A friend of mine from one of my FB Pro Photographer boards asked whether Bridal Shows were a good investment for Wedding Photographers.
As you can imagine – the answer is yes and no.
Here’s what you need to know going into a bridal show…
The BREAK EVEN point for photographers is THREE weddings – NOT one.
Let’s take some hypothetical average numbers.
The average bridal show is $600.
The average wedding photography package is $2,000.
So most photographer’s go into a bridal show thinking that if they “book just ONE wedding” that they paid for the show.
$2,000 – $600 = after all… a $1,400 profit… right?
No… not even close.
For starters – a $2,000 wedding package means:
$600 in actual product the bride’s get – stuff like albums… proofs and prints.
So there’s really only $1,400 left.
Subtract fee for a second shooter… Subtract taxes…
Subtract the time shooting and the time it takes you to finish the wedding in Photoshop.
It’s not MY numbers – but the PPA’s numbers…
A $2,000 wedding profits a wedding photographer about $600.
Granted… the pro photographer also salvages some of that money if they do their own digital work etc…
But it’s safe to say that the profits from a $2,000 wedding is about $600.
So most photographer reason that the break even point on a bridal show is booking one wedding.
But that isn’t the case…
The FEE for entering the bridal show might be $600.
But you have consumables… that is – your rate cards.
You give away approximately $100 worth of printed material at a bridal show.
And you can’t go there with nothing to show…
So you estimate you’re going in there with a minimum of $500 worth of new stuff – new albums. New enlargements, etc.
And that’s a very minimum.
So so far you’re at $1,200 for this show.
Add in $600 worth of your time. Your time going to the bridal show. Your time in prepping for the show.
In short… the fee for each bridal show is $600. However… the real cost is $1,800.
So the break even number for each bridal show you attend is THREE weddings – not one.
If you book only one wedding from a bridal show – you’re actually $1,200 in the hole.
Of course… YMMV – Your Millage May Vary…
You may go there and book one high-dollar package… and take care of this all in one swoop.
But you get the picture.
So my personal thoughts?
Yes… bridal shows do work. I love them.
But keep in mind the true cost in going to one.
Ask yourself NOT if you can get Four Weddings from this bridal show… but rather – ask yourself how does THAT money compare to other forms of advertisements.
For example – would you get more return from $1,800 worth of FB advertising or one bridal show.
The key is understanding that the $600 or so cost to enter the show is NOT the only cost.