This Monday, we sat down with Shayna Walker of the Wedding Business Blog Life in Weddings to learn a bit more about her 50 state Bridal Show Tour, which has been garnering national attention since selected as a finalist for the Road to Fairfield Inn’s Road to Success Small Business Challenge.
Today we pick up where we left off, as Shayna lends insight as to what lies ahead.
What are the top tips you have picked up since the Bridal Show Tour began?
Again, these are such great question; it’s really hard to narrow down the list. The things I’ve noticed most that I think are really instructive are:
- You are exactly as engaging as you are engaged. If you stand or sit behind your booth making eye contact with the carpet, you’re going to have a terrible show no matter how pretty your exhibit is. I think I said one time “bored vendors are boring”.
- Kill the clutter. Rather than fill your space with every possible example of your work, pick the feature that best demonstrates what you do and emphasize that. Add great signage and remember that you have a matter of seconds to not only grab attention, but explain what you do.
- When you do invest in great signage…don’t hide half of it behind your table. Consider carefully the position of every single marketing piece in your booth.
How do you balance your wedding planning business, writing, speaking engagements and Bridal Show Tour?
The internet is a glorious thing. If it wasn’t for my laptop, the whole thing would be impossible. While I’m traveling, I make my client communications my number one priority because I never want my couples to feel like they are anything but the most important people in the world to me (short of the twins!). I respond quickly to their emails, answer their immediately and reach out if I’m at all concerned that they aren’t getting enough of my attention. I also schedule so that I’m safely in town when I’m needed for meetings and always well before the rehearsal.
So far the speaking engagements haven’t been frequent enough to cause a schedule conflict, but I’m actually looking forward to a time when they are. I genuinely love speaking so for me the more opportunities to present to a group, the better.
And writing…well, I prioritize deadlines for other people, for one. I’d rather let my own blog go for a day or two (or three…) then miss a deadline for another blog or publication. Any paid writing also goes on top of the list. And I try and write every day, whether it’s formally at my computer or in the journal I carry with me everywhere. And guest posts. I solicit great guest posts to alleviate my own writing pressure while building relationships with other writers and colleagues.
What’s next on the Bridal Show Tour?
I hit a couple of unexpected logistical challenges with October travel, so I’m a little bit farther behind than I’d hoped going into January. I’m going to have to pull off some miracles to get everything accomplished by the original deadline. I’ve already learned so much, though, that the value of the tour is totally clear to me. I’m celebrating every success, facing each challenge as gracefully as possible and planning for a victorious outcome.
So, about 40 more states left. That’s a lot of miles to go, but 10 fewer (and one district fewer) than I started with!
Oh – and I have to write. A lot, because I have that book to publish!
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding pr firm OFD Consulting. She is the exclusive wedding pr columnist to wedding marketing journal WedLock magazine and is a highly sought after speaker in the wedding industry. She loves ruffle table runners and Royal Wedding Tchotchkes. To learn how OFD Consulting can assist you with your wedding marketing and wedding pr, please contact us today.