I had the honor of speaking with some amazing photography vendors at the Parc 55 Wyndham Wedding Fair recently to get some insight about becoming a vendor in the future. They were all very down to earth and provided to great tips for up-and-comers like myself who are thinking about taking the next big step in our wedding photography businesses. The tips are in no particular order.
A special thanks goes out to everyone endured my chattiness and gave some great feedback. Enjoy!
1. Be Yourself
When it’s all said and done, everything else on this list can be duplicated by anyone, except this one. Displays, albums, and even photography styles can be mimicked, but there’s one thing that nobody can copy...YOU! In the end, despite how similar your photography style is to your competitors, it’s your personality that will ultimately set you apart so add your own personal flare to your artwork, treat your clients how you would treat your friends, and “do you” to the fullest. Cheers!
One of the most popular wedding photography must-haves is a wedding album. Brides and Grooms love them because it provides them with a keepsake to look at over and over. And it shows them that you don’t want their once in a lifetime wedding images to live on a hard drive forever. Make sure to showcase the various options you sell (premium leather, crystal covers, etc) and have them available for potential couples to view and touch.
3. Be Unorthodox
Though playing it safe might be comfortable, it doesn't always attract new clients. Set yourself apart by setting up your booth in a unique way. Michael Bruner of HopeBoat Productions filled his booth with flatscreen TVs on milk crates and even built a large display stand with PVC pipe for a more “unorthodox, industrial” look. I’m not saying you need to build an ice sculpture to catch someone’s eye, but something a little unexpected can go a long way.
4. Be Reliable
This tip is less about your presentation at a bridal fair, but more about the follow-up afterwards. If you say you’re going to call a couple in 24 hours, call them in 24 hours. If they’re expecting you to email information to them, make it’s in their inbox within a few days. The point here is to do what you say, and do it well. If you gain a couple’s trust and continue to meet and exceed their expectation, they’ll not only become repeat customers, but they’ll refer you to their friends.
5. Show Your Best Work
This tip is self-explanatory...SHOW OFF! Select your best images, albums, slideshows, etc, and showcase them beautifully at your booth.
6. Show What You Sell
Piggy-backing off the last tip, don’t only just showcase your best, but make sure it’s something that you actually sell. Don't tease your clients with displays that they can't acquire in their wedding collections.
7. Be Comfortable Talking to People
Having the ability to relate to people is a necessity when trying to gain client’s trust. It all starts with confidence. When you’re confident in your photography style,philosophy, and your own personality, you’ll be able to relate to potential clients with ease.
8. Spectate First
Similar to a test-drive, it’s important to get a pressure-free introduction to a bridal fair before investing a lot of time, energy, and money into creating your own booth. I can speak from experience that browsing a wedding fair beforehand gave me a lot of insight and some really great ideas about what to incorporate in my booth in the future.
9. Utilize Your Entire Booth Space
Imagine having a 1000 square foot apartment with only a couch to fill it. Ridiculous huh? Well that’s what your booth will look like if you only have one product on your table. Utilize your entire booth space with albums, screens, prints, and other unique presentations to really catch everyone’s eyes.
Who doesn't like free stuff?(That was a rhetorical question) Wedding fairs are a great opportunity to get couples excited about their wedding, and what better way to entice them to book you than by offering something special. Raffles, discounts, and free products are popular offers, but it’s really up to you.