A Twenty+ Year Throwback With a Great Message

by Skip Cohen

Throwback Thursday doesn’t have to be exclusive to old photographs and memories. Sometimes they can tie into great concepts – things that never change but remind us how to run a better business.

The two images below are at least twenty years old and are thanks to Bambi Cantrell. With bridal fairs and wedding expos getting back into swing, many of you will be exhibiting in the months ahead. So, with the help of two very small low-res images, I want to remind you how to set up your booth.

The image on the left is a photographer in his booth at a bridal fair. The image on the right was Bambi’s at the time. And while it looks expensive, those are painted cheap hollow wood doors with crown molding in the back. Put together with a few pieces of stylized furniture and fresh flowers, and you’ve got the perfect exhibit. ​

But there’s more to think about:

  • When Bambi talked about this in a presentation, she always made it a point to remind you to make the booth a place attendees wanted to come into. Don’t block them with tables or yourself, for that matter.
  • Bambi loved using image boxes to show her work. Rather than have just a few albums that a few brides and mothers were going to “hog,” prints in an image box could be easily shared.
  • While prints on easels are nice, they don’t plant the seeds for ideas on display. If you’re going to show big prints, then matte, frame, and display them in a way, people might do in their homes. It’s rare anybody has prints on easels!

And here’s one more tip from my buddy Bryan Caporicci. I’ve shared this before, I don’t know if he still does this, but I love the idea! Working bridal fairs, he’d hand a future bride a floppy disk and say, “Take this home and look at some of my work.” Brides today have never even seen a floppy, let alone know what to do with it. He made it a point to talk about the importance of prints and the wedding album.

Michele Celentano took a similar position. You’ll find her “I Believe” message just a click away. It’s all about prints. I’m not saying to hold back those digital files from clients who want to share them in cyberspace – just don’t forget the importance of printed work.

So, I’m celebrating Throwback Thursday with timeless advice from three well-respected artists and good friends. There is not expiration date on great marketing ideas!

​Happy Throwback Thursday

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