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Pampered Chef: Theme Show Bridal Fairs: have you done one? Results?

  1. aPamperedBride

    aPamperedBride Member Gold Member

    My city will be hosting a bridal fair in just a few weeks and another consultant has approached me about going in on a booth. It is expensive, though: $795! I'm not sure it will be worthwhile. Has anyone else done a bridal fair as a vendor? Or did you go to one as a bride-to-be? If so, please relate your experiences. I'm not sure if there would be interest in creating a registry right then. If we got 8 shows or registries out of this, it would cover the cost, but I'm afraid it might be a waste of time and money.
  2. NooraK

    NooraK Legend Member Gold Member

    I have not done a bridal show, not something I want to invest in. Some things to keep in mind while deciding:

    *There are going to be LOTS of people there, it's not something you'll be able to handle alone, so you will be splitting the cost.
    *Most big bridal fairs will send you a list of brides after the event, so you'll want to have a way to divvy up the list, and set aside time after the fair to make calls.
    *Be prepared for lots of brides who don't know who we are, but moms who do.
    *Search the files for a registry sign-up form to make it quick and simple for brides to sign up
    *Just because a bride signs up for a registry, doesn't mean you'll make money. Many brides sign up for multiple registries, and often advertise which ever one is their favorite. Do some brainstorming to figure out how you can become that favorite.
    *Get a copy of "Booths Build Business" off supply order. Donna McDonald has some great ideas, and addresses bridal fairs too.
    Aug 29, 2009
  3. chefcharity

    chefcharity Advanced Member

    All great suggestions, Noora! I do a bridal fair or two a year. I have never done one that large because I do not want to invest that kind of money, though. The smaller ones I do, I always get new contacts and shows booked. It is like any other fair or booth. Make sure to get emails for your newletters because they probably aren't getting married till next year, so your newsletter will trigger their memory as it gets closer. I usually get some non-bridal shows too. You never know who is looking for us and can't find a consultant.

    Tips for your table: keep it clean, not a lot of clutter. I usually go pretty with a bridal fair, using the SA, Trifle bowl and DCB. JMO :)

    good luck!
    Aug 29, 2009
  4. DebbieJ

    DebbieJ Legend Member

    That is way too much money. I would not do it. You will not see results. Yes, you might get registries, but will people buy from them? In my experience, NO they will NOT.
    Aug 29, 2009
  5. Becca_in_MD

    Becca_in_MD Veteran Member Gold Member

    A friend gets our bridal fair booth with a big production company that does fairs throughout the country. In Feb. it's a Sat. evening and Sunday daytime event. In Aug. it's a Sunday event. In Feb. at least 2,000 people attend. This month attendance seemed lower. In Feb. they make Sat. night date night so the groom gets in free and it's a lot more couples. On Sundays it's much more mom and the girls there with the bride.

    Some things to consider:
    * What is the expected attendance? I've done a rinky dink little bridal fair in its first year and got absolutely nothing from it. And remember that less than half of the attendees are brides.
    * Can you divide up the costs by selling time slots to other consultants?
    * Can you do the follow-up within 24-48 hours to all of the leads?
    * What kind of advertising is the promoter doing? Is it a local production company with limited media advertising or is it a big company doing radio and TV spots?

    I don't do the fair to get registries. I've only had a few registries ever get sales. I do the fair to get bookings and recruit leads. The moms will pull their daughters over to the booth. Some brides know about PC while others know they need to learn to cook. I give away free cooking shows as a door prize and contact everyone telling them that they're a winner, though I do clip together people who are in a group to only contact one of the group. I encourage everyone to enter, not just the bride. Brides have a lot going on so I can have more success with her friends and relatives b/c they have more time to host.

    From the 2 hours I worked 2 weeks ago, I have 5 shows on the calendar already. That more than makes up for what I spent on the fair ($65/hour), and I thought attendance was low this year and I didn't get as many leads as I would have liked. I'm still working the leads and hope to add a few more shows.

    Aug 30, 2009
  6. SeeMe4PC

    SeeMe4PC Member Gold Member

    I forked out $1000 plus an additional $600 in supplies (printing, booth gift, decorations, prizes) for a bridal show in February 2009 and it has not paid for itself. I ended up with over 250 registries, 650 e-mails and only about 6 of them being serious registries. I did it by myself and while it was handled well, I was mobbed with people registering and entering the drawing for a free gift.

    I read all sorts of posts from consultants here telling me to keep it cheap and I didn't listen because I was going to be different and work my butt off! I did work my butt off but the returns $$ were not there.

    I love working the bridal fairs, local fairs and bazaars but after investing $2000 in booths last year and not seeing the results I expected - my advice would be to split it up or let it go. Your best resource is from your shows and then do the fairs, etc as bread and butter.

    This is an amazingly resourceful site and the ladies here are so smart. Listen to them, unlike me who had to learn the hard way.:yuck:

    Good Luck with your decision!
    Aug 31, 2009
  7. aPamperedBride

    aPamperedBride Member Gold Member

    Thank you everyone for your input! SeeMe4PC, I'm sorry you had to go through the school of hard knocks on this one! I've forwarded your input to the other consultant, as she told me that she's planning to do it by herself! (with a non-PC friend to assist) I'm 'working' my business at the 'less-than-hobby' level of simply remaining active by doing one show a month, so I personally feel like it isn't worth my investment for a slot. I have offered free assistance if she proceeds because I'm afraid of her being overwhelmed!
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