Tis the season to…get married! As summer is rapidly approaching it seems that more and more couples are tying the knot, and Wilmington, North Carolina is a state ‘hotspot’ for weddings. What does this mean for the vendors? That they could potentially be overflowing with customers if they play their cards right, and by this I mean, promoting their brand. Cape Fear Wedding Show throws an expo every year around October to attract the blushing brides and their beaus to meet with vendors who will potentially make their big day a memorable one. However, we all know that weddings are not cheap, and if you didn’t…. well they aren’t. Therefore, the vendors are competing with each other for business, basically, by who has the most appealing promotion. They have to use a lot of pathos. The event itself is practically one huge promotion, even for the Wilmington area as a prospective location to have a wedding.
The Cape Fear Wedding Expo invites photographers, videographers, caterers, cake bakers, event planners, party rentals, DJ’s, bands, etc. all lined up in the Wilmington Convention Center with their ‘pick-me’ face on. Cape Fear Weddings promotes their event opportunity to all vendors, getting paid for the spot they reserve, and the vendors get many potential customers. It is a win- win. They are encouraged “make the best of this great sales opportunity” by promoting the expo to vendors promising them “on-air promotions” for their company. It is huge, and it only happens once a year, making that much more of a big deal. Here is a comical video that local videographers, Life Stage Films, used as a promotion for their company against competitors:
Essentially brides, and whoever accommodates them, will pay a small fee (like $5) to get in and then it is game time. Let the special offers, discounts and incentives begin! Lets take a look at what Seth Godin has to say about promotions. In his blog entitled “Promoting the Promotion” he states, “Promotions work when they’re seen as generous or unique or tied into our needs and dreams.” Every bride has their dream wedding, and they have been dreaming it for their entire lives so according to Seth these promotions could potentially be quite effective. Godin goes on to say, “They also work as brand builders when they’re so ubiquitous we associate the brand with the event itself.” This is the incentive for the expo. The event itself is associated as a haven for dreams to come true.
The goal here is to make everyone feel like one big family, like they are receiving help from experts (help with a price tag of course) to make one of the most memorable days of their life just that… memorable. This ties in to what we know as CMM where meaning is being cultivated within a community. The Cape Fear Wedding Expo serves as a model for a community gathering of all the brides in the area to collaborate. However, by the promotional advertising utilized, brides truly feel as though these vendors want to help make their special day unforgettable by offering even a small discount. So, come October let the promotions begin!
Living on the Outer Banks, I see a lot of seasonal wedding advertisements! The Outer Banks is one of the most famous places for spring, summer, and even fall weddings on the beach, so there are tons of wedding related advertisements during those times ranging from catering to services to venues.
Working in the wedding business, these wedding expos are not only great to get “the word out” but also is necessary to maintain the company’s brand image. Most wedding related industries (e.g., wedding planners, bakeries, florists) are based on the “community” aspect, as well as appealing personally. It is essential that the connections are made because most brides and grooms will most likely choose the companies that make them feel special and have established a relationship. Weddings are usually a highly personal event, therefore it is understandable that marketing in this industry tends to appeal heavily to the pathos.
Being a wedding photographer and a bridesmaid in an upcoming wedding, it seems as if weddings are the only thing I think about. Is this the right shade of coral, does the groom have his tie correctly knotted, do the bridesmaids buy jewelry or wait for the brides approval….etc. Needless to say, I am a little oversaturated in the market but certainly appreciate the community formed within the wedding business. Someone is always asking someone else for help or advice while you’re looking up to best of the best on how to improve your own skills.