here comes the bride!
ORIGAMI OWL & BRIDAL
If you haven’t heard – Origami Owl will be releasing a bridal line of jewelry this fall! I’m so excited (and slightly disappointed that I’m already married so I can’t take advantage of the beautiful pieces!) and I’ve heard lots of buzz from team members, customers, and the public on this line that hasn’t even been released yet! I wanted to share some of the sneak peeks that we received at our national convention last weekend, talk about how Origami Owl & bridal go hand-in-hand, and explain how I choose bridal shows and events to participate in. I won’t keep you waiting though — here are some of the new pieces that are due to be released this fall. (Photos courtesy of the amazing Taylor Kahre!)
So why am I so excited that O2 is venturing into the bridal world? The amazing way we tell stories of course! What better way than to tell your love story – from first kiss to marriage – than through jewelry! You can even include your bridesmaids and wedding party into the story with our new plates boasting phrases such as “mother of the bride, mother of the groom, & bridesmaid”.
So one of the questions that I have been receiving is about bridal shows. Bridal shows are a fantastic way to get to meet and connect brides and their friends/family. I have participated in many bridal shows & the three “keys to success” are research, planning and following up! Let’s break those down a bit!
Before committing to a bridal show, I suggest thoroughly researching not only the show itself but also the venue, area, and demographics of those in attendance. I always “interview” my bridal show coordinators. Some of the things I ask are:
- How long has this show been running?
- How many brides do you expect?
- How many total guests do you expect?
- How many vendors are invited? (And how many in my category?)
- Can I have a diagram of the layout of booths?
- Are there any special speakers or events taking place during the show?
- Do you offer any giveaways, incentives or gifts to attending brides?
- Is this show sponsored by any large bridal names?
- Can I offer a giveaway at my table?
- Will I receive the brides’ contact info after the show?
All of these questions help me gauge whether the show will be right for me. I obviously want a show that has a great reputation, lots of brides and foot traffic, and is well planned. After you have this information and the booth pricing available, you can decide if the show will be beneficial to you. Keep in mind – a successful bridal show may be one with $0 in sales, but you make a lot of great connections and possibly book Jewelry Bars or schedule one-on-one shopping experiences with the brides.
This is probably my most favorite part of a bridal show. I always double and triple check with coordinator to get all of the details on the booth – the dimensions, the location, who will be around me, guidelines for setup, etc. It’s important to have a booth layout planned before heading into the morning of the show. Although you may run into snags that prevent you from using your original plan, it will definitely be easier to tweak your plan than start from scratch.
I practice my setup with tables in my garage to make sure I give myself enough working room while being able to display the items I want. Most shows require you to order your tables and chairs far in advance, so double check what is included with our booth and make arrangements for any extra items you might need and don’t be surprised if you have to pay for things like an extra chair or electricity.
I always pack my things up the day before and have a checklist to ensure I don’t forget anything. You never know when you might need packing tape, straight pins, safety pins, glue dots, or staples so be sure they make it into your bag. If you do forget something though, don’t fret! I’ve done many shows without key items of my display or business materials and they turned out just fine!
During the bridal show, I use the Experience O2 cards to collect each bride’s information. I always jot notes on the back of the card about the conversation I had with them, including their wedding date, so I can use that information later on. After the show I take the contact information that I collected and follow up with each bride. If the show gives me the list of attendees then I always make sure to match them up with my contacts so that I know who I personally spoke with during the show. I call each attendee, regardless if they stopped at my booth or not, and have a conversation with them either about what we discussed at the show, their wedding plans, or just a general follow up. When I chat with each bride I always get permission to follow up again and add them to my back office so they will receive my O2 Connection Newsletter each month.
Bridal shows can sometimes be quite pricey and sales aren’t usually the main goal of the show — but you can make many great connections and reserve lots of Jewelry Bars and one-on-one shopping experiences. Now that we will have an entire bridal line available, I think Origami Owl will be an even bigger hit at bridal shows this fall. And remember, it’s all about making those connections and helping the brides tell their story through our jewelry! When you start a relationship with service in mind – the rewards will follow.
If you have specific questions on bridal shows I’d love to hear them! Please comment below!
*Photo from our booth at the 2014 Sheraton show by Pittsburgh Bridal Shows