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Attended first bridal show

post #1 of 97
Thread Starter 

I went as a guest just to check things out to see if it would be worth the vendor fee. It was a pretty small show. I could not believe there were no cakes there! There was one crazy lady that rented faux cakes...not that there is anything wrong with that except her displays had cheap silk flowers and chipping "icing". O hand they were very dated. She also said she was not associated with the show. My GUESS is they won't allow her to vend because of the quality of her product so she just rented this meeting room off to the side.

 

They have a bigger 50th anniversary show coming up in November. I spoke with about 1/2 of the vendors and they all seemed very pleased with the results they get from this show. I got to speak with a few bridal magazines and planning guides about advertising (btw, I am not ready to make wedding cakes so I will be showcasing my stands. and will make dummy cakes hoping to get some bookings for bridal showers, grooms cakes, engagement parties)

 

A few of the wedding planners asked if I would be willing to rent cake stands and asked for my cards. I picked their brains about what sizes of cakes most brides get. They were very impressed they were made of wood. I never realized before you guys pointed out how unusual that was.

 

Anyway, there seemed to be a lot of positive feedback from other vendors so I have decided to go for it! So I need to get busy selling cakes and stands to earn my vendor fee. I am doing a children's event as a vendor in November too. I am hopeful to get a lot of cake bookings from that.

 

What are some of your experiences tips from those of you who have done smaller local shows?

post #2 of 97
I've already given you my advice, but I'm gonna say it again. Brides are not your target. The vendors at the show (planners & other cake people) are your target.

The only benefit from doing a show, for you, is meeting the other people in the industry.

The brides may think they are your client until they get in front of their cake artist. Once they see they can rent a stand yet will forget all about yours. Trust me. I've seen it. Sure a rare bride will provide her own stand. Not enough to cover the cost of a bridal show.

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply
post #3 of 97
Thread Starter 
are there shows that target others in the industry? Or any idea how to reach those folks? Part of the reason I was going to do it was to get exposure to decorators. Ughhhh...this is so frustrating. I got cake dummies and am practicing techniques to build my confidence and skill level. My biggest issue is patience. I want patience and I want it NOW! lol Edit: I have talked to a direct mailing provider but their list was not targeted enough.
post #4 of 97
International Cake Exploration Society holds a conference ever year.

I would join a local bridal association.

Channel that energy by using the Internet to make a list if all the planners, rental companies, & bakeries.

Don't pay for a list you can easily make yourself.

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply
post #5 of 97
Thread Starter 

That is what I am doing....I have my business card guy working on some postcards and as soon as I get better pictures he can finish them up. I'm glad ya'll are willing to help me with all of my crazy ideas!

post #6 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake View Post

are there shows that target others in the industry?

Cake shows. Most of the larger ones have vendors.

post #7 of 97
Thread Starter 

Thanks....I will check into that!

post #8 of 97
You might be better off just visiting the bridal shows as an attendee with some professional printed materials and talking to the vendors during slow periods.
post #9 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post

You might be better off just visiting the bridal shows as an attendee with some professional printed materials and talking to the vendors during slow periods.
That's a Big No No!

Our show has a huge sign warning they'll kick ya out

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply
post #10 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post

You might be better off just visiting the bridal shows as an attendee with some professional printed materials and talking to the vendors during slow periods.


lol, that's a great way to get kicked out of a trade show of any kind.

post #11 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeliciousDesserts View Post

That's a Big No No!

Our show has a huge sign warning they'll kick ya out

I suppose that makes sense. In any case, you can achieve a similar result by surreptitiously picking up a business card from each vendor and contacting them after the fact with your elevator pitch to arrange an in-person meeting so they can see your product in-person. Some shows even publish a list of vendors online so you don't even have to go to the event.
post #12 of 97
Thread Starter 

Yeah...I was very careful not to discuss my product with the vendors at the show I attended. I just asked if they were returning vendors and if they felt they got what they paid for. Some did ask me what I did and if I considered renting stands....but the producers of the show knew I was there and what I was doing....it will cost me $85 to get 500 informational postcards printed. And I got a very nice photo from one of my clients to use on them and she is working on another one with another one of my stands...You can see the photo on the front page of the gallery...I think it is #2 on the favorites list icon_biggrin.gif The cake is simply unreal!!!

post #13 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeliciousDesserts View Post

That's a Big No No!

Our show has a huge sign warning they'll kick ya out

I suppose that makes sense. In any case, you can achieve a similar result by surreptitiously picking up a business card from each vendor and contacting them after the fact with your elevator pitch to arrange an in-person meeting so they can see your product in-person. Some shows even publish a list of vendors online so you don't even have to go to the event.

Yeah, I FREAKING LOVE getting calls from a-holes who didn't pony up the $1000 but want me to carry their product and market it to my brides. I get phone calls from one such D-bag every month, asking me to carry his ugly-butt LIGHT UP cake toppers. It is a chunk of glass on a rotating light up stand with the couple's photo engraved with a laser.... TACKY and stupid. But what pisses me off most is the fact that he spend $9 to get in, went around collecting business cards and is marketing to people who shelled out good money to be there. 

Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
Reply
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
Reply
post #14 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes View Post

Yeah, I FREAKING LOVE getting calls from a-holes who didn't pony up the $1000 but want me to carry their product and market it to my brides. I get phone calls from one such D-bag every month, asking me to carry his ugly-butt LIGHT UP cake toppers. It is a chunk of glass on a rotating light up stand with the couple's photo engraved with a laser.... TACKY and stupid. But what pisses me off most is the fact that he spend $9 to get in, went around collecting business cards and is marketing to people who shelled out good money to be there. 

I think OP's product is in a slightly different category. If you get contacted by a vendor who has a complementary product that can help differentiate your business, I'm not sure why it matters how they got your contact information. And if you don't like what the vendor is selling, it's easy enough to block their phone number if they keep calling.

Life is too short to get that worked up over unsolicited calls from vendors. icon_smile.gif
post #15 of 97
Thread Starter 

The lady that wasn't part of the show and rented chipped cake dummies had those lighted things, the whole fake cake with cheap silk flowers were lighted and she went on to tell me how expensive they were.......they were just as horrid as her cakes...DD have you told him exactly that? I bet he would quit calling then!

 

EDIT...OOPs meant Anna

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