Sunday, February 7, 2010

Targeting the Bridal Market

I just returned from the Bridal Expo at Anthonys Pier Nine in Newburgh and have to say I was a bit disappointed. I hate to be negative, but I just have to share a couple of things that I think we can all learn from.

If you are in the market for a DJ, then the Expo was the place to be. With 81 vendors there, 21 of them were DJs and 15 of them were photographers! That really does not leave much room for variety in other areas.

The other thing that was disappointing was the Fashion Show, which was put on by Bella Couture in Newburgh (one of only two bridal shops I saw there). A little variety would have been nice. My daughter and I actually left after about 10 or 15 minutes because every single gown looked the same ... literally. Now, I know that strapless gowns are really in fashion now, but certainly there must be some variety ... no?

If I had to pick "Best in Show", I would vote for Ranita Productions of Chester. While I could not tell you exactly every service they provide (even from looking at their brochure), I can tell you that their display was beautiful and that they would bring a uniqueness to every wedding. They are not a florist, but work with you to create table displays that are personalized for each couple. They even had a unique way of displaying the table seating chart. If I were to get married, Annabelle would be one of the first people I would call to help set the stage for a beautiful and special day.

Another cool thing, if you are a bride or wedding planner looking for elegant accommodations and safe travel for your guests, Homewood Suites/Newburgh and West Point Tours have a package that is perfect. If you call them at 845.567.2700, they will customize a package just for you!

The recession has had an impact on wedding planning. Heck, the recession has had an impact on almost every industry. But if your business in any way caters to the bridal market, this is a marketing investment you should have made. This was your chance to spend an entire day in front of your target market. Invest some money in marketing materials to hand out - it doesn't have to be a huge investment. Create a display that is eye-catching. Have personable, knowledgeable people working the show. Hold a raffle so you can collect names, addresses, and email addresses. Then continue your investment and make sure the time is taken to follow up with the attendees. If you make the investment of time and money, it will pay off. Trade shows are still a very effective form of marketing, especially a very localized, targeted trade show like the Bridal Expo.

If your business can benefit by marketing to brides and wedding planners, and you are located in Orange County or the Hudson Valley, make sure you have a presence at next year's Bridal Expo. The brides will be looking for you!

June Bisel
BBG&G Advertising and Public Relations

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