Since 1981 when I opened my first store, I participated in Bridal Shows. At that time the late great Johnny Maestro before his resurgence, led a wedding orchestra and I heard him sing his famed songs up close and for free. Last night Local Traffic Builder and Encore Studios participated in a Local Wedding Professionals Network Event led by veteran bridal show producer Bill Lippolis, bridaltradeshows.com. I know him longer than I know my wife. Here is someone who has produced bridal shows for 27 years and has changed with the times on how to get brides to the shows from signs on the trains and the backs of buses to TV commercials, big newspaper and magazine ads and now of course online.
The purpose of the show was to allow wedding businesses to network and exhibitors were there who served wedding professionals such as established wedding advertising web sites like njwedding.com, wedalert.com and weddingzone.net as well as the top regional wedding magazines like Contemporary Bride, Brides.com and (201) Bride.
When Bill paid his respects to my longevity in the industry in front of the 300 + in attendance, I was flattered but when he started talking about his bridal shows I almost grabbed the microphone away from him. I wanted to shout out that now more than ever bridal shows are one of the most powerful forces in the industry to get the bride away from their computers and bring wedding services to life. Especially for the products and services that are also sold online, this is invaluable because it exposes the bride to local wedding retail options that often are more upscale and more personalized. Often local wedding vendors carry better quality products and services, that a bride would never find online. The more we as an industry can get the bride out to see us, the better it is for the preservation of the retail environment. So my recommendation is for wedding professionals to exhibit and take time to create the best possible visual presentation. Focus on the brides that visited your table even stronger than the bridal mailing list you would receive from the bridal show promoter.
For a list of bridal shows nationally you can visit Bridal Show Producers International.