As wedding show / expo season approaches many of you are preparing to exhibit your business! In today’s episode I am sharing one of my signature keynote talks, to help you prepare for the show season and to make sure you are making the most of that investment. I want you to sell more at the wedding shows this season.
If you want more help I also have a FREE 3 part video series all about how to do better at wedding shows:
[00:00:00] As the summer season draws to a close, we are starting to look forward to the autumn and winter months. One thing that happens every autumn is lots and lots of wedding exhibitions and bridal fairs. And that may be something that you are thinking about, or perhaps you’re already booked in to exhibit your business.
At one of these shows, I love attending bridal shows and then wedding fairs across the country. But I know that many of you don’t make the most of this marketing opportunity. Now I’m often asked to speak on online summits or in conferences or even on other people’s podcasts or in their memberships. And I speak on a variety of subjects, but one of the talks that I like to give is all about how to convert more at these wedding fairs.
So I thought on today’s podcast, I would do something a little bit different and share with you the audio from a presentation that I did recently on this very subject. I hope you find it helpful. Let me know on Instagram, how you found. And if you want any more help in this area, then go to the show notes where there’s a link, a three part video series that I’ve also [00:01:00] created all about how to do better at wedding fairs.
And it goes into everything in even more detail. I’m Becca Pountney, wedding business marketing expert, speaker, and blogger. And you are listening to the wedding pros who are ready to grow podcast. I’m here to share with you actionable tips, strategies, and real life examples to help you take your wedding business to the next level.
If you are an ambitious wedding business owner that wants to take your passion and use it to build a profitable, sustainable business, doing what you love, then you’re in the right place. Let’s get going with today’s episode. In just a few moments. You’re gonna hear the full presentation. Please bear in mind that this was a live recording of that presentation.
So the audio quality, maybe isn’t as good as it would normally be on the podcast, but hopefully it’s good enough for you to hear what I’m saying. Well, hello and welcome to this session. If you are here to learn all about how to convert more at bridal expo or bridal fair, then you are absolutely in the [00:02:00] right place.
And it’s great to have you here. My name is Becca, and I’m gonna be leading you through today’s session. Now, before we get started and dive into the presentation, just a word of warning that I’m gonna cover a lot of ground and give you a whole lot of information. So you might wanna pause this right now and go and grab a paper and pen.
Get that notebook. Get your pen ready? Because I talk fast and I deliver a lot of information. So pause the video, go and grab that. And when we come back, you’re gonna be talking with me all about how to convert more at a bridal or wedding expo. Okay. I’m gonna get straight on with the presentation. I’m gonna share my screen so you can see my slides and we’re gonna dive straight into all of my tips.
Okay. So as I said, today’s session is all about how you as a wedding business owner can convert more at a wedding expo, whether that’s a wedding expo, a bridal expo a, a wedding open evening, a hotel anywhere where you are putting your [00:03:00] business. As part of a stand in front of potential couples and trying to promote yourselves to them, that’s what we’re gonna be talking about today.
It doesn’t matter about the size or the scale of those particular expos. This is going to be helpful for you now, before we dive in, I want to know what do you think of when I say wedding expo? Just think for a second, what does it make you think? Now when I first got engaged way back in 2009, I was really excited to go to my first wedding expo here in the UK.
We call them wedding fairs and I called up my best friend who was gonna be my bridesmaid. And we decided to plan a girl’s trip to go to a bridal show. I travelled two hours across the country to meet her, and we went along to. Bridal fair. We were so excited. We were buzzing. We thought just like this picture, it is gonna be a really fun day out, a girly trip to plan the wedding.
However, the reality was somewhat disappointing. In [00:04:00] fact, I found the day a little bit boring. Yes. It was great to see my friend. But our wedding expo’s as exciting as they seem to be in the way they’re marketed. In fact, really all it was was a bunch of people standing behind tables, trying to sell me stuff that I didn’t necessarily need for my wedding day.
It wasn’t the girls day out that I had in my mind. It was just one big sales pitch. Now, as I walked around that bridal expo way back in 2009, this is the sort of people I came. There was two types of people. The first type was the people who didn’t seem like they really wanted to be there. Maybe they was just sat behind the table, scrolling their phone, talking to someone else, doing work on their laptop.
And there was me and they just weren’t engaging with me barely at all. So I just walked past their stand. They looked nervous. They look like they didn’t know what they were doing. And they looked kind of bored as well. It really wasn’t an attractive proposition to go over and speak to. And [00:05:00] then there was the second type of person, the other end of the scale.
This is the person that I’ve described here as the used car sales man, because they were a proper salesperson. They were the sort of people that jumped out from inside, uh, and said, Do you want to buy this? And then they’d go straight into a massive long sales pitch, all about their products or service, why it was amazing why I needed to do it, what discounts I could get all of the things and did I want to buy it right now?
It was the other end of the scale. It was totally overwhelming. It felt like the hard sell and they didn’t actually take any time to ask me about myself, about my wedding day, about any of the things I had planned. They just had their preprepared sales pitch. Now that doesn’t make an enjoyable day out for any bridal group.
Trust me. And that was my experience of going to the bridal expo when I was planning my own wedding. Now I’m gonna ask you that same question again. What do you think of when I say wedding expo? Because for [00:06:00] you, you might be thinking of it from a different perspective. You’re thinking about it from the perspective of the potential bride and groom, but you are thinking it from your perspective as the wedding business owner, perhaps you’ve already exhibited at some of these kind of events and they make you feel a little bit uncomfortable.
Perhaps you’re thinking some of these things I’ve put loads of effort. I’ve created an amazing. Why do couples always just bypass my stand? Why do they never come over? Why do they never stop and chat? Perhaps you’re thinking I’m a little bit nervous. I’m not a salesperson. I don’t really know how to start a conversation.
And that’s why I’m sat there scrolling my phone because I’m uncomfortable and nervous. And therefore, I don’t know how to start that conversation. Perhaps you’re thinking, I know that I need to sell. But I don’t know how to do that without coming across sleazy. I don’t want to be like the used car sales man.
And so I just stay quiet or perhaps you’re thinking, I know I really wanna get people’s details. I wanna get them booked in, but I just don’t know [00:07:00] how to get people to do it. So maybe this is what you think of when I talk about wedding expos, maybe it’s all those uncomfortable feelings that you thought, or maybe you’ve never done one before and you just don’t know where to start.
Well, how about this? What if we could solve both problems and convert more leads? What if I could show you how to give those couples a great experience, not a disappointing experience like I experienced so that they then flock to your stand and you walk away with hot leads and even some sales. Well, if that’s what you want, then you are in the right place, because that’s exactly what I’m gonna be showing you in.
Today’s presentation, how to give couples a much greater experience. So they flock to your stand and you walk away with hot leads and sales. If we’ve not met before, my name is Becca Pountney. I’m a based here in the [00:08:00] UK, as you can probably hear from my accent, I’ve popped my Instagram handle at the top there.
So if you love Instagram, as much as I do go and connect with me at Becca Pountney. If you’re watching this snap a picture tag me in your stories, wherever you are in the world, I would love to see it and drop me a DM. And tell me what you’ve learned from today’s session, because I love to chat and I’m more than happy.
Get into a conversation and chat with you about your business at Becca Pountney. Now I’ve been in the wedding industry a number of years, eight years. In fact, following a successful career in TV and radio marketing. Um, for the last five years since finishing my wedding videography business, I’ve become an award winning wedding blogger.
I’m a wedding business consultant. I’m a podcaster and I speak around the world, helping people, just like you to grow your wedding business for success, to market yourself successfully and to bring home. Money. And it’s an absolute pleasure to be here talking to you about this topic today. Okay. So I’m gonna walk you through my three step [00:09:00] process to converting at a wedding expo.
And I call that process elf. No, not that little guy on the side there that brings many parents much, uh, stress at Christmastime, but elf is a good way for you to remember my strategy E L F. So what does E.L.F stand for the E stands for explore and. The L stands for look appealing and the F stands for follow up.
And this is the framework I’m gonna talk you through today to help you plan ahead. Organize yourself, have a great expo follow up and most importantly, make sales and convert. So that’s why we’re gonna be going today. Get ready, because there’s lots of information coming your way. So let’s start with E then.
Explore and plan. Now E is an essential part of this process. And this part comes before you even get to the wedding show day itself, because if we are not in the right [00:10:00] place, if we are not promoting ourselves at the right bridal or wedding expo, then the conversion is going to be almost impossible. So, what do we do then in this explore and plan stage?
Well, first of all, do you have a really clear idea about who your ideal couple are? Do you know the kind of wedding they’re gonna have, the kind of budget that they’re gonna be working to? Do you know what sort of venues they’re gonna be choosing to get married in and what time of year? How well do you know the couples that you serve?
Because if you know them well, then you can move on to the next section, which. Well, where are they actually hanging out? Which of the shows are they going to be at? For example, some of the couples won’t be at the massive big wedding expos that might not be where your couple like to be. They might like to be at the smaller boutique, more alternative expos, or perhaps it’s the other way round.
So get a grip on who it is that you’re trying to promote to. There is no point you being in the wrong. If, for [00:11:00] example, you want to work with wedding, uh, couples who want to get married at huge Manor house type venues. There’s no point in going and exhibiting your business at the local motel because your clients are going to be there.
If someone wants to get married in a grand Manor house, they’re not gonna be going to a local motel wedding exhibition to plan their wedding. So do your research and find out what shows they’re going to be. Also consider your dream venues. What venues do you wish you could work at more? Which venues do your couples go to?
Which venues are you working at all of the time, find out if those venues are having their own expos, are they having their own open days and showcases where you can get involved, do your research, because if you put yourself in the right place, you’ve got much more chance of converting yourself into getting business.
But if you’re in the wrong place, you are already on an uphill battle. Now before you book or pay any money, I highly recommend if possible that you [00:12:00] visit the show first often shows happen twice a year in different places. So perhaps you can go to the spring show and then exhibit at the autumn show or vice versa.
The reason you wanna visit the show is because yes, their marketing team are gonna tell you it’s the best thing in the whole world, but when you go and experience it for yourself, you’re gonna get much more of a feel for whether your ideal couples are in the room. Also, when I visit a show, I quite often go round and talk to the other exhibitors who are there and just ask them how they’re getting on at the show.
Has the show been good for them? Are they getting a lot of interest? Because if it’s successful for them, chances are, if you’re in a similar niche or in a similar kind of category, It will work for you as well. And also never hand any money over to a show organizer without asking some good questions, ask them what is the demographic that you’re expecting at your show?
What are the expected attendance numbers at the show now? They can’t always know exactly, but they will know roughly what to [00:13:00] expect, whether you’re gonna get 10 couples there. A thousand couples there, however many couples, you need to know what your return on investments is gonna be. Often we talk about cost per head in marketing.
So how much is it gonna cost you to exhibit there versus how many people are coming through the door and then you can work out what that cost per head would be and whether or not it’s good value. And then the other question you wanna ask is there, are there any other ways I can get involved? Often we are sold an exhibition stand, but quite often there are other little things that we can get involved with, which can showcase ourselves even more ask if they’ve got a stage and they need someone to talk about your subject, ask if they have a show program that you can contribute to.
So they have goody bags that you can put some branded merchandise in. Is there workshop area where you could run a workshop? Is there a place where you could play live music, whatever it is that you do, is there another way you can get involved in the show to go above and beyond just having the stand that will put you ahead of your competition and make it even more [00:14:00] worth your while.
So before agreeing to anything, please, please, please make sure you’re asking questions first. Okay. So once we have decided which show we want to go to, then we need to do a few other things before the show day itself. First up, you need to work out how much that show is costing you to be at. That includes how much it is to be there on the day and how much.
You’re giving away. So for example, if you’re giving away cake, how much is that costing you? If you’re giving away merchandise, how much is that costing you? If you’re decorating the stand, how much is that costing you? If you’re paying someone else to be with you there on the day, how much is that costing?
You add it all together and then work out. How many sales you need to make from that show. Number one, to pay for it. And number two, to make it worth your while, because there’s no point just doing it to pay for it. You need to go above and beyond. You need to be in profit. So work out how many sales you need to break even, and to make a profit and then use that [00:15:00] as your sales target, going into the show, have that number clear in your.
Give yourself some targets from this show, I need to convert X number of people into sales. And I want to collect X number of email addresses to know whether or not it’s been successful. Now you will not always convert on the day. Sometimes those conversions will come later on, but it’s important to track it.
So it’s worth knowing whether or not to go back to the same expo next year. If you don’t know whether or not it’s worked for you, how can you decide whether to put marketing budget into it? The next thing you wanna be doing before the show itself is actually promote the fact that you are going to be attending the show and tell people why they want to find you before the events.
This is a great strategy because if your couples or couples attending the show, see about you before they even get to the show, they’re going to be seeking you out, especially if you have something great to offer them. So tag the show in Instagram, on Facebook. Because they might share it to their [00:16:00] stories and therefore their show attendees will see it.
Talk about what you’re gonna be doing at the show where you’re gonna be located and why couples should come and visit your stand. I’ve seen people have great success with this, where they’re at the show and people keep coming over to them and saying, I came because I knew you were here. I knew you had this going on and they’re actually seeking them out and finding their stand.
And obviously that often leads to.
Okay. So that is the explore and plan section. Do not discount that it is incredibly important. If you are not promoting and marketing yourself in the right place at the right time, it’s going to be really hard for you to convert. Okay, that then moves us then onto L look appealing. I talked to the beginning about my own bridal show experience and how boring the show was.
It was literally a bunch of tables with people trying to sell me stuff. There was leaflets everywhere that were being given [00:17:00] out. And it wasn’t what I’d imagined in my head. Now I want to change the way that you think about these exhibitions, because just because that’s what everyone else is doing.
Doesn’t mean, you need to do that as well. And if you can do something totally different to stand out from the crowd, everyone’s gonna be remembering you. And in fact, if the show is incredibly boring, but your stand is amazing. Guess what? Everyone’s gonna remember you and you are the one that’s going to be getting the bookings.
So number one, you need to be making sure you stand out from the crowd. And secondly, I want you to start thinking differently about how you can create a memorable experience. A memorable experience for the couples at the show, they don’t want a boring sales experience. They want something memorable.
They’re excited to plan their wedding day. They’re bringing their friends, they’re bringing their partner, they’re bringing their mom, they’re ready to plan their wedding. And they’re there for a day out. Let’s give them something memorable. So they remember us. [00:18:00] I want us to be there on their wedding. I wanna encourage you at this point to think outside of the box and be creative.
There are no bad ideas. And like I said, just because no one else is doing it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be doing it because I promise you if you find something that works and everyone’s flocking to your stand next time, you’ll see other people copying you and you wanna be the leader of the pack.
Get rid of all your preconceptions, get rid of all those nagging doubts in your mind that it won’t work and think outside of the box and go with me today. Okay. I want you to ask yourself this question. How can you showcase your product or service in an interactive way? How can you showcase your product or service in a fun, interactive, memorable way now, depending on what you do and what you offer for a wedding is going to depend on how you execute this.
But like I said, there’s no bad ideas. So I want you to [00:19:00] start with the craziest idea and the biggest grandest idea you can think of, and then bring it back down to something that you could actually manage. I’m gonna share some ideas with you, right? Idea one, for example, if you’re a hair stylist, why not set up a mini salon area at the wedding show instead of a table, set up a mini salon with a chair, a mirror, make it look beautiful and run mini hair trials on the day.
No one wants to be told that you are good at doing hair. They want to see it. They want to feel it. They wanna see themselves looking amazing. Now I’ve had a client who’s done this incredibly successfully at the national wedding show in London. She set up her stall exactly like this, like a mini salon as suggested.
And then she had her mom and a friend there as a helper on the day. So she could do the hair and talk to the brides, but the other people could talk to other passes by now, when someone sees someone else in the chair getting their hair. It attracts attention. They want to be next. They want to flock over and see what’s going on.
And you are also showcasing what [00:20:00] you can do for them. It’s like a mini free hair trial. And then obviously you can then go ahead and book those people in for a proper trial and work with them on their wedding day. Just think for a moment as a bride, would you rather someone gave you a leaflet with pictures of hair or would you rather experience what it’s like to have your hair looking great for.
If you’re a musician, maybe you could have a little set area set up a little stage where you can play music live at the event. If you’re a Florist, perhaps you could create a little workshop area in your stand where people can come over and you can talk to them about flowers and help them make a flower crown or something like that.
Perhaps you could run a little mini bouquet demonstration. So people come over and hover around your stand. You’re doing something fun. You’re doing something interactive and you’re doing something memorable. Showcase your expertise. Okay. Second idea. One thing I find at a wedding exhibition, or a wedding expo.
There’s a lot of standing around and there’s often minimal [00:21:00] seating. So why not turn your stand, your booth, your area into a really comfortable area for people to hang out. I’ve seen a photographer do this incredibly successfully, where they bought lounge furniture from their home and set up their stand as a mini kind of living room area.
And they put out their photo albums and people could come and hang out at their stand, sit on the so. Chill out for a bit and look through the wedding, photograph albums, and then they could sit with them and chat, and it was so much better and more enjoyable than just a stand with tables and pictures up, and guess what they did incredibly well from the show.
People enjoyed chatting with them. People enjoyed chilling out. Perhaps you’re a cake maker. And you wanna give out cake samples at the show? Well, yes, you could just give them out, wrapped up to everyone who passes or perhaps you could set up a mini tea room inside your booth, have a few tables and chairs, invite people to sit for a few minutes and have your cake served on a plate and try it.
Maybe you can do a flavor test with them. See if they [00:22:00] can guess the flavors. I don’t know. There’s so many different ideas where you can create an enjoyable environment. Perhaps, if you are someone that sells suits and you’re trying to attract the men often, the men are hanging about at the wedding expos while they’re wives to be, or parents or whoever are off making.
So, if you were a suit salesperson, perhaps you could turn it into some kind of men’s hangout area where you’ve got a rack of suit jackets that they can have a look at, but maybe you’ve got a, a set there, or some gaming chairs, a switch or a PlayStation that they can play on somewhere where they can hang out while their partners are going around the show.
Very memorable. And also they’re going to want to come to you for the suits. There’s so many different ideas, but think about how you could create an enjoyable environment or a seating area for people at the show. Idea three is to do something totally different, but something that’s going to attract attention.
Now, imagine you’re at a fun, fair, you know, all those different games, whether [00:23:00] people are trying to attract you over to play, perhaps you could have some kind of interactive game set up going on at your stand. I’m imagining some kind of large spin the wheel where people come over. They give their email address in that’s important.
You take their email address and they get to play the game. They spin the big wheel and then win something. Maybe you’ve got some sweets to give away. Maybe they win a special offer for your services. Maybe they win a can of drink or voucher. I don’t know what you wanna give away. That’s up to you. But just having that big wheel will attract attention.
People will want to come and play, because people love playing games and people love winning prizes. And it’s definitely memorable. Or you could have a big play your cards right, that kind of thing to attract attention over again. People will be flocking to your store to find out what you do. And while they’re there playing the game, you’re chatting to them, asking them questions, finding out about their wedding day and telling them about the service you provide.
Like I said, at this point, you have to let go and think outside of the box, what could you be [00:24:00] doing differently for whatever product or service you sell? What can you do? That’s interactive, fun and memorable for the people coming to the show and makes it easier for you because people are flocking over rather than you standing there awkwardly waiting for someone to stop.
Bye. The next thing you need to think about when it comes to the show day itself is ensuring you and your stand can be spotted from a distance. I’ve put some examples in here of some amazing wedding show stands. I’ve seen at places where I’ve been speaking. Um, you can see how incredibly, uh, how incredible these are and how much they’re gonna stand out against a normal booth.
You can see that they’ve gone all out with neon lights, with seating areas, Instagramable spots for people to take a photo. I love this cake stand. The photo’s not very good because it’s taken on my phone, but instead of just having cakes on a table, how much more exciting do those cakes look in that display and people were talking to me later in the day and saying, oh, I love the cake maker with the amazing balloons.
[00:25:00] It was really memorable. So, what can you do to make sure your stand and your amazing area that you set up is spotted from a distance. So people look at it and want to come and see what it’s all about. Okay. Here’s some top tips in to think about how to do that. Actually, I’m gonna go back to. I’ve missed a slide out.
Okay, let’s stick with this. How can you achieve that then? Because you might be thinking I can’t achieve this. I don’t have the money for it. Well, first of all, I wanna say, why don’t you collaborate? See if you can collaborate with other people that do what you want on your stand and see if you can collaborate on the stand.
Perhaps you can give out some of their business cards, uh, to say, thank you. If they’ve set up the balloons for you, perhaps you can share a stand. You need to ask the expo for the rules around those things, but if you can collaborate, that’s gonna make it better for. Or make sure you’ve set aside some budget to pay for your stand, because if your stand looks amazing, it’ll be a lot easier to attract people over.
And the more people that come [00:26:00] over to your stand and love it, the more likely you are to get them to convert. Okay. Let’s have some top tips then for being on the show, date itself, once you’ve got your stand and everything looking attractive and amazing. When you are chatting to people, use questions, be friendly with people and qualify the.
So don’t go over to someone and launch into a sales pitch. Ask questions, be normal. How are you enjoying the show today? Do you wanna take part in our game? Do you wanna have your hair done? We’d like to sit down and have a cup of tea. How’s your wedding planning going? Is it you getting married? When are you getting married?
When did you get engaged? How long have you been together? How are you finding the show today? How’s this wedding planning business going? Have you thought about your wedding flowers yet? Where are you in the process? Ask questions, listen to their responses. And it’s important to qualify the lead because, and we’ll talk about this more in a minute when I talk about follow up, because if they’re not actually the person getting married or they’re not actually there [00:27:00] to get married, they’re just there for a bit of fun.
You don’t wanna spend too much time talking to them. Okay. But be friendly and qualify the lead. Secondly, often people have offers at shows because they want to use the offer to collect email addresses. But I want to recommend you that you have upsell offers, but that you don’t discount discounting.
Isn’t always a great strategy. It looks a little bit desperate and actually you are worth the price that you’re paying. So instead of discounting, don’t say if you book today, you get 20% off. Say if you book today, I will also include. Two hours, extra footage, or I will include a photo album, or I will include a gift bouquet for the bride or whatever it is that you do.
Add something on. If they give their email address, don’t discount off your price. You don’t need to do that and make sure that offer is time sensitive. So if you sign up for today and you book within the next three weeks, you will get this added bonus. You wanna make sure you’re getting contact information from as many people as you possibly can.[00:28:00]
You don’t wanna leave the power in their hands to walk away and forget about you. You want the power to be able to contact them again and remind them why you are amazing and why they should book you. Next make sure. And I’m surprised how many people forget about this, make sure you have your diary with you on the day.
So if people ask about availability, you can tell them whether you’ve got availability for their wedding date, and also find a way to take payment. On the day. These days, you can get those little card machines, very low cost, where you can take deposits on the day. If someone wants to give you money on the.
You don’t wanna be turning it down. So make sure you invest in one of those little machines where you can take money on the day, because it will. Yeah, it’s just a good idea. Why would you wanna turn money away? And if you don’t take the money, I guarantee someone else around the corner at the expo will take their money instead.
And finally, if you have products that you can sell individually, have them there for sale on the day. So for example, if you’re a cake maker and you can have some [00:29:00] cupcakes or something that people can buy for a pound or a dollar, uh, on the day, do that and take the money, make some money back towards the stand.
If you are a makeup artist, uh, perhaps you can offer. A mini makeover on the day that they pay for, if you sell a product like candles, perhaps you can sell individual candles or gift sets on the day. If there’s something you can sell on the day, do it. I, again, at the national wedding show in London, there was amazing, uh, lady there who sold cocktails.
So her offering was that she’d come to your wedding with her cocktails and create favors for all the guests and that kind of thing. But she was selling on the day mini jars of her cocktail. She sold out on day one. She had to go and make more cocktails for day two. Everyone was buying the mini jars of cocktails, as well as finding out information about her wedding service.
So she made almost as much money as to pay for the whole show, just on selling those mini jars of cocktails. So if you have something to sell, make sure you have it with you on the day and make sure you have enough of. [00:30:00] Okay, then that brings me onto the final section, which is F in ELF. And that stands for follow.
Up. Now, I want you to keep paying attention here because this is where I find most suppliers. Most wedding business owners drop the ball. It’s the follow up. They prepare for the show. They go all out of the show. They’re exhausted from the show and life gets in the way, and then not very good at following up.
I spoke to a wedding business owner recently who told me wedding shows didn’t work for her. And she’d had nothing from her recent show two weeks ago. I said to her, well, when did you follow. I haven’t followed up yet. Haven’t had time. Well, that’s why you, haven’t got very good results. If you don’t follow up, you are not gonna get the results you want from the show.
And if you don’t drop the ball and you do well in this area, it absolutely will make a difference to your conversion rates. I wanna tell you this. It’s a fact, the quicker you follow up, the more conversions you will get, the quicker [00:31:00] you follow up, the more conversions you will get. And if you are slow to follow up, they may just book your competitor.
Now we like to think that couples are savvy and they’re shopping around for the best choice, but they don’t always know as much about the wedding industry as we. And often they’ll go for the fastest, easiest choice. And if someone else follows up before you and is in their price range, they will just go ahead and book them.
So we want to make sure we are following up with our leads incredibly fast. So how can we do that when we’re gonna be tired after the show? Well, for a start, you can set it up before you even get to the show, use a system. These are free systems at a certain level like mailer light is my favorite. I’ve got a great training on mailer light.
If anyone wants to see it. Drop me a DM, and I will send you some information about that. And also MailChimp. I don’t like MailChimp as much, but lots of you may use it in these systems. You can set up a form which can be filled in and an automated [00:32:00] funnel. So as soon as they hit submit on that form at the wedding show, they will get an email from you.
Instantly instantly before they’ve even left your stand. So you will be the first person that follows up with them. Cause I guarantee most other people at the show won’t follow up for at least 24 hours. If not longer, you can say something like, Hey, it was so great to meet you just now at the exhibition stand.
Um, here’s the information on my packages. Here’s the link to book a call, tell them what you want them to do. Next set up that form before the. Have it on an iPad or a laptop, make sure you’ve got access to internet and they can fill it in as they go. It means you’re not dealing with loads of paperwork and it means the follow up the instant follow up is done for you before you get to the show.
So you don’t have to sit down that evening and start sending loads of emails out. So get that set up and if you need additional help and support with the tech behind that, reach out to me, and I’ll give you information about my training. Here’s an [00:33:00] important piece of information for you when it comes to that follow up email, make sure you include a photograph of yourself or include something that’s a memorable about your stand in the email.
I’m gonna say that again, include a photograph of yourself or include something memorable about your stand in the email. They will have met a lot of people that day. They will have met a lot of wedding, business owners, and all of them will start to merge into one and they’ll be thinking, oh, I really like that girl with the flowers, but I can’t remember which one of these business cards she was.
And I can’t remember the name of her business. However, they will remember you if they talk to you. So if in your email right near the top, there’s a lovely picture of you saying. Hey, it’s Becca. Thank you so much for chatting today. I loved meeting you instantly. They’re gonna know. Oh, that’s the person I really enjoy talking to.
That’s the person I want to chat with. If you really don’t wanna include a photo of yourself, [00:34:00] include something memorable about your stand. Hey, it was great to chat to you about my, at my cake stand. We were the one with the big pink balloon arch, where we were giving away free cake tasters, and you were guessing and spinning the wheel.
Okay. Whatever it is that reminds them. What stand you? Don’t assume they will remember the name of your business. I guarantee they won’t do it yourself. Walk around a wedding exhibition, walk out and see if you can remember the names of the businesses, or if you can remember instead what their stand looked like and what the person was like that you talked to.
Okay, it’s really important. We’ve covered this already, but it’s really important that you get information from as many people as possible on the day, don’t leave the power in their hands. So often I ask people what their strategy is at a wedding expo, and they say, I talk to them all about my business. And then I say, get in touch with me if you are interested.
And then they wave them off from the stand and never hear from them. Why because they’ve left the show and they can’t remember who you are. You need to get contact [00:35:00] information from as many people as possible on the day, do not leave the power in their hands to contact you. You want to have the power to be able to contact them immediately.
And in the days of weeks, following that expo. Also you wanna try and get them to follow you on social media. Quite often, I’ll say to people, uh, while I’m chatting to them at a stand, Hey, are you on Instagram? Like pull out your phone. I’ll show you my Instagram account, give it a follow and get them following you so that you are popping up in their news feed all of the time.
Okay. The last part of this follow up is gonna depend on whereabouts in the process. These people you’re talking to are I talked you earlier about how it’s important to qualify leads. And I like to put these leads into three separate categories and the way you follow up and try and convert these leads is gonna be very different depending on which of these categories they fall.
So the first category is the one that we all want. And yet they’re often in quite short supply. They are the super [00:36:00] hot leads. These are the people that come over to your stand. And they’re already asking about your availability. We love what you do. Are you available on the 10th of March 20, 27? They’re really wanting to know that they can have you on their day.
They’re starting to ask you lots of questions. They’re genuinely interested in the product or service. They’re excited about it. They they’re imagining it on their wedding day. And they’re asking a lot of questions about how it works and they’re asking what they need to do to book. What’s the next stages?
Do I need a, do you need a deposit? How do I make sure I secure that date? These are the people you want. If you are talking to someone and that’s the signals you’re getting mentally in your head, mark them as super hot. The second category is hot. These are also great leads to. So these are people that you will identify because they’re asking lots of questions.
So again, they’re interested in what you’re doing, but not quite as interested as the super hot leads, they’re taking a genuine interest in what it is that you have to offer. And they have a wedding date booked. [00:37:00] They might not be super hot, but they’re definitely interested and they’re definitely worth some following.
And then the final set of qualifications is the cold leads. These are the people that are giving you their email address, but you get the feeling they’re giving it to everyone. They may be giving you the email address, because they want the offer or the freebie or the chance to spin the wheel or the free cake or whatever it is you are asking them to do to give over the email address.
They’re not really asking that many questions about what you offer. They’re just there. And then maybe the people that say, oh, we don’t have a date for our wedding yet. We’re just looking. We’re just getting some ideas. We’re thinking about it. That’s great. Be friendly to. But in your head, mark them down as a cold lead.
Now, the reason we split them is because each of these different people need a different follow up at the show. And if you treat them all the same, it won’t work. If you try and follow up the cold leads with the super hot examples, it ain’t gonna work. And if you give the super hot people, the cold lead funnel, it isn’t gonna work either.
So once you’ve identified them? What do you. [00:38:00] Well, if you’ve identified someone as super hot, these are the people that are likely to potentially book in and give you money on the day. So ask them great love that you like it. Do you want to secure your date before it goes? If they say yes, then explain to them.
Great. All we need to do is take a deposit of X, Y, Z, here and now. And your date will be in the diary. We’ll then be in contact over the next 24 hours for final information, have a consultation, whatever it is that you need to do, take the deposit there. And then. Get the date booked. And then when they’ve left, you can celebrate because that is ultimately what you want a sale and a sale on the day is incredible.
You don’t always make sales on the day, but if you can, them. Okay. That second response is the hot response. So this is the people that maybe aren’t quite ready to book there and then, but are very interested in finding out more about you. If that is them, say that you’ll be in touch with them soon to book a [00:39:00] consultation, to book a call, to get on the phone with them and give them more information.
Also, once they leave your stand, make a quick note of their names and who they were and something about the convers. And then that night, send them a personalized follow up email saying something. Hey, Becca and Matt. So good to talk to you today. So excited about your wedding at X, Y, Z next year. I think what you are planning with the red and green color scheme is incredible.
I would love to make your cake. Here’s a link to my diary. Get in touch let’s book a consultation so we can get your date secured, ASAP. They are a hot lead. They need a personalized follow up and that follow up needs to come that night ASAP. Don’t leave it a few days or you will lose the business. And then we’ve got those cold leads.
These leads are gonna have a more automated response. You’re gonna add them to your email list. Maybe you’re gonna tag them or categorize them under show, email list, name of the show. And then you’re going to have prepared a series [00:40:00] of follow up emails that you send out to them periodically. And then they’re gonna end up on your master email list hearing from you regularly.
So when they’ve booked a date, when they’ve got more information, when they want to go. They’ll get back in touch with you, and you’re not spending loads of time on those cold leads until they become a little bit hotter. Get them added to that list, send them your preprepared follow up emails. Maybe once, instantly that they’ll get once the day after the show, once a few days later, and maybe once a few days after that, encourage them to move to the next step.
Book the call, that kind of thing, and also encourage them to follow you on your social media both while you’re at the stand and on those emails as. If you follow this process, you will see success. You will make bookings on the day. If you identify some super hot leads, you will convert those initial inquiries of the hot leads to bookings.
If you get in touch with them very quickly and get that consultation booked in, and you will be surprised because some of those cold leads will turn to hot, super [00:41:00] hot and booked leads down the line. It’s worth the time and the tracking. And remember as we start to conclude, that is not a no until it’s a.
Just because someone doesn’t book on the day doesn’t mean they won’t just because someone doesn’t book a consultation 24 hours after you’ve met them doesn’t mean they won’t just because someone was a coldly doesn’t mean they won’t book once they’re in your ecosystem. Once they’re getting your emails, keep that going until they say no a no is when they say I’ve already booked another cake maker, but thank.
Remove them from your list? A no is when they’ve already gone through your process and they’re not booked a no is when you realize their wedding, date’s been gone, make sure you’ve got their wedding date. So, you know, when that leads dead, but it’s not a no until it’s a no. Okay. You’re not bothering these people.
You’re just periodically following up to remind them how great you are and why they want to book you for their wedding. I always remember someone said to me, when I send emails, I worry about people [00:42:00] not opening them. And I went to a training where they said to us, it doesn’t matter if people don’t open your email.
Because they still see your name and it brings you for a moment to the top of their mind, even if they then hit delete. I love that. That’s really freed me up to send more emails. Okay. I wanna finish by telling you a story because if they can do it, so can you. So about six months ago, I was talking at the national wedding show in London.
Um, and I met an amazing couple. I was talking on the stage and straight after I got off the stage, the lady ran over to me and she was like, Becca, you seem like, you know what you’re doing? We’ve paid all this money to be at this show. And we don’t really know what we’re doing. We’re not seeing much success.
No, one’s stopping to talk to us. I don’t what to do. So I said, give me five minutes to sort myself out, get off the stage and I’ll come and talk you. So I went over to their stand and asked them, right. What’s your show strategy? Uh, we don’t have one. Are you getting people’s email addresses? Uh, no. We’re just giving them our business cards and hoping their follow [00:43:00] up.
Have you got anything exciting for them to do have you got an offer on, have you got anything? No, not really. Now in that moment, I thought, well, you know, it’s kind of too late for me to do a lot of the preparation stuff for you, but there are things we can. I said some right. Let’s change this immediately come up with some kind of added value offer.
If they give you their email address, don’t discount. Add something on. Secondly, get some pieces of paper and start taking contact details. And when you come back to the show tomorrow, make yourselves a booking form or an inquiry form, print it out and make sure you’ve got it on the. Get people’s details in order for them to be eligible for that offer and follow up quickly.
If you get their email details today, tonight, email them all. If they’re hot leads, send them a personalized email and try and convert those leads. I was like, you can do it. It’s not too late, but you’ve got to take back control of your strategy. Start getting the email addresses, start converting them into.
Well, you can imagine [00:44:00] my joy when the next day or the next evening as I was already home from the show I’d finished my speaking, I was home on my sofa. I received this message. Now it’s a bit blurry because I’ve screenshotted it directly from my phone from that couple. Hi Becca. On our way home. Now, I just wanted to say thank you again for all your time and advice.
Over the two days, it was a three day show. So she’s saying they’re not counting day one because they didn’t do it properly. We’ve had 88 inquiries, emails taken and 12 confirmed bookings. We emailed Saturdays people last night in today’s focus afternoon. As it got quiet, four bookings, we took at the actual.
So again, thank you. Going to sleep well tonight, 12 confirmed bookings is over 12,000 pounds or $15,000 worth of business from a stand that cost them one and a half thousand pounds. I’m so thankful I met them that day because if they’d had continued the show with their same strategy, they would not have had.
This same experience, but because they changed what they were doing, they [00:45:00] took back control. They asked for information, they were friendly. They found an offer and they followed up quickly. It led to a huge amount of success for them. And I guarantee you, they will be doing that show again next year because it made them so much money.
So if they can do it with no knowledge, no information and no preparation before the show, by implementing my strategies. So can you, and you’ve got a whole lot more time to. It’s been a pleasure talking to you as part of this event. My name’s Becca Pountney you can find me on Instagram at Becca Pountney for more wedding, business tips and advice, helping to you to grow your sales and develop your marketing.
Reach out to me on an email, Becca@beccapountney.com. Or listen to my podcast for more great information and interviews from across the wedding industry, wedding pros who are ready to grow in all your podcast players. I would love to work with you further to develop these things. So reach out to me. I answer all my messages on Instagram, myself.
So drop me a message. Tell me what you learn from today’s session and how I [00:46:00] can help you moving forward. And remember a simple, hello could lead to a million things. So don’t be shy. Thank you for your. And good luck implementing these strategies at your next expo. I really hope you’ve enjoyed today’s episode something a little bit different with that presentation.
Don’t forget if you want even more help with wedding expos and wedding fairs. Go to the show notes now, and there’s a link to my three part video series, all about how to sell more wedding shows and it’s totally free. So sign up and get that now. I’ll see you next week.