I have found that a great way to meet potential wedding clients is by hosting a bridal workshop or bridal boot camp. I recently planned one of these events, and I wanted to share my top six tips for planning your own bridal workshop.
1) Find a Location
The first two things you need are a date and a location for your event. I recommend working with a venue in your area. The venue will be a draw for couples who want to view the space. Since you will be bringing in potential clients, you can usually use the space free of charge.
2) Enlist Other Wedding Professionals
These bridal workshops work best when you can offer a variety of information. Ask a group of event professionals who service the same target market as you to participate. When I planned my October workshop, I had a venue, bakery, photographer, florist, and décor rental company who helped out and shared valuable advice with attendees. Having a variety of vendors gives your guests multiple reasons to attend. If it was just a wedding planner people may decide that:
A) they do not need a planner so why come, or
B) if they already have a planner they would not see any benefit in attending
You want to have many reasons for couples to attend, and a good variety of vendors is the most important thing.
3) Decide on a Program
The next step is figuring out how the workshop will run. I wanted my workshop to be informative and demonstrate the expertise of all the vendors involved. We each came up with a 10-minute talk covering a topic that was in our area of expertise. My topic was about repurposing overused trends.
In addition to the short talks, we all brought door prizes and had wedding trivia. This broke up the talks and kept our guests interested throughout the evening. The drawings also gave us a reason to ask for their contact information to follow-up after the event.
After your program, make sure you leave time to speak one-on-one with your guests. Let them ask you questions and show your worth! This is a unique opportunity to sell your services without being too “salesy.”
Decide if your tickets are free or if you will be charging. I recommend charging something so that you do not get a ton of no-shows. Also, think of your target market: if you cater to the budget bride, then a $30 ticket is not going to be attractive. Alternatively, a high budget bride may not see value in a free event. Think of your target market.
How will you promote your event? Again, think of your target market. For my event, we did targeted Facebook advertising, social media campaigns, and utilization of blog posts and newsletters. All of the vendors involved also invited their clients and potential clients.
Most importantly, FOLLOW-UP! Survey the attendees and see what they thought of the event. Offer some sort of incentive to set up a meeting with them. Just make sure you keep in touch!
Today’s post is a guest post from Amber Peterson. Amber is the owner of Cheers Wedding & Event Planning in western Washington. She has a Masters Degree in Integrated Marketing Communications and previously worked as a marketing consultant for wedding industry professionals. Amber is also the co-founder of the Skagit Wedding Society.