Making the Most from Bridal Showcases

By Mike Walter

In my last article about Selling Down, I mentioned showcasing.

I’d like to expand on that topic now because for Elite Entertainment, bridal fairs have become the lifeblood of our marketing.

Other than direct referrals for our DJs or word-of-mouth about our service, nothing generates more phone calls and emails (and leads to more bookings) than our showcases.

If you are a multi-op and you’re looking to sell the other members of your staff, and you’re not currently doing some form of live showcasing, I’d ask you to reconsider.

A few years ago, at the DJ Times Expo in Atlantic City, I ran a seminar about performing at bridal shows. The seminar included an actual performance from my staff to demonstrate how we go about entertaining brides at the shows we do.

Since then, I’ve had many people say to me, “that wouldn’t work in my market,” which may or may not be true.

Highly Interactive or Cheesy is in the Eye of the Beholder

Our shows our highly interactive and, some would say, borderline cheesy. We get guests up with the typical old school audience participation tricks: YMCA, the Electric Slide and The Conga.

We hand out giveaways like Hawaiian Leis and Neon Necklaces. And we squeeze this all in to a twenty-minute slot, usually between 2 bands and before a fashion show.

So do I think this would work for every mobile entertainer everywhere? Of course not. That would be like me saying, send me your DJs and I’ll train them my way – then they’ll be perfect for your market.

I understand that every locale, and every DJ Company for that matter, is different. What works for one, won’t necessarily work for another.

But whether you are highly interactive at your events, or you focus more on the music (or anything in between), you can still showcase at bridal fairs.

Demonstrate What Your Company Does Well

Here’s the basic question you should begin with when preparing a showcase: What is it that my company does well that we should demonstrate?

If it’s MCing, then build a show around that. If it’s dancing, then make that the focal part of your show. If it’s programming music, or customer service or your amazing light show or whatever – make your strong points the main points of emphasis when you showcase.

Previously, I wrote about de-emphasizing your own personal presence in your marketing, especially if you are like most multi-op owners, in that you have no problem filling your own schedule but need help in filling everyone else’s.

Well, showcasing can certainly help with this goal. Assuming you have a competent staff of entertainers, allow them to be the stars of the show. Allow them to handle the key roles and get the most exposure in front of all those perspective clients.

When Elite showcases, my role is usually to introduce the staff and get the show started. After that, my entertainers take over and you see and hear little from me. This is a deliberate effort on my part. I am there, as a presence, so the general public doesn’t start thinking, “Oh, he’s the owner and he’s not involved much anymore.” But after our show is over, the DJs who are most often requested are my other MCs.

Here in New Jersey, the Winter Bridal Shows are the best of the year. There is a fresh crop of eager brides who just got engaged around the holidays and since the weather is usually pretty rotten, there’s not much else to do but go to a bridal show.

If your market is similar, I’d urge you to consider showcasing your entertaining abilities, specifically those of your staff, to potential clients. There is no better way to “show” what you can do.

What are your “keys to success” at bridal showcases?

Mike Walter – “Multi-Op Corner”

Mike Walter is a nationally recognized expert in the areas of DJ staff training and multi-system business development. He is also a writer for Disc Jockey News and Producer of the International DJ Expo’s “DJ of the Year” competition. Mike is the owner of NJ’s Elite Entertainment, selected by The Knot and Modern Bride magazine as one of the country’s top entertainment companies. Mike’s highly praised DVD set is available at TrainingYourNextGreatDJ.com. To contact him about his on-site training services or for general inquiries, email mike@eliteentertainment.com. View posts by Mike.
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