean case displays with samples of men’s and ladies diamond and engraved wedding bands, anniversary rings, engagement rings, attendance gift ideas and to go after the mother of the bride and groom…something that would be bigger than their daughter or daughter-in-law may have . [Important: you must check with your stores’ insurance policy on your “Off Premises” coverage.]
- Other ideas: DVD or video of some of your stores’ custom design pieces or unique point of difference. Also bring brochures about your stores policies, warranties and services, business cards.
What to do after….
- Host your own “In-store Bridal Event”, 3-4 weeks after the last bridal trade show.
- Pick a weekend (best suggested months are February & March for winter/spring, September & October for fall) where you can coordinate with your own bridal manufactures so they can attend.
- Plan on doing a hand-out or flyer at the bridal trade shows to promote your In-store Bridal Event. Your call to action should be on selection and
- Work closely with your manufactures on the margins you want to offer your clients. Most salesmen’s lines are triple key, so you can offer a savings and still make over keystone. You can promote something like: “Factory Direct Pricing”.
- Send invitations to your in-store event to the bridal attendee’s list that you acquired from the show. Again, your call to action should be on selection and
- Make a point to call the people that you mailed to from the Bridal Show attendee’s list, at least 1 week prior to the event just to re-enforce your message.
- If your store has sufficient showroom space, invite other non-competing area bridal vendors to compliment your event. Choose one representative from a florist, baker, photographer, gown and tuxedo shop, travel agency, reception location, beauty and make up salon, invitations, ice sculpture, entertainment, etc. It is a good way to cross market with other vendors who can bring in more traffic (make sure you give them invitations or flyers as well to hand out).
- Make sure you are fully staffed for this event. This is the time to make the “first impressions” because you may be drawing many of these people from 30-50 miles away. If you do it right, they WILL be back!!!!!
If you can DREAM it, THINK it and LIVE it, you can make this happen!