Wedding Shows: 5 Considerations Before you say “I Do”

As the wedding season winds down and we make our way into engagement season, professionals across the US are reviewing their marketing strategies for the coming year and deciding where to invest their time and money.

Wedding shows are a tried and true method for capturing engaged couples but oftentimes, it’s a challenge for wedding pros to find the best fit for their company.

So how does one qualify each opportunity? Below are my top five considerations before you say “I Do” to your next wedding show:

Branding

A wedding show’s overall branding is paramount- it should be attractive, professional and consistent across all channels. From their logo and print ads to their marketing materials and web site, leave no stone unturned as you review a show’s look at length. Remember- the minute you align yourself with a show is the moment they become an extension of your own brand.

Attendance

The best marketing strategies are the ones that connect you with your target audience, and this is absolutely the case with wedding shows. Inquire as to the show’s previous attendance, keeping in mind that the number of engaged couples present is just as important (if not more so) than the total attendance for the show. Remember that in some cases, quality should be taken into consideration more than quantity. I often tell my clients that I’d rather have 100 really great leads versus 1,000 that won’t be a fit.

Promotional Strategies

How a show is marketed speaks volumes to an exhibitor’s commitment to bringing you the best prospects for your business.  Don’t be afraid to ask how the show will be promoted- from planned advertising and media sponsorships to social media presence and public relation strategies. A show’s promotional plan should be diverse, relying on a number of channels, as well as aggressive.

Happy Clients

A great wedding show will be chock full of exhibitors eager to share their own experiences. Reviewing testimonials is a great start, but be sure to also ask for additional references you can speak to directly. Consider the length of time they’ve been in the show as well as if they have a similar customer base.

Innovation

It’s a fact- if a company doesn’t evolve, it has little hope of making it in the long run. Gone are the days where wedding shows can set up shop in a large space with a number of booths and call it a day. Today’s savvy engaged couples want to be inspired and the best show producers understand that. They are constantly educating themselves on the latest technological innovations and modern approaches to wedding shows. So when reviewing a show’s offerings, play close attention to on site events and activities.

And when it’s time to decide, be sure to have a plan in place to track your return on investment from the show.  These vital statistics will help guide you in the future, as you continue to seek the best ways to market your business in this competitive industry.

Meghan Ely

Regarded as one of the leading wedding publicists in the US, Meghan Ely combines in-the-trenches event experience with a love of wedding PR. She has earned coverage for her clients with the New York Times, People, Brides, Bridal Guide, The Knot, Martha Stewart Weddings, CNN Money, and more. She is a WeddingPro Expert and long-time contributor to Catersource.com and SpecialEvents.com.