Innovative Wedding Marketing Event Has Finger On The Pulse Showcase Events Introduces ‘Bridal Shows Redefined’
WASHINGTON, DC – Showcase Events, one of the largest and most influential producers of consumer bridal events, today unveiled a rebranding campaign that addresses the changing nature wedding planning. Partnering with Yogg, an edgy branding and marketing firm headquartered in Richmond Virginia (www.landofyogg.com), they have spent the last year doing extensive research into what brides and wedding professionals want and addressed what they found with significant changes to the image, branding and program elements presented at the events.
“We started off looking to make some creative tweaks to our ads and freshen up our image,” says the CEO of Showcase Events, Marc McIntosh. “It turned into a total overhaul that we are calling ‘Bridal Shows Redefined’.”
A combination of factors led to McIntosh’s decision to rebrand the company, which produces events in Washington DC, Baltimore, Houston and Richmond Virginia (www.weddingexperience.com). The company had noticed a decrease in the effectiveness of traditional advertising, a decline in the results received by the show’s exhibitors, and significant changes to buying habits.
“The wedding marketing landscape has changed dramatically,” says McIntosh, “but most bridal shows are still sending the same message they did 20 years ago.”
With the help of Yogg, an extensive survey of both brides and wedding professionals was conducted. The survey included recent show exhibitors and attendees, but more importantly, brides and wedding professionals who were aware of the company’s events but did not attend.
“A few things really jumped out at us,” says McIntosh. “We always thought that it was important to emphasize the size of the show – bigger is better, but we found that many brides viewed this as a negative. We found that ‘aisle after aisle of exhibitors’ was perceived as ‘lots of pushy, high-pressure salespeople.” As a result, all references to the size of the show were eliminated from the advertising and replaced by an emphasis on choices, options and inspiration, concepts that scored positively.
“Our research showed that 95% of brides would not make a major purchase decision for their wedding without a face-to-face meeting, so our messaging now promotes the show as the most efficient method of making this contact.” says McIntosh.
‘We observed that many brides would breeze through the show quickly and grab business cards, but spent relatively little time talking to the exhibitors or forming relationships that could lead to a buying decision” says McIntosh. “To better facilitate the transaction of business on the show floor, we’ve made subtle changes to the shows that encourage a buying mindset.” Some of the elements that are now part of the shows include:
• Fashion shows with more variety and options - “Our fashion shows have been expanded to include more retailers and designers,” explains McIntosh. “We make a point of including plus size models and fashions, which most shows tend to avoid. At the same time, we are focusing our efforts on producing one spectacular fashion show at each event, rather than two, which will allow more time for interaction between the attendees and the exhibitors.”
• Wedding Inspiration Gallery - A separate pavilion at the show where the pages of Pinterest and the bridal magazines come to life. Included are amazing displays of flowers, cakes, photography and bridal gowns, and all presented in an area that is free of sales pressure.
• Do-It-Yourself Workshops – “We want the bride to look to us for objective information,” says McIntosh, “so we have implemented a series of discussions and demonstrations focused on helping brides put their personal touch on their wedding.”
• Book of Wedding Savings - This publication expands the concept of a ‘show special’ by bringing together a wide array of upgrades, bonuses and money-saving offers and providing it in an easy-to-use format. “Even as the economy improves, brides still want to get the most out of their wedding budget.” says McIntosh.
With all of the changes, a name change made sense. “We had different show names in each of our markets, and we wanted a brand that was consistent,” says McIntosh, “plus, we are providing an experience, so why not call attention to it?” Hence, the Wedding Experience brand was born.
“We are excited about these changes and look forward to presenting cutting-edge events that connects soon-to-be-married couples with the wedding professionals they will count on to make their wedding day amazing,” says McIntosh.
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