7 Simple Tips To Conquer a Bridal Show

bridal show aerial view

7 Tips to Conquer a Bridal Show

Bridal Show Season!!  What does this mean to you? A lot of time spent roaming a trade show environment with hundreds or even thousands of other newly engaged couples trying to secure dates with your favorite vendors.  

I don’t want you to be alarmed though. Luckily, there’s a simple way to navigate the craziness of a Bridal Show.
1 – Research all the shows in your area and put the ones that you can attend on your calendar and be sure to Pre-Register.  Often times there are specials for exclusive to registering ahead of time.
2 – Create an e-mail address that is solely used for the planning of your wedding.  You will receive a lot of e-mail!! Having it go to one location that you can closely monitor and follow up from is a huge time saver and prevent future inbox clutter.
3 – Make pre-printed address labels. This will save you time from writing, and rewriting and then writing the same information over and over at every booth you visit.  The most important info you should have is:

  • Couple’s Names
  • Reception Date
  • Location
  • Phone #
  • Address
  • E-Mail Address

Even feel free to list one PMOC (Preferred Method Of Contact).  If you do none of these other suggestions…DO THIS ONE!  Trust me.
4 – Dress comfortably! You will be standing, it gets warm, there are a lot of people.  Leave your coat in the car and don’t carry large bags.  All bridal shows hand out bags at some point for all the information you are receiving.  Plus you will be tasting the food and drink offered throughout.  

It is difficult to juggle coats, bags, food, pens, paperwork.  I think you get the picture.

5 – Give-a-ways from vendors are a big part of bridal shows.  If you have to register to be entered into a drawing, pull out those labels. Sign up for drawings that you could really use.  If it’s not something you really need, then pass it up. It will save you and the vendors time.

6 – Bring a person with you to assist in making decisions. I would suggest you refrain from bringing too many people.  Remember there will be a lot of people there.  If your entire entourage shows up at one booth you are causing less people to be able to speak with that vendor.  

The booths the vendors get are normally 8’x8’ and they will showcase their goods and leave space to be able to speak to people, but that’s not often a lot of space.

7 – Create an easy decision code.  There’s going to be so much information received, it is going to be hard to remember all the people you spoke with.

When you meet a vendor they’ll be giving you some sort of literature, I suggest marking the document they give you with a letter that indicates your interest in following up with them.  Perhaps a simple Y for Yes, N for No and M for Maybe.

Oh, and last and most important, have fun.  Stop by and see PartyMasterz at your local Bridal Show to learn how we…. Plan easy. Party hard. It’s that simple.

bridal show as seen from an aerial view

Get the Most For Your Networking Dollar

Cartoon of business people
ROI is in the mind of every business owner. Knowing where to spend your hard earned dollars can be a confusing task. It is important to participate in as many networking functions as you are able to attend.  Staying front of mind, and in this case, front of face, will garner you more business opportunities.  The less you are seen, the more vulnerable you are to fade into the woodwork.  Be sure to share any new information about your business.  If you can, take advantage of bringing other professional contacts into the group.  You are building relationships with other nearby business men and women as well as expanding your referral opportunities even further. Another item that comes with the end of the year is tax time.  Consider this… you may have heard the saying, “it pays to have connections”. The same holds true for your networking outlets.  There are actually many networking related write-offs that you might want to pay attention to. These range from business gifts sent to clients, trade-show attendance and dues for professional associations (such as PRE!) Events that qualify as continuing education to maintain or improve your skills in the profession also count.  (See a list below of more tax deductible items you may be able to take advantage of).  Keep in mind anything that may be business related and as always discuss these items with your accountant.  The tax laws change constantly, but you may be pleasantly surprised at what you can find out.  Some examples that may shock you include a wine shop owner who deducted his surgery to improve his sense of smell, junk yard owners who deducted the cost & care of a cat (to ward off nasty creatures as pest control) or a guard dog. Here’s a list of some more things that may spark an idea!  Legal and consultancy fees, Marketing expenses, Bad debt or theft,  Loan interest,  Interest payments on a business credit card, internet service fees, parking, postage, office furniture & supplies, insurances, local business taxes & fees, business licenses & permits, bank service charges, auto expenses/gas mileage, home office deductions, first year expense deductions, rent, phones, utilities, entertainment, gifts, travel, etc.

PRE – Professional Referral Exchange

blog PRE logo
Why join a networking group? Here’s a great example and explanation of why to B2B.

Benefits Of Membership

Why Join a Business Networking Group?

Thank you for your interest in joining Professional Referral Exchange! Please keep in mind these benefits of becoming a member:
  • Be the only person in your business category in your Chapter.
  • Have the opportunity to receive “qualified” business referrals to expand your customer base and generate more business.
  • Connect with fellow members who aggressively act as a sales force for your business and are committed to helping you succeed.
  • Follow a proven structured weekly meeting agenda to improve your opportunities to generate business.
  • Present information about your business each week to enhance “word of mouth” advertising.
  • Have the ability to refer business to and receive business from professionals you know, like and trust.
  • Access a business potential of 250+ people times the number of members in your Chapter.
  • Develop long term friendships and experience the satisfaction that comes from helping other people.
  • Recognize opportunities to act as a resource for your clients and associates.
  • Get greater exposure for your business as more people join your Chapter.
  • Be supported by an Advisory Board of experienced PRE Members who evaluate ideas for overall organization development and effectiveness.
  • Receive a monthly newsletter from your Chapter that tallies referrals, shares articles and communicates information.
  • Participate in personal development sessions on effective networking techniques to improve your abilities.
  • Gain insights and tips from Business professionals in your Chapter that help you manage your business more effectively.
  • Have your business listed on PRE’s World Wide Web site.

Top Questions To Ask (and know) at Your Next Networking Function

Business people hand shake
Networking is about developing and maintaining good relationships.  It takes some planning and effort on your part.  Asking the right questions will provide you with an opportunity to get to know a person.  Don’t know what to ask… here are some questions to get you started.  Just remember, you will want to know the answers to these same questions about your own business.     Tell me about your business, what do you do? Who is your ideal client? What is your goal for next year? What is the most unique aspect of what you do? What type of client is your least profitable and why? What is your biggest challenge? What is your biggest accomplishment so far? How can I help you in business and networking? Don’t stop there!  It is good practice to come up with some more questions on your own.  Keep in mind, you want to stand out in the crowd.
  1. Tell me about your business, what do you do?
  2. Who is your ideal client?
  3. What is your goal for next year?
  4. What is the most unique aspect of what you do?
  5. What type of client is your least profitable and why?
  6. What is your biggest challenge?
  7. What is your biggest accomplishment so far?
  8. How can I help you in business and networking?
Don’t stop there!  It is good practice to come up with some more questions on your own.

What to Look for (and Avoid) When Choosing a DJ for Any Celebration

A Dj looking at a CD

Top 5 things to look for in your DJ

1.   First impression. Are they smiling? Do they have a charm about them that says “Hey, let’s have fun!” They should always have enthusiasm and be passionate for how they entertain.  If they’re not, you should be concerned about how they will be on the day of your event. 2.   Are they knowledgeable? Anyone can be a DJ…a few pieces of equipment and some streaming music and voila…you have a DJ. (Not really) Be sure you’ve hired a professional who can guide your entire event and make any announcements with confidence and one who will play the music that you want NOT what they want to play. Streaming music is only as good as the signal they’re getting – – – can you imagine “buffering” during your first dance as husband and wife? Also be sure to consider that the music being played has clean lyrics if your event will have children present. 3.   A professional DJ has “been there done that”…they should have experience and expertise to understand the nuances of your event and adapt as needed. We’ve heard stories from clients who have had events fall flat and even are ruined due to lack of knowledge and experience is dealing with the many steps involved in a successful event. 4.   If you ask a question, do they know the answer? Ask as many questions as you can…ask for clarification…if you think you’re being bull@#$%ed… you probably are. That’s not a professional and you should reconsider hiring them. 5.   This is a pure service purchase. What can they provide you to assure you that they can do what they say they can do? Here are few things that can legitimize a pro – if they don’t have these…keep looking. Testimonials, website, references, working knowledge of how an event functions and professional equipment…hesitation means inexperience…don’t leave your celebration to a wannabe DJ if you are looking for great memories. PartyMasterz is known to exceed expectations…we know what works and what doesn’t. Contact us to learn more