bridal expo

Vendor Review Sites: The Full Picture

When you’re looking to buy something, what’s one of the first things you do? Aside from comparing prices, more than likely you read reviews online about it. Online reviews have become one of the most powerful word-of-mouth marketing platforms of today. Doubting all the buzz? Take a look at these results published in a recent survey:

  • 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • 58% of consumers trust a business which has positive online reviews
  • 52% of consumers said that positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business

The cool thing about online reviews is that they are available for almost anything! If there isn’t a specific site providing online reviews for something, chances are there is some sort of forum or discussion board that may provide the insight you’re looking for.

When planning your event-whether it’s a wedding, religious celebration, birthday or anniversary party-it’s a great idea to research reviews of your prospective vendors. However, there is a proper way to dissect reviews so that you can get the full picture. Take into account the following tips to ensure you don’t wrongfully hire, or dismiss, a vendor.

1. Quantity. When you’re trying to get to know a vendor via online reviews, it’s best to gather as much information as possible. Read as many reviews as you can to get an overall scope of people’s experiences with the vendor. This will help you create a collective understanding of their overall performance. If you see a 1 star review in an ocean of 10 star reviews, chances are the majority’s experience will be yours as well.

2. Quality. What may be more important than the number of reviews you read about a particular vendor, is the quality of the reviews. Taking the writer’s tone into account let’s you decide whether or not their review is valid. For instance, if the review is entirely emotional-expressing only opinions and not facts- it may not be the best source for information. Reviews that mention points like punctuality, friendliness, enthusiasm, quality of equipment, attentiveness, and other relevant information, will be your best resources.

3. Go to the Source. No matter how many reviews you read and how deeply you read them, you might still be left with unanswered questions. At this point it would be best to reach out to the vendor themselves. Asking them about a negative review allows the vendor to explain their perspective on the matter. And don’t be afraid to prepare a list of concerns-if they’re a vendor worthy of your business, they’ll be happy to address all of your points of interest.

4. Pay it Forward. Once you’ve worked with a vendor for your event, it’s a great idea to review them online. You’ll be helping other people choose which vendor to hire, just like the reviews you read helped you decide who to use. Writing online reviews also gives you the opportunity to rate your vendors publicly. If you’re happy with their service, do them a favor and share your experience. If you were dissatisfied with their service, provide specific details as to why you were left unhappy. Either way, create a review that you would appreciate reading and that gives the reader the full picture.

Post by Izabella De Souza

Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Bridal Expos: Why they’re worth it.

As a bride living in a state where I am unfamiliar with wedding vendors I have feared attending Bridal Expos.  There are a variety of reasons many brides do not attend these expos; including mass emails that flood your inbox, mailings, unsolicited phone calls, and the awkwardness of some vendors “sales” pitches.  My fiance and I have attended two showcases since our engagement and here are some pointers on how to make these expos work for you.  First off, create a wedding email address (ex: goingtothechapel@gmail.com) and never give any vendor your personal email address unless they have been booked.  This will allow you to keep your personal email after getting hitched without having to go to those pesky unsubscribe sites.  Another pointer, be wary of those phone calls after the show claiming that you have won wedding bands or other items, of course…after you attend a 1 hour showcase of sorts that attempts to sell you any plethora of products.

Here are the reasons you should attend Bridal Expos, every chance you can:

1. Venues:  These expos are held in specific locations for a reason.  You may have never thought to hold your reception at PNC Bank Arts Center but low and behold they have a beautiful 6,000 square foot room that holds up to 500 guests.  This room is incredible and personally, I would have never even known about it had I not attended a Bridal Expo this past summer.

2. Vendors, Vendors, and more Vendors: Expos work best for Brides who have just begun planning their special day.  These vendors can tip you towards what colors or themes you would like to use or provide you with any other advice you may need.  My fiance and I discovered a perfect venue location for our wedding through a vendor from an expo.  At times a google search or wedding site doesn’t provide the help you’ll need to plan every aspect.  These vendors practically eat, breathe, and sleep weddings and they can and will point you in the right direction.  It is important to use your time wisely with vendors and make sure you are prepared with questions.  This is your time to have your picking of who you are willing to invest in to make your day stand out from all others.

3. Prizes:  Recently, LJ Productions was at a bridal expo at the Landmark in East Rutherford, NJ and they gave away a free Bachlorette party and honeymoon!  Remember when I told you to be wary of prizes, I was detailing those given out after the expo via another “vendor”.  The prizes Brides win during the expos are incredible and could help a bride and groom planning a wedding on a tight budget.

4. Discounts/Freebies:  Many vendors will offer a discounts/freebies of sorts for booking them through these expos.  Some will give a 15-20% discount or some will throw in some extras (ex: free photo-booth/engagement sessions/lighting).  With the economic crisis who doesn’t want or even need some extras?  Another pointer, attend these events as early as possible in your planning process.  Booking a vendor sooner than later can guarantee cheaper prices as they tend to increase their prices on a yearly basis.

5. Free food:  Who doesn’t like free food?  The food will be provided either by the venue or an outside catering company.  If you are unsure of whether or not you would like to book the venue/caterer, you could always use the expos menu as a sample menu for your own wedding day.  Always use these expos as an inspiration and write everything down that you like or do not like.  You can always use them in the future when planning or discussing details with your vendors/planners.

6. Networking:  By networking I don’t mean with vendors only.  Get courageous and talk with other brides about when they’re wedding is, what they’re themes/colors are, and anything else that could help you.  Remember these expos are for you and its entirely up to you how you plan to use the information given to you.

{mariza}

LJ Productions Bridal Expo Calendar

LJ Productions is proud to present our Bridal Expo Calendar for January 2012.  Look for us!

1.5.12     7pm-10pm        The Landmark

1.8.12     1pm-5pm          PNC Bank Arts Center

1.15.12   1pm-4pm          Dolce

1.17.12   7pm-10pm       Maritime Parc

1.22.12   1pm-4pm          The Imperia

1.25.12   7pm-10pm        The Atrium

1.28.12   11am-4pm        Westchester County Center

1.29.12    1pm-4pm         Avenue

Click the links for venue addresses and other information.  Feel free to contact our office for more information or to book a consultation with an event specialist at 973.751.8850! We look forward to meeting all the beautiful brides.

Happy New Year and Happy planning!

 Scroll to top