Last week I posted My Top 10 Tips For Brides At Bridal Shows and I encouraged brides to ask good questions. So as promised here are My Top 10 questions to ask vendors at Bridal Shows.
10. Who’s your biggest competition? This question is good for a few reasons. You might hear some negative things about other vendors and that should send up red flags about the vendor saying them. A good business can stand on its own merits and doesn’t need to trash the other guy. You might hear confidence. You might even hear who they think might be better than them.
9. Have you worked at my locations? If they have not are they willing to do a sight visit with you before the big day? It’s usually a good idea for wedding planners, photographers and videographers to know the lay of the land and to scout out the location first. It’s also an indication as to how much experience they might have. DJs should know the venue and the layout of the reception in order to help you plan an event with a good focal point for your events and good quality sound for all the guests.
8. Are you available on my date? I know this is a “duh” question but it has to be your first question. Last year at a bridal show the photographer next to me talked to a bride for about 20 minutes about her wedding. She was ready to book him and then, you guessed it, he was already booked for her date. Save yourself some time and make sure they are available before you go any further.
7. Tell me about three creative things you have done recently at weddings? This question applies best to Wedding Planners, Photographers, Videographers and especially Disc Jockeys. You want someone who is going to work with you and have an open mind. You don’t want cookie cutter.
6. What professional training have you had? Many photographers, videographers and DJs wind up in their line of business out of pure circumstance. Maybe a hobby develops into a career or they get a nice shiny camera for Christmas. At the bridal show the professionals and the hobbiest look the same. They all paid for a booth and that is all you need to get in the door. Some claim to do exactly what others do. The fact is unless they’ve had the training they may not know what the other guys are doing or why it is even important. Like I said in my last post, would you hire an attorney who just started hanging out in court and thought it looked easy?
5. What was the name of your last couple you worked for and how did they meet? Ok, now you think I’m crazy right? Let me explain. If you really take an interest in your clients you should know these things. If they don’t know these things then chances are they show up and collect a check. It’s the biggest day of your life! Choose a vendor who cares about you. This is a great question to catch a vendor off guard and see what they are really all about. My last couple met at transfer orientation at UC. Thier first date was to Mio’s Pizza and he proposed in Mt. Adams overlooking downtown Cincinnati.
4. What’s your backup plan? If they are sick on your wedding day what will they do? If they have equipment failure do they have back-up? There are no do overs in the wedding world. You either get that picture of the grooms reaction when he sees the bride or you do not. You either have a DJ at the reception on time or you do not. Make sure they have a plan B.
3. Do you offer any type of guarantee? They may or may not but it sure is great to hear how confident they are in their product and their reaction to this question should tell a lot. Just because they don’t offer a guarantee doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hire them. This is just a good reaction question.
2. What’s the craziest thing that ever happened to you on a wedding day and how did you handle it? It may take them a minute to think about this one but it’s a good question. It’s good because it shows their experience. It also might reveal a problem they created or could have avoided. Nobody is perfect but this is a good one to shed some light on many things about their business.
1. Will you be the person I’m working with and if not can I meet with them before booking and for planning? Some vendors just hate me for giving you this question but the fact is, it needs to be asked. In the wedding industry there are vendors who will book your event and have no idea who is going to do your event and in many cases they have to hire or subcontract someone to do the event after they have booked you. That is scary, it is impersonal and it’s a big risk to go with someone who does this. Make sure you know exactly who is doing your event and you’ll get to meet them before hiring and for planning.
These questions are way better than “How much do you charge?” and “How long have you been in business?” If you go into a bridal show prepared you’ll get some great insight into who you might be hiring. Once again we will not be at many bridal shows this year. If you have questions for Brandon Lindsey or for Hey! Mr. DJ Entertainment give me a call. www.heymrdjentertainment.com