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$800 to do a Bridal Expo??? - Page 2

post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 
Great suggestion, Dayti! Thank you!
Nancy
post #17 of 27

I find that the shows don't pay me back for the aggravation and cost, so I don't do them anymore. If you do one, do it with the intention of meeting other vendors and networking. I find that networking groups will give you a better return on investment than wedding shows.

 

And if you ask vendors about shows you'll get wildly varying answers. The promoters aren't going to tell you that only X amount of brides showed up, so the information that you get from them will be suspect anyway.

post #18 of 27
How many cake vendors will be at the show vs how many people they expect at the event? I think the reason my event went so well is because there weren't as many cake booths and I tried to go all out as best I could. I paid $550 for mine. I am on theknot, it's $50 a month for a year but the only reason I joined is because no other bakery in my town has a profile, so I pretty much own the whole category. It looks good on my website, too, to have "theknot" buttons on it.
Getting baked since 2009! ;)
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Getting baked since 2009! ;)
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post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Hi Lauren,
I think there are about 4 bakers there, including the bakery in my town that does about 10 weddings every summer weekend. She has the bridal market just about cornered in my town. That is why I am marketing as no box mixes, no shortening, mostly organic, and vegan. She doesn't offer any of that, although she does say she bakes from scratch, which she doesn't. She is on the Knot, too.

Besides from the professional respect brides give The Knot, do you get business from it?

Thank you,
Nancy
post #20 of 27
Nancy,
So far, no, but I just joined the knot a month ago. I spoke with a photographer who has won "best of weddings" 3 years in a row who also said she doesn't get much business from it, or that if she does, they don't outright say that's where they found her. You can create a free profile on there and if 10 or more brides (from today and past) review you, you are eligible for "best of". You don't have to be a paid partner. THAT alone will bring respect to your name.

For the other bakery, I wonder if there's a false advertisement something or other that could happen forcing her to stop saying she bakes from scratch. Most big bakeries don't bake scratch. One I knew in particular would always bake the cakes they had paid in full in advance a month early and keep them in the walk in freezer. It made it so they could bake last minute orders so they would never have to turn down an order. I use that info to my advantage when talking with brides. How do your prices compare with theirs? At my show, I was there next to "THE" big bakery in town, but their reputation has been falling...fast! So I came in with my super delicious cups of cake and awesome displays and trumped over that bakery with 50+ years on me. When a bride is googling, the biggest bakery or the oldest, will always win. But when you have the chance to compare cakes side by side, taste and decoration will ALWAYS win them over, unless they are dirt cheap and the bride is much more concerned with price, rather than quality.
Getting baked since 2009! ;)
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Getting baked since 2009! ;)
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post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all that awesome information!

The local bakery - sigh. We are in a tourist area, and the highest-end reception venue uses her cakes as a part of their package. I just brought them samples, because the main bakery doesn't offer the options I offer. Now, the woman has great decorating skills. Her buttercream looks as smooth as fondant. So people give her excellent reviews. She is also more expensive than I am. But her customer service is not good. She rushed my daughter's 16th bday cake, the top tier slid off, and when I was putting it back together, the filling was still warm. Worse, when I went to talk to her the next week, she refused to come out and talk to me, and I was very polite.

She does get reviewed for being hard to reach for brides, but doing the job anyway. So I am concentrating on excellent customer service, and the other options I mentioned, including an excellent suggestion from a fellow baker to offer nut and allergen free. So I am concentrating on what I believe in, and can do to carve out my own niche: all natural, mostly organic with vegan and allergy free options. It is what I do, so I hope it's enough.

Thanks again,
Nancy
post #22 of 27

To the OP, bridal shows in my area cost a smidge more than $800 (more like a $1000) but what I ask myself is How many cakes would I need to book to recoup that money?  At $1000, that could be one wedding cake, but probably more like 2.  Any cakes I get after that point are profit.  And any show I participate in I make sure I am given a list of brides that attended the show.  If my first impression doesn't WOW them, I can follow up with a phone call or e-mail.  I have done well at bridal shows, but they are a lot of work.

 

As for The Knot, I have found they do nothing for you unless you are in one of their "markets" (aka major metropolitan areas).  And you don't have to look hard to find story after story about how they continue charging you after you have ended your agreement with them.  I had my credit card cut off so they would stop charging it, and they would still call month after month telling me there was a problem with my payment. 

post #23 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thank you, Jenniffer. I am really glad I didn't sign up with them!!! Looking for other ways to get my new business out there.

Best,

Nancy

post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurenSadler View Post

For the other bakery, I wonder if there's a false advertisement something or other that could happen forcing her to stop saying she bakes from scratch. Most big bakeries don't bake scratch. One I knew in particular would always bake the cakes they had paid in full in advance a month early and keep them in the walk in freezer. It made it so they could bake last minute orders so they would never have to turn down an order. I use that info to my advantage when talking with brides.

 

I might be confused, but it sounds like you think baking from scratch includes baking your cakes right before selling.  I bake everything from scratch, and still freeze cakes . . . why do you feel that those are mutually exclusive activities?  Just curious - not trying to pick a fight.

 

Liz

Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

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post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by liz at sugar View Post

I might be confused, but it sounds like you think baking from scratch includes baking your cakes right before selling.  I bake everything from scratch, and still freeze cakes . . . why do you feel that those are mutually exclusive activities?  Just curious - not trying to pick a fight.

Liz

No no, I freeze my cakes too. For a Saturday wedding, I bake Wednesday and get them in the freezer by that evening. It just helps with trimming and carving and seems to be more stable, so I'm not opposed to freezing at all. What I was saying is that this particular bakery will bake their non-scratch cakes as early as they can and keep them frozen until needed. They even have "spares" for super super last minute orders. That's not very fresh to me, IMO. They've even had a few brides have their entire cake refunded because they left the parchment paper inside the cake that they put on before wrapping and freezing! Whoops! So I'm sure this isn't a foreign concept for other big big bakeries. Hell, we dog on walmart all the time for flash freezing their cakes and shipping them to be decorated. I don't see much difference in the two!
Getting baked since 2009! ;)
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Getting baked since 2009! ;)
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post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar View Post
 

I find that the shows don't pay me back for the aggravation and cost, so I don't do them anymore. If you do one, do it with the intention of meeting other vendors and networking. I find that networking groups will give you a better return on investment than wedding shows.

Oh yeah, and a big +1 to this.  Networking can make or break your business.  I have even went so far as to prepare little care packages for vendors.  It's usually just a box of 4-6 cupcakes, but I'll leave them at their booth the morning before the show with a short note.

post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurenSadler View Post


No no, I freeze my cakes too. For a Saturday wedding, I bake Wednesday and get them in the freezer by that evening. It just helps with trimming and carving and seems to be more stable, so I'm not opposed to freezing at all. What I was saying is that this particular bakery will bake their non-scratch cakes as early as they can and keep them frozen until needed. They even have "spares" for super super last minute orders. That's not very fresh to me, IMO. They've even had a few brides have their entire cake refunded because they left the parchment paper inside the cake that they put on before wrapping and freezing! Whoops! So I'm sure this isn't a foreign concept for other big big bakeries. Hell, we dog on walmart all the time for flash freezing their cakes and shipping them to be decorated. I don't see much difference in the two!

 

Gotcha!! :)

 

Liz

Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

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Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

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