We just finished our first Bridal Show. It was the Tampa Bridal Showcase at A La Carte Pavilion.
You might be asking yourself, "I wonder why Booray has never done a bridal show before?" (you probably aren't but for the purposes of this blog post, let's pretend that you are.).
The truth is that it takes a lot of work to build a booth. You don't have to build a booth... they provide a table and chairs... but I'm of the opinion that you should "go large or go home" so I always knew that I would only do a show if I could build a nice booth.
So, that's what we did.
It took about a week to plan it out and put it together. Most of that time was the painting and I have my fantastic wife to thank for that part. I used un-finished doors for the walls and furniture from my house to fill it out. My goal was to have a booth that didn't have anything that was a "trade show" item. No big table, white tablecloth, event chairs, etc. When we were all done, it was pretty nice!
After the show I imediatly made changes to the booth. Less furniture and more table space for album viewing. Watching everyone else break-down their space in 10 minutes was a little depressing.
The show seemed fairly busy... not a crush of people but a constant stream. There were a lot of photographers. Someone told me they counted nine of us in all.
Two former brides, Jessica and Tabitha, came and worked the booth with me. In my wildest dreams I could not have asked for better help. They were fantastic to the point that I was embarassed to be standing there whenever I could hear them talking about me.
Will it get me business? I have no idea. With nine photographers in the hall, I imagine that there was a wide range of prices and styles for the brides to consider. I'm not a high-end price but I'm not discount either. The real test of this show, for me, will be learning what kind of brides go to these shows. If it's bargain shoppers than I won't get much from it. There is always someone who is willing to shoot for less. I like to believe that I offer the best value of price/quality.
I did get a few emails right after the show but they were all of the, "Send me a price list," variety. If you see your wedding photographer as just another person on your check-list that needs to be hired than I'm not the guy for you. My brides tend to ask direct questions about lighting and style because they have thought about what they want and it's important to them.
So, we'll see! If I get a client or two from the show then I'll be happy. If I get five I'll be ecstatic.
Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Booray Perry's website is here.