Weddings are the bread and butter of my photo booth business. I live in an area that has many popular wedding destinations and venues. Therefore, there are plenty of bridal shows/wedding expos to attend. Bridal shows/wedding expos can be beneficial for the bride to be and the vendors, including you the photo booth business owner. I’ll be honest, until I started my photo booth business, I never stepped foot inside a wedding expo.
How do you find out about these events? Google is your friend of course, simply search for “wedding expo” and “bridal show” in the locales that you want to attend. Visit the websites of the wedding venues, as the they will list these expos of their calendar. Join their mailing list so you can find out about future events. In my area “bandit” signs advertising these expos, are often placed at busy intersections, so I always keep an eye out.
Brides, fiancés, and their entourages (often accompanied by their sister(s) and mother) are searching for the best deals, free stuff (plenty attend just for the free stuff, food and drinks), and quality information about vendor options for their big day. Vendors work hard to attract customers, market their business properly, and be efficient in obtaining new lead information. It can be a long day and could be for naught if you aren’t intentional about the photo booth itself, the offers you extend, and the overall feeling you leave with potential clients. So where do you start?
I am a big fan of best practices, procedures that others have found to be most effective, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. So, before jumping into a vendor booth at a bridal show, visit one or two as a guest. Take notes on what booths appeal to you and which ones are a turn off. As they say in real estate, “location, location, location”, the same is true at the expo. Who your neighboring vendors becomes important to your success. Notice that vendors near food often get overlooked by tired, hungry attendees. Count how many brides bypass a perfectly lovely booth that is a neighbor to a greasy, obnoxious tuxedo rental salesperson. These guys try to sling suits like used cars.
Your booth should be open, free of clutter and trash, and filled with artfully arranged photo strips, various templates, props, backdrops and themes. Make sure you are featuring your wedding props, don’t put out your Sweet 16, prom or other non-wedding related props. I love the idea of using these Nose Hanger props, that are both a prop and business card. Check them out.
Be sure to dress the part, dress how you would at a wedding. You want brides to feel comfortable and to know immediately that your photo booth will be run professionally. Allow a bride to visualize how a specific template or set of props will fit in to her wedding style or theme and discuss further options with her, being sure to compliment her on her choice of colors and style.
Set up your photo booth with several wedding templates, showing the various sizes of photos you can print, each featuring your contact info so that brides have a memorable keepsake with your phone number and website stuck to their fridge. Not only will they see it often but visiting friends and family members will start to associate your name with quality photo booth shots. Get out on the floor and invite guests to sit in the photo booth, arm them with fun props suitable for a wide range of wedding themes, and let them enjoy the experience. Brides get overwhelmed during bridal shows and rarely remember every vendor they speak to but most will remember the laughs they shared in photo booth.
Most expos will provide you with a full list of all the attendees with their names, contact info and wedding date, a few days after the show. If not, you will need to be prepared to collect this information, either digitally or with paper. If you have social media sharing, then have that set up and allow guests to email photos to themselves, encourage them to do so because it is a quick and easy way to earn their contact information. Follow up within a week, either by email or phone, to remind brides of the awesome photo booth experience you provided.
Most bridal shows require that you provide a raffle item, often of a value of $50 or so. Offer a bottle of wine, Starbucks gift cards, certificates for local salons/spas, restaurant gift cards, etc. You could also hold your own raffle, where you offer scrapbook packages, free photo book of their event’s photo booth shots, package upgrade, etc.
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