The Smart Lab: 6 Tips for Exhibiting at a Bridal Show
From freebies to follow-up, Emmanuel Rehab shares a list of must-dos for any jeweler looking to connect with soon-to-wed couples.
Anyone who attends a bridal show is interested and open to hear from you. They’re actively seeking goods and services to complete their picture-perfect wedding. Everyone is a potential customer.
As a jeweler, this is the ideal time to showcase your wide selection of engagement rings, wedding bands, bridesmaid gifts, and wedding day jewelry. You can make their big day complete by bringing your best styles to the show.
This opportunity for connection, however, does not come without cost.
Bridal shows can be expensive as an exhibitor and not everyone has the resources to devote to it. If you do, you want to make sure you are maximizing your investment.
Here are 6 tips every bridal show exhibitor should know.
1. Start with your booth
Think of your booth as an extension of your store. For many brides, this will be their first interaction with you. How you present yourself and the experience your visitors have will determine if you’ll be on their list when it’s time to buy.
Bring a wide selection of your engagement rings and wedding bands, enough to give the bride-to-be a sense of what your jewelry store has to offer. Although they may already be wearing their engagement ring, you have the chance to sell the couple wedding bands and wedding-day jewelry as well as bridesmaid gifts.
Your booth should be a mini version of what your customers can expect when they visit your store.
2. Use social media
After you have the dates booked for the bridal show, you should start promoting the event on social media as soon as possible.
Start with teaser content and give your audience a glimpse of what they’ll see at the show. Post photos of past shows, if you have them, as well as what you’ll be bringing to this year’s show. The goal is to build demand and participation.
Invite attendees to stop by your booth and take a selfie for their own social media pages. Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Pinterest are all prime marketing channels to build buzz for the show.
3. Bring freebies
Everyone loves getting something for free.
Use promotional giveaways, such as winning an engagement ring or matching wedding bands, as these are a great incentive for people to visit your booth.
Swag such as tote bags (to hold all the materials and goodies they get at the show), as well as water bottles, T-shirts, etc., are always welcome. Anything printed with your jewelry store’s name, telephone number and address can be given away.
You want the bride and groom to remember you long after the bridal show is over.
4. Give special discounts
Use the exhibition as a way to track the effectiveness of your marketing. Give visitors to your booth a special offer or promo code to use when shopping on your website or at your jewelry store.
Don’t share this code with anyone else; it is for the bridal show only. This gives you an easy way to quantify your efforts and see just how much business the exhibition brings you.
Once you start tracking the numbers, you might be pleasantly surprised. It also will give you a solid foundation for future shows if you decide to return as an exhibitor the following year.
5. Collect everyone’s contact details
Every person who visits your booth is a potential customer. You should engage with anyone who approaches and be available to answer their questions. People won’t just give you their name and contact details unless there’s a certain amount of trust there.
Within the first few minutes you’re together, you have to cultivate a relationship and build rapport. Give them just enough information to satisfy their questions but leave them wanting more.
Remember, the goal may not necessarily be to push hard for a direct sale right then and there, but rather to build a loyal base of prospects that you can continue to market to year-round.
You can’t do this unless you get their contact details. Don’t be too aggressive and scare them off!
6. Always follow up with every lead
Every lead should be treated as gold. Bridal show leads are some of the most prized opportunities to make a sale and extremely effective. Nowhere else will you find this level of engagement with potential buyers who are receptive to your sales pitch and marketing messages.
At every touchpoint with the prospect you want to emphasize what makes your jewelry store different from everyone else and why they should buy from you.
Don’t let a good lead go to waste. Time is of the essence. Your bride-to-be has a lot on her mind and if she doesn’t hear back from you quickly, her attention will go elsewhere.
Your leads should be followed up within a day or so of the event, a week at the latest. Anything past this point and you risk your leads going stale.
Think about how much you spent to exhibit and attend the show, then divide that number by how many leads you got. That’s how much they’re worth. And it’s not cheap!
To conclude, bridal shows are not for everyone. If you’re a jeweler who’s small and doesn’t have the money or resources to invest in your business then don’t stretch yourself. Focus on attracting brides-to-be into your store.
However, if you’re one of the few forward-thinking jewelers who is committed and wants to have direct contact with a large pool of buyers all at once, then a bridal show is a smart decision.
Follow these six simple tips and you’ll make the most of your time as well as your investment.
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