Navigating virtual wedding expos means figuring out how to communicate with potential customers in a whole new way. Although the materials you will use will be a bit different online, the message and goals are the same. In Navigating Virtual Wedding Expos – Part Three we’ll explore all your goals and how to achieve them.
Keep your focus on why you are exhibiting in the first place. What do you want to accomplish? How will you determine if your booth cost is a good ROI? Let’s agree that getting leads and bookings is the goal of being a vendor at an expo or trade show.
So how do you convert your traditional expo practices onto a virtual platform?
Plans for a Traditional Wedding Expo:
- Position yourself as a trusted expert.
- Show quality and value in your craft and products.
- Offer some type of incentive, like a raffle, to help generate leads.
- Plan for follow-up after the show.
Navigating Virtual Wedding Expos:
1.Position yourself as a trusted expert.
Introduce yourself! Complete all the bio information in the trade show platform so that you attract your ideal client. Be sure to include imagery of you both in front of the camera and behind the scenes.
Keep your focus on your target market. Only show your best and most current work for engagements and weddings at the virtual booth and on your website. If you photograph multiple subject matter, have a dedicated place on your website where wedding expo attendees visit.
Show client testimonials, social media reviews, and other accolades on your website and throughout the “space”. Include them in slide shows, on pricing brochures, and in email signatures.
2.Show quality and value in your craft and products.
Traditionally, expo attendees would browse through a trade show booth picking up sample albums as they discover everything that you offer. However, without the ability to physically hold things, you need to communicate visually. Videos are also an excellent way to highlight the details of a handcrafted wedding album.
3. Offer some type of incentive, like a raffle, to help generate leads.
You’re going to want to create multiple ways to gather contact information to connect with potential couples. Sometimes you’ll even get a full list from the expo coordinator. However, you’ll have better luck getting “good,” (not fake) information when there’s something for attendees to gain.
Offering a complimentary engagement session to get an email address is a pretty standard move. Be creative!
Here are some other ideas for lead capture:
- Raffle off a gift card to a local restaurant. Not everyone needs an engagement session right now, but everybody loves to eat!
- Give couples an opportunity to save a certain percent on a wedding collection by submitting their contact info, or sell gift cards with a bonus dollar amount. Be prepared to have an easy way for attendees to check out through your website.
- Create an informative, downloadable PDF to gather email addresses. A list of the top 10 places to do wedding formals, best places to get cupcakes, or unique spaces to have receptions.
- Offer access to an informative video like: How to put on a boutonnière, How to plan a great first look, or How to cut your wedding cake. All helpful tips that brides often don’t think about until the last minute!
4. Plan for follow-up after the show!
Now that you have gathered all those valuable email addresses, it is time to take action. This might be an opportunity to use a CRM, sign up with an email platform, or hire a marketing professional to help you with a follow-up campaign. The important thing is that it’s READY TO GO BEFORE THE EXPO.
Digital marketing expert Nancy Burgess explains “Depending on your goals, your budget, and your resources, there are several great options for larger email campaigns, like MailChimp, Constant Contact, HubSpot, or EngageBay.” Burgess adds, “Email marketing has one of the highest rates of ROI compared to all other marketing tactics. It ain’t sext but it works!”
In addition to email follow up, phone calls and messaging are also important. Be sure you have all your contact information available online. Having a “Book Now” button to schedule a consultation is even better. Make it VERY EASY for new opportunities to get in touch with you.
Due to the pandemic, we are currently positioned to be part of virtual meetings, expos, and networking events. Things will change as the year goes on, so why put in all the work to showcase your photography business on this new platform?
Navigating virtual wedding expos and creating the materials to exhibit have two great bonuses:
1. You know that you can pivot and thrive in challenging times.
2: You now have a variety of new marketing materials that will be excellent additions to your website and social media!
Win, win! Happy 2021!