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FLASHBACK ARTICLE FROM OCTOBER 2009
If your dj business does a majority of their business with weddings, then I can think of no better investment than to be at a bridal show.
Bridal shows are hosted by a local organization, advertising venue, or vendor at a nice, and a strong advertising campaign is run. With today’s day and age of all types of media, bridal show companies and venues hosting their own bridal shows and competing for the same bride; It can be challenging as a business owner to know which shows to be a part of and which shows to pass on.
How do you know which shows to advertise in? One way is to find out who specifically these bridal shows are targeting. Are they advertising only in a certain city or county…or are their efforts further reaching into areas that you may or may not want to work in? What types of venues are they attracting to exhibit at their shows? Is the bridal show company you are considering advertising putting your hard-earned dollars using a shotgun approach and attracting as many brides as possible….or are they more selective about where they spend their money and who they target?
The bottom line is you should find bridal show companies that are target marketing to your ideal clientele and put the majority of your bridal show advertising dollars on the shows whose target clientele matches yours. This ensures you the biggest bang for your buck with your advertising dollars.
Now…you’re in the right shows…now what? Bridal shows are as much about the brides as they are about the vendors. When at a show, approach it as you do a wedding you are performing. I would strongly suggest arriving early and speaking with the other vendors in attendance. For me, this is a very important step and one that is often missed. By knowing who the top vendors are in your area and being able to be on a first-name basis with them, you can then confidently take care of your clients who are looking for help and advice when planning their wedding and in need of a great limo, florist or photographer. Networking with your fellow vendors at a bridal show is often a missed opportunity by the mobile DJ and can be a great source of referrals.
Next…you selected the right shows to be in; you networked with your fellow vendors…now…HERE COME THE BRIDES! What do you say? First, what kind of show are you at? Will there be 50 or fewer brides in attendance or 500? For me, the size of the show determines my approach. If it’s a quantity over the quality show (200 brides or more), then you need to have a phenomenal marketing piece and business card to wow them and make sure it gets into as many hands as possible. Smaller bridal shows (100 brides or less) allow for a quality approach and you can spend time with each person that drops by your booth.
You’re home from the show…NOW, WHAT?!?!?! Unfortunately, sometimes the show is the last time that potential clients will hear from some mobile DJs. For follow-up, have a system in place and follow it to a “T”. I recommend finding out when they are planning on looking for entertainment and follow up with clients a week or two before that. This way you won’t be that annoying salesperson who calls them week after week asking “Hey…do you have a DJ yet?” Don’t be that DJ. Any follow-up call that you make to a client should have a purpose…a reason for the call, and no the reason isn’t to see if they booked with anyone yet. Yours follow-up call should be “client” focused and not “you” focused. If there’s not a reason and benefit for the client that you are calling (ie new promotion you are running, you just performed at their venue and wanted to share a layout with them, a new idea you had for their wedding) then DON’T make the phone call.
Bridal shows can be a great source of revenue for the mobile DJ if approached in the right manner. Do your own research and plan accordingly. I hope this information helps you on your journey to bridal show success.
Mitch Taylor is a 17-year veteran of the mobile disc jockey industry, starting out on the cruise ships of Carnival Cruise Lines. He is a member of the American Disc Jockey Association and WED Guild™. Mitch owns and operates Taylored Entertainment in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and can be reached at 906.786.6967 or via email at email@example.com.