In January I participated in the Charleston Bridal Show. I was fortunate to have my good friend, Ford, help me in designing the booth, setting everything up, and assisting brides-to-be as they stopped by my vendor booth. I should add that he’s a graphic designer; so, if you need invitations, logo design, or other graphics work, I’ll gladly pass his contact information to you. I could write a novella on the prepping, execution, and day-of festivities, but I’m just going to highlight a few things.
Design – My priority with the design was finding a creative and effective way to communicate my photography with the 300+ brides-to-be and 800+ guests that were in attendance. First, I started with a Google image search to see what designs and setups other photographers were using at bridal shows. One common design was having large canvas prints hanging from one wall of the booth and then have a few albums for people to flip through. Though enlarged prints, they were all the same size and half of them would be below eye level. I felt this was a mistake. The design should first catch the attention of a person and then guide the eye around the space. So, it’s important to have a few different sizes. The largest, and likely the brightest, should be the initial image to catch people’s attention. For me, this was my banner. I also think albums are not as inviting or useful. It requires someone to dedicate too much time to seeing my images. I want to make that as easy as possible. I also wanted to encourage brides to step into the booth to look at more things. Again, a variety of sizes helps with this because a bride-to-be had to step into the booth to view 6×9 prints that were pinned to the branches. Though not a traditional gallery setup, it served the same purpose of making my photos easily accessible to people.
Discounts & Raffle – For the day-of, I offered a hefty discount for engaged couples who booked that day. After the bridal show, I offered a smaller discount. I also held a raffle for a free portrait session. The raffle also served as a great way to track how many brides-to-be came to my booth. That number compared to the total brides registered would let me know if my booth’s physical placement faired well.
Tasty Treats – Surprisingly, gummy bears are extremely popular. Attendants and even fellow vendors were stopping by the booth to snag some.
A bridal show is a little like organized chaos. There are hundreds of people and lots of vendors. It’s a plethora of information for brides-to-be to take in and process and then on top of that, they’re being served delicious food samples and partaking in refreshing mimosas. But it was a great way to get instant face-to-face time with over a hundred brides and learn more about them and their weddings.
An online portfolio can be viewed at priscillathomas.com.
Here’s an Instagram photo of my booth. With all the other decor we had to bring and the iMac, I wasn’t going to bring and monitor my professional photography gear.