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How To Make Wedding Expos Work For You

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How To Make Wedding Expos Work For You

Make-wedding-expos-work
OK, so you are a wedding photographer. How do you get brides booking you?

The best, and most cost effective, method I have found is to attend Wedding Fayres, or as you like to say in the US, Wedding Exhibitions.

Remember, it is not as simple as what you do, but also how you do it. The following is a list of guidelines I use while promoting at Wedding Fayres.

Our Top 10 Tips for Maximizing Efforts at Wedding Expos

Wedding Expos should be treated just like your own shop or studio.  Because in a way that is exactly what it is – an extension of your business.

  1. Set out your albums, photographs, pictures, canvas etc in the way that will most attract people to you.
  2. Make sure people know who you are – be consistent with you marketing image.
  3. Have banners made with your photographs on them, and more importantly your name, logo, contact details, etc
  4. Have brochures made.  They don’t have to be multi-page and glossy (although mine are) but do something more than run a few copies off your home printer
  5. Dress to impress.  People will be attending a wedding – so dress as you would for a wedding.  Suits for the gentlemen and skirt & blouse combo for the ladies.  Look professional and people will treat you as a professional.
  6. Don’t sit down – ever.  Get on your feet and stay there.  Move around your exhibit and make sure you have brochures in your hands at all times. Don’t allow potential clients to pass you by.
  7. Know your products, services, and prices.  Know what  discounts you offer or what you will give away with packages – people often want  to talk price and are looking for a discount.
  8. Mark up your products / services so that when you do have to discount you are still making a decent margin.
  9. Don’t sell.  I know that sounds silly, but trust me, people buy from people they like.  Do you like to be sold to or do you like to buy in your own time?  Exactly!
  10. When speaking with potential clients ask them about their plans for the day in general – where, who, colours, flowers, cake, cars, vows etc.
  11. Make sure you know the stories behind the albums.  Each wedding is a different emotional experience – make sure you know the emotions and story behind your wedding albums.  Brides (and occasionally grooms) like to know the back-story!
  12. Ask if you can take some contact details of the people who stop and talk to you- and be certain the contact form is professional looking.
  13. When you are finished for the day and have returned home wanting to put those tired feet up – don’t.  Get on the email or phone and call / mail the contacts you have received and say thank you for visiting! Make it personal… your contact form has an area for you to make notes about wedding details from the couple…doesn’t it??!!
  14. Don’t expect to get a booking at every exhibition.  Use them as a way of getting your name out there and for people to see your work.  If they like you, like your work and like your prices they will be back.  I take bookings from clients who first saw me 18 months – 24 months previously.

(Ok – so you noticed there is more than 10.  Get used it to  – I’m a photographer.  When we say one more we actually mean a few more!)
Wedding-Expo-Display

Cardiff-wedding-photographer

Andrew is a UK based wedding photographer who travels all over the Uk shooting weddings. He has successfully grown his business over the past 6 years predominantly using Wedding Fayres to book his clients.  He doesn’t run a studio or shop preferring instead to use wedding exhibitions and expos to see his clients. For more of his work visit his website or follow him on Facebook.

 

 

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13 Comments

  1. September 4, 2013 at 8:46 am —

    Thank you for the tips! I am actually going to my first bridal show this Saturday. It is also the first one for the event planners putting it together. We are giving away gift bags with candy and a mini-brochure. Luckily this show was only a small investment so we can get our feet wet.

    • September 4, 2013 at 1:45 pm —

      Hi Melinda

      Good luck!!!

      You will finish the day feeling very very tired but hopefully on a high from all the nice comments on the gift bags etc!!

      Don’t forget to follow up!

  2. September 4, 2013 at 10:54 am —

    Andrew, you are beyond awesome with your photography and LIGHT. I so much enjoy your advice and love looking at your examples. I am looking forward to more from you.

    • September 4, 2013 at 1:47 pm —

      Hi Mary

      Thank you 🙂

      Rain is forecast this weekend for my two weddings so I think I’ll work on my persuasion skills and see if I can get the brides and grooms outside in the rain for a few photos!! I’m hoping the sky and clouds will be AWESOME!

  3. September 4, 2013 at 11:11 am —

    Andrew, If your clients are over 40, skirts and blouses may be expected, but I have serious doubts younger brides share that expectation. The US may be more casual than GB.

    Next, as a veteran of the craft show circuit, I can tell you people really miss the boat if they don’t LIGHT their booth and work. Design something that matches the mood of your photos if possible, but by all means, light your booth.
    If you can, set up your space so people can come IN the booth rather than browse your table and walk by. The extra 5 feet you may need is well worth the expense. A flatscreen running a slideshow is also a very good idea, motion lets the eyes linger longer and attracts attention.

    • September 4, 2013 at 1:38 pm —

      Hi Dave

      The vast majority of my clients are actually 30-35 and are always impressed that I attend their wedding dressed smartly and professionally. Doing that helps me blend in with the guests when taking photographs, it helps me handle the venue staff better as they see me as a “suit” aka a manager.

      I think the US is more casual, much more so than the UK!

      I played with lights but when you have glossy album covers and pages the lights just reflect and glare too much though I do see your point!

  4. September 4, 2013 at 11:16 am —

    One other tip. Make it a point to walk the show and introduce yourself to every vendor you might want to network with in the future. Emails get ignored, calls get screened, but at the shows, the people you want to talk to will generally be there. DO NOT do this while the show is busy. No one will be pleased if you’re taking time away from their potential customer.

    • September 4, 2013 at 1:44 pm —

      Thats a million dollar question there Dave. Being a big ticket item means that I usually get booked around 2nd or third after Church & Venue.

      I find that more people want to network with me because of the recommendations I can give for them.

      What I do have is a list of wedding suppliers that I have worked with over the years that I trust will do a good job and not let me down when I recommend them. If I’m asked by couples I just send over the whole list!

  5. September 4, 2013 at 12:26 pm —

    While I have no intentions of becoming a wedding photographer I loved reading your tips and many things can carry over into my business!

  6. September 4, 2013 at 2:54 pm —

    what can I say? awesome! Thank you for sharing.

  7. September 4, 2013 at 3:15 pm —

    These are super good tips. I don’t plan on making a foray into the wedding side of things, but these are really good business tips that can be used in growing other types of photography businesses as well. Thank you for sharing!

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How To Make Wedding Expos Work For You