Sunday, March 30, 2014

Lehigh Valley Summer Bridal Show with American Bridal Shows

With the winter season bridal shows behind us, most wedding professionals are beginning to get revved up for the wedding performances and events that await them for the spring and summer.  This gave me a chance to reflect on an inaugural bridal show that came to the Lehigh Valley last summer and will again make an appearance on July 17, 2014 at Stabler Arena This show is hosted by our friends at American Bridal Shows and will feature some of the finest Lehigh Valley Wedding Vendors.

Looking back at last year's show, I was at first skeptical of the success of this show as it was the first time I was exposed to a Bridal show, in the summer, at night, in the middle of the work week. Not knowing what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised when I walked into Stabler Arena to find quite a long line to get into the show.  However there was a large contingent of workers from American Bridal Show that  were checking in brides and we were very quickly to the front of the line, with a long line of people behind us yet, waiting to get in.   In speaking with the show producer Rich, he reported that there were 300 brides checked into the show within the first hour of opening.

For a first time show, I was quite shocked at the attendance as well as the organization of the show. 
Sure there was still a basketball court set up in the center of the show floor, but there was still plenty of room to walk around. The vendors were not cramped into small places and most times you had easy access to the vendors.   I was still surprised at the amount of brides that attended this event.  I did not know exact;y how it was marketed, but Rich at American Bridal seemed to do a nice job. 
One thing I did notice was the absence of many of the vendors that are Bridal Show regulars.  However there were a few and the vendors that displayed at this event, I am sure were very pleased with the turnout.    From conversation with some of my wedding vendor friends in New Jersey, American Bridal puts on some pretty good shows in the Garden State and every one of them had nothing but good things to say about the owner, Rich. 

It was great seeing our good friend Steve Mittman from Mittman Entertainment LLC.  Always personable, we had a chance to say hello to Steve in between brides.  Mittman Entertainment was positioned nicely as soon as you walked into Stabler Arena.

It was also great seeing out friend Jennifer Doncsecz and the ladies in pink from VIP Vacations.

along with Cedric from A+ Mojo Photo Booths

 and Deb Evans from Iron Lakes Country Club.

One of the most popular displays of the night was Joe from Village Bake Shoppe.  It was a virtual game of Find Waldo to be able to find Joe in the plethora of brides, just to get the opportunity to say hello.  His booth was pretty much slammed with brides booking appointments to get into his shop.  If there was any area of the bridal show that was over crowded, it was this area and not because of tight spaces.

Overall I was very excited for this show and the professional way they dealt with the large influx of brides, the organization of the event, the quick check in for brides, and the amount of brides that attended the show.  Rich, the show's owner is very personable and professional and is just an overall great guy.  He was able to take some time out to talk with us and I was lucky enough to get to know him on a more personal level.  Rich loves the Lehigh Valley and looks forward to putting on another show on July 17, 2014 at Stabler Arena.    To exhibit in this show, you can contact Rich at 908-371-0900 or visit the website at


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Your Wedding Business Website

As a wedding directory owner, I get the honor to see many wedding vendor websites on a daily basis.  Not only do I see my current customer's websites, but I also get to see some of my future customer's sites.  Many times, when creating a directory for a certain geographic location, I populate the sites with some wedding businesses from that particular area.

Over the last week or so I noticed a few wedding professional websites that are not up to par.  I am sure some of these business owners are asking themselves why they are not getting leads from their website.  After looking through their website, it is pretty obvious why they are not getting good leads.  I am sure they are really not aware of these small mistakes they are making.  Some of the mistakes are very basic and hopefully they are reading this post, and might be able to take some action on their website to improve their leads and their visitor experience.

One of the first things I encountered over the past week, was wedding vendors without their location anywhere on their website.  At the very minimum you need your city and state of your location of the area you serve.  If you travel and service the entire country, then at least put your primary business location prominently on your website, at least in the footer.  You are losing out one at least one or two weddings without this information on your site.  If you are paranoid or run your business from your home, you do not need your complete address, but at the very least your city and state.

The next thing I found that was missing was contact or call to action information.  On a few sites I found nothing for contacting the business.  On some sites all I seen was a phone number, and found it quite by accident.  A call to action or link to a contact page should be on each and every single page of your website, so the customers can contact you. 

Email addresses were another big thing that were seen on sites.   I cannot count how many email addresses were Gmail and Yahoo generic email addresses.  I do not care how professional your company is, if you are sporting a Yahoo or Gmail email account on your website, you look unprofessional.   There, I said it.  Nobody wants to hear it, but your professional perception grade gets decrease by 20% by displaying a Yahoo, Gmail, Rocketmail, or any other type of email address, other than that of your domain name.  You own web sever space for your website, for God sakes, use your domain name in your e mail address.  If your web hosting package does not have a basic email package, get another host for your web site.  At the very least you should have an email address like  Many people prefer the more personal approach and use, and that is great also.   But for goodness sakes, get rid of the  You instantly look like a fly  by night business.

Lastly in this post, I want to cover the basics of images on your websites.   Now Disc Jockey's are the best for this subject, because DJ's got great big egos (yes I was a DJ so I can say this).  If you are catering to a bride coming to your web site, then your home page should have images of a bride dancing and having a great time with all of her guests at her reception.  Do not have images of yourself on your home one cares how beautiful you think you are.  Do not have the stock images of all of your professional equipment and lighting on your home page.  And lastly, most brides do not know the difference between a Bose and hose, so don't put it on your home page.   If you want some self promotion of all of the equipment you spend money on, have an equipment page with all of that stuff on it.  Granted that page will be like wetting yourself in dark pants, but at least you have the warm feeling of having your equipment purchases on your website.

Brides are coming to your website to get information about you.  Your home page should answer at least the initial questions she may have.  Make your home page the best impression of your business and get into details in some of your other pages.  There is no magic number of words, but a person should get a good idea of your business in 10 seconds or less.   Make your home page attractive with good images of a bride having fun, because, simply, that is what she is after.  She doesn't want to see you, she doesn't want to see your equipment, she wants to see what her wedding reception is going to be like.

I could probably write fifty posts on how to improve your website because there are a million ways to do just that.  But we will start with at least the basics and hopefully this will help you in your journey to a successful wedding business.