Inquiring Minds Want to Know
This wedding planning veteran was pleasantly surprised by the recent comeback of the Houston Bridal Extravaganza. My interaction with the Bridal Extravaganza over a decade ago was not a noteworthy one. As a wedding professional even I would get anxiety entering the large metal doors after the complete inconvenience of unloading and setting up a booth and the swarms of onlookers walking by. Let’s not dread about the past but welcome in the present and the unexpected pleasantry of a large convention space full of brides and their tribes.
What made this bridal show such a success? Honestly, I think it was the pandemic. The pandemic brought the wedding industry and bridal tribes to a grounded reality as we witnessed the heartbreak of canceled and rescheduled weddings. We were all forced to make the process of finding the right vendors, venues, adjustment of guest sizes, and safety seriously. Safety is at the forefront of most couples seeking to plan a wedding and those vendors graciously offering their services.
All safety measures were put in place with masks, sanitizers, spacious aisles, spaced out vendor booths, and temperatures checked at the door. Couples were given access to an app called BrideScan. This app was preloaded with vendor information. Easily scanned from the phone, brides were prompted to accept the vendor's QR code to exchange contact information. Each vendor was also given the opportunity to become a VIP by giving free resources, discounts, and incentives to help promote their businesses to these eager couples.
These bride tribes were primed, prepped, and ready after months of anticipating the promise of planning their big day. The vendors were equally ambitious to finally meet face-to-face with couples ready to book their services. The Pandemic has kept us all separated and unfortunately, couples have had to reschedule or wait to plan their nuptials. This usually oversized and overwhelming bridal show seemed to be the perfectly timed mix of safety, keen attendees, and passionately earnest vendors… the lively ‘cocktail hour’ we were all seeking. It was enough variety, safe interaction, and timely information for all who attended.