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Any tips on bridal shows?

post #1 of 124
Thread Starter 
I've been thinking about doing one, but I have no idea where to begin, I mean I've only been to one to look around for my daughter's quinceanera, and the bakers (both of them) had like a big cake tree with different types of cake, for example one tier decorated with fruit, another with a big bow, another with a character face (like for kid's parties). And I really didn't like the display. I don't even know if they were dummies or real cakes.
I was thinking about taking a tv and dvd player to play a slide show of my cakes, I have a lot of photos of diferent cakes, and bake mini cupcakes to give out samples. Or should I make dumies and a big display?

Any thoughts are greatly apprecciated. Thanks
post #2 of 124
I did my first show about a month ago and I would DEFINITELY recommend some type of slide show! WE had my laptop and people would stop and look at it or the kids would point something out to their parents (since it's at their eye level icon_smile.gif )

I don't have the pics of my display, but I did three dummies - a 6,8,10 stacked; a 6,8,10 w/a fountain and a 12,10 & 8,6 stacked. - I should have the pics of the cakes in my photos. THen I made mini-cupcakes as my samples. Since it's a wedding show I wasn't going to showcase my birthday cakes.

hth!
Cake decorating ROCKS!!
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Cake decorating ROCKS!!
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post #3 of 124
Make sure you have a professional-looking sign. Easy to make one on a computer and have it blown up to a proper size.

Have plenty of brochures and business cards.

Take along your calendar, calculator and a pen and notepad!

Have several display dummies - showcase your work and use trendy colors to catch the bride's eye!

If doing samples, it is recomended that you purchase small containers with lids for them. Bake sheets, fill and ice-cut into small cubes and pack in the containers. Make up labels to put on them so the brides remember where it came from! icon_biggrin.gif

Dress as a professional! thumbs_up.gif Where a nice suit or a chef jacket.

HTH icon_biggrin.gif
With 30 years as a cake artist under my belt, I'm just here to share my knowledge and experience to anyone willing to listen!
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With 30 years as a cake artist under my belt, I'm just here to share my knowledge and experience to anyone willing to listen!
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post #4 of 124
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your comments. I decided to combine the two ideas, a slide show and some dummies. The bridal show is 1 month and tomorrow I have an appointment with the person in charge to make my contract. As soon as I have the pictures I'll post them. Wish my luck.
post #5 of 124
As a side note, bring some water and quick no mess snack foods. When you talk to people that long, you hardly get a break to get a drink or a snack.

I agree with all the other comments.

I usually bring about 5 dummies with me. Just different styles so people can see. Also have some kind of sign that says how much that cake serves. People always want to know how their cake will compare.
~Erica

"Cake is just a Frosting Delivery System" - My husband
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~Erica

"Cake is just a Frosting Delivery System" - My husband
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post #6 of 124
And wear comfortable shoes!!! icon_lol.gif

Good luck
With 30 years as a cake artist under my belt, I'm just here to share my knowledge and experience to anyone willing to listen!
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With 30 years as a cake artist under my belt, I'm just here to share my knowledge and experience to anyone willing to listen!
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post #7 of 124
If you click on my Flickr link (in signature) you will find about 4-5 pics of my booth at the Richmond (IND) Bridal Show last month. I'm also attaching a full shot photo of the booth here.

SLide show is a BIG plus!! Gives the other brides something to look at while you are talking to another. It was a last minute idea for me and I am SO GLAD I did it!

I had a one page flyer (printed front and back), cards, and cakes cut in approx 1" square with a dollop of icing on top, in lidded cups. For simplicity, I only had white cake with white icing as samples.

Take forks .... while the cakes are finger-food size, the forks are really needed. I kept them in a bussing tub behind the laptop, so I could easily pick up a cup of cake and a fork and hand it to bride B without stopping any conversation with Bride A. They were in easy reach for me, but since this show was in a shopping mall, it prevented just anyone from taking all of my samples!

A trash can ... I used a box at the end of the table. Extra trash bags ... I emptied the trash bag twice. The red-cloth covered "table" is actually my rubbermaid containers stacked up and covered. I turned the cake display table sideways to make it more open. I didn't want to be trapped behind a table.

This show provided lunch for the vendors. Since my niece managed the MCL Cafeteria that supplied the lunch, she had someone actually hand deliver it to me since I was working the booth by myself! (connections ... yay!!) But yes ..... take something to drink.

I have a dolly (some call it a refrigerator truck) that converts to a flatbed to help move everything in. It stored nicely under the long table! Only took me 3 trips to move everything in.

since I'm the kind that loves a stage and a microphone, I had a GREAT time!
LL
post #8 of 124
I agree with indydebi's booth set-up. We did the same type of set-up at our show in January. It worked well for us...but it did get a bit crowded at times. icon_biggrin.gif

And by all means- if you don't have a dolley of some sort- GET ONE! thumbs_up.gif It's a life saver ( and back saver) for things like this!.

And yes, the forks. I forgot, we had them too...and napkins.

Another suggestion for your display tiers: have a small card in front of each cake for a name (yes, give it some schmaltzy name), the size tiers shown, servings and price. (do this on the computer!) This will save you from answering that question a billion times that day!

And remember to take pics of each display...not only for your photo album(and for us to see!), but for reference when a bride calls with questions about what she saw at the show.

Hope this isn't overwhelming you- I LOVE doing shows! They are a lot of work to prepare for, but I just love 'em.
With 30 years as a cake artist under my belt, I'm just here to share my knowledge and experience to anyone willing to listen!
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With 30 years as a cake artist under my belt, I'm just here to share my knowledge and experience to anyone willing to listen!
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post #9 of 124
cakedout, the cards idea is a good one! (Where were you when I was in the planning stage of this show? icon_lol.gif )

I tend to name my cakes after my brides. On the front page of my website is "Laura's Cake". The bride feels like they've been immortalized! icon_biggrin.gif

cakedout, would you also suggest on the card, to phrase the servings size as "serves 200 as shown" .... so brides who are planning a wedding for only 100 or for 300 wouldn't think "Oh, I can't get that cake". Dumb as it sounds, I've had brides think that the picture or the display is the ONLY SIZE cake pan that cake can be made in! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif
post #10 of 124
the only suggestion I have after doing a couple of shows recently is, don't make your samples too large.
I had people dumping cupcake samples at my booth becuase they didn't want something so big, or to walk around with it. We cut 1" square samples and served them with a frilly tooth pick.
It worked out really well, because people kept coming back for 2nds and making sure they talked to us about setting up appointments for cake tastings.
Oh, one more thing, if you can, wear a name tag or have your chef coat embroidered with your name and the name of your business.
I've attached a photo of me at my first show. I was so excited because this photo was in the local paper!!!
Getting that name out!! thumbs_up.gif
HTH
Danielle
LL
If at first you don't succeed, try, try, again!
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If at first you don't succeed, try, try, again!
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post #11 of 124
Since you are in Mexico things might be different then what we do here.
The advice given so far is right on!icon_smile.gif
I am attaching a pic of a show I did about a yr ago.
The booth is 10'x10'x10'. The tables were provided.
In the lower left corner you see a show board of pix. It's a piece of poster board (w/'wings') available at Michael's Crafts and other art supply stores. I printed the cake pix myself on photo paper from the computer. Most pix are 8x10. I suggest better placement as some people never saw it until I pointed it out....yet others did...
The dark frame on the table in the center of the pic is a ditigal slide show. <BTW: It's for saleicon_smile.gif >
In the lower right corner you see the cake samples in lidded cups set out for all to help themselves. The flavors are writen on the lid - I had made three different flavored 1/2 sheet cakes; filled & iced; I did that a week before; froze the cakes until Wed before when I made up the cups w/ pieces about 1"x2". This show had lots of trash barrels so I didn't need to take one......just moved one a bit closer to my booth.

It gives your booth much more interest when the display cakes are at different heigths. Be sure the table coverings are ironed. Even tho it doesn't look it I did iron those the night before the showicon_sad.gif
The choco sheet cake is a groom's cake.
LL
post #12 of 124
cakedout, would you also suggest on the card, to phrase the servings size as "serves 200 as shown" .... so brides who are planning a wedding for only 100 or for 300 wouldn't think "Oh, I can't get that cake".

Yes! icon_biggrin.gif You are right! That would be the best wording.

"It gives your booth much more interest when the display cakes are at different heigths. Be sure the table coverings are ironed."

This is another thing I like to stress as well! Color and a variety of shapes and heights adds to the visual interest of the booth. I had acrylic risers from my shop, but we also used boxes, etc underneath a tablecloth to create height.

Our booth color theme was chocolate brown and pink. We brought in 3 round 30" tables covered with brown tablecloths and showcased 3 cake vinettes complete with candles, cake knives, and petite fours. All cakes worked well with the brown color. We also had an 8' table that showcased 3 other displays, plus our samples. We wore our white chef's jackes and brown pants.

When I get the pics downloaded, i will have to put them here on cc.
With 30 years as a cake artist under my belt, I'm just here to share my knowledge and experience to anyone willing to listen!
Reply
With 30 years as a cake artist under my belt, I'm just here to share my knowledge and experience to anyone willing to listen!
Reply
post #13 of 124
Here is our booth from the January show....
With 30 years as a cake artist under my belt, I'm just here to share my knowledge and experience to anyone willing to listen!
Reply
With 30 years as a cake artist under my belt, I'm just here to share my knowledge and experience to anyone willing to listen!
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post #14 of 124
Let's try that again...
LL
With 30 years as a cake artist under my belt, I'm just here to share my knowledge and experience to anyone willing to listen!
Reply
With 30 years as a cake artist under my belt, I'm just here to share my knowledge and experience to anyone willing to listen!
Reply
post #15 of 124
Make sure that any information you're handing out looks professional and eye catching. No, b/w photocopies will NOT cut it. Try Vistaprint.

Also, make sure you have a good,informative, professional looking website, and that that url prominently displayed on EACH piece of handout information you have. Brides walk away from wedding shows with a ton of information, most weed it down by ads and websites.

Wear comfortable shoes.

If you do color on your wedding cakes, bring colorful cakes.

If you do a bunch of different techniques, try to have as many as possible represented with your dummies. (For instance, we had gum paste flowers, chocolate molding, fresh fruit, hand painting, etc among the dummies we brought to the last show)

I'm personally in the "go big or go home" camp. The last wedding show we did was one of those mega shows with a couple hundred vendors. We were off in the small "couture" section, but 3 of the other 5 cake people were in that small section with us! I felt like a wedding photographer, lol.

Anyway, what we did to reallly stand out was have 4 HUGE printouts of some of our most popular cakes (the sketched orchids, the coach purse, the mad hatter acid trip, and the RI 3d snowflakes one), hangining against the backdrop, about eye level. With dummies on tables only, there was a LOT of unused space there. These were 20" x 30", and got a lot of attention.

Also, the thing that brought the MOST people to our booth (we heard gasps, "oh my god!!!" and "Ooh, loook at THAT!" all day - all from people who rounded the corner and saw our booth) was have a GIANT dummy there. It was 7' 6" tall itself, and was on a 40" table. The booth walls were only 8', so it showed over the top and you could see if from the non-couture area. Brought a LOT of people over.

Have something guy-friendly prominently displayed - a dummy, a big photo, or right on your handout info. Guys HATE being dragged to wedding shows. We had a lot of guys perk up at the Nascar cake on our postcards, and would actually go to our portfolio when we told them we had other "cool" stuff in there. Hint: camo scores big points. Even for people not into camo, it sure got people talking!

I think that's about it for my advice. I say hi to my competition and try to be friendly with them, and then I go figure out who the coolest, friendliest vendors are at the show, and hang out with them. Especially with some of the more extroverted (usually DJs and Planners), they can end up directing a lot of traffic to your booth.
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