How Caterers Can Maximize ROI at Wedding Shows

Wedding shows can be a great source of business for caterers, or a huge waste of money. Learn how to maximize your return on investment during engagement season, and start filling your calendar now!

Come Prepared

Come to the show with a quick form for couples to complete where you can capture pertinent information including their name, number, email address, and wedding date. Be sure to have your calendar handy so you can let them know if you are available. Prior to the show, set aside a few timeblocks when you can schedule meetings with couples while you’re speaking to them. Taking specific notes about the couple and the interaction you’ve had will do wonders for you. Showing them you really paid attention and focused on their wants and needs will instill a huge sense of confidence, and they will not feel like another face in the crowd during your follow up conversation.

Collect Leads at Your Booth With a Contest

Offer attendees the chance to win something cool by providing their contact information. This can be anything from a personalized last name sign displayed at the reception, free champagne toast or even a discount when also booking their rehearsal dinner with you. This ensures the couple has to book your services for their wedding in order to take advantage of your contest!

Brand Your Booth

This may not seem like a crucial tactic, but wedding show attendees are going to see tons of vendors at the event–when you follow up with leads, be sure they can make the connection between your brand and your booth! If your website, business cards, letterhead, and email all have navy blue text and images of a rustic table setting, don’t create a bright orange, beach-themed booth. Your leads won’t remember talking to you when they look at your website or read your email.

Draw People to Your Booth

Getting people to stop at your booth can be a struggle, so give them an incentive! Set up a photo opportunity with props and/or signs, provide samples of your product, or hand out tchotchkes to couples. If you decide to go with a tchotchke, try something that could be used as a wedding favor, like these bottle openers or mint tins. Attendees will appreciate the fun freebies, and you can hand out a business card with every giveaway.

Follow Up Quickly

The best way to ensure a conversion doesn’t end at the wedding show is to follow up QUICKLY after the event. If you’ve had a great conversation with a potential client, lock it down before another caterer calls them or they start looking elsewhere for catering services. At the event, ask when is the best time to call, or if they prefer a text.

Network With Other Vendors

You can create a great pool of referrals if you spend time networking with other vendors at the show! Talk to photographers, bakers, event planners…anyone who is the business of weddings. You never know what kind of connections other people have, and you may just become a preferred caterer for a number of venues!
Want to know how else you can improve your catering business? Follow us on Facebook and let us know what other suggestions you have for maximizing ROI during wedding show season!