High fashion runway is among the most celebrated among the types of fashion shows available to us. It has its ups and downs. If organized properly, it can be a really rewarding and fulfilling venture that sends its message across properly. But with such high stakes on the line, it’s very easy to go wrong when organizing a high fashion runway show considering the intricacies involved in planning one. Here are some few tips to help you out in planning your fashion event.
- Come up with a calendar of events
Before you do anything, the first thing you would want to do is to come up with a calendar of events that will guide the whole process. Put everything on schedule and make sure that you stay faithful to the schedule. Communicate the schedule with all participants and make sure to keep everyone on toes.
- Decide on a budget
I don’t know why, but most people overlook this step. Most people will want to spend money as the expenses approach, which is a very dangerous game since you won’t know how to allocate the money proportionately and which areas have more weight hence requiring more money. Drafting a budget will help you distribute the available money properly and will help you keep you on track and prevent you from overspending, which is very common whenever there’s no budget in place. Word to the wise, try as much as possible and budget only for the money you already have or have already received. Don’t budget for pledges or donations by friends and family or anyone else or even for ticket sales. Draft your budget with funds that you already have access to as this will give you a clear picture of what you can do if all other sources do not come through as expected. If they do come through, all the better.
- Establish how large the show will be and the ticket prices
Very critical to think about this as it will be influenced by your budget and it will influence your choice of venue. You might want to target a niche, which will allow you to sell tickets at higher prices or you could target a general audience which will bring in larger numbers and lower ticket costs. Depending on the value that your guests will get from the show and the demographic that you’re targeting, this will greatly determine how much the ticket prices will be and how many guests will be in attendance.
- Choose a date, time and venue.
After establishing how large the show will be, you need to set a date and time that will be convenient for the demographic that you’ve selected. The venue will be influenced majorly by how many guests you will be expecting. You don’t want to hire a large space when you’re planning to sell a hundred tickets only. Likewise, you also wouldn’t want to hire a small space when you’re selling five hundred tickets. Also, the accessibility of the venue should be put into consideration. How close is it to your target audience? You want to make it as easy as possible for your guests to get to the event venue.
- Select a theme
A theme can vary greatly. It can be in the form of colour, material, type of fabric, type of clothing. It’s actually fun to think of a theme. But be careful here, it’s a slippery slope. You don’t want to select a theme that might scare away designers. You want something that’s creative but also within reason. It’s a fine balance. Also consider that the theme will inform your choice of music, decoration, lighting at the event and social media campaign. So be careful when selecting it.
- Assemble a team
No man is an island. Truer words have never been said. Make sure you have around you people whom you can rely on and trust to help you make the event a success. There are very many facets when it comes to a high fashion event. You need people you can trust to help you run those various sectors during the planning and execution of a high fashion event. If you have the financial muscle, you might want to hire professionals to do the job professionally. If not, you can always enlist the help of your friends and family. Always make sure the friends and family you enlist to help you out are reliable people. It would hurt your show greatly if you enlist unreliable people to help you run the event since some aspects of the event won’t be at par with the standard you’ve set for your show.
- Choose models
This is where the fun almost always begins. You want to prepare a casting call and let it circulate for at least a week before the actual audition date. If you already have models, all the better. Each fashion show is different and requires different kinds of models. Some want tall skinny models, some want plus-size models while others want normal looking models. Identify the kind of models you need and try as much as possible to find that kind of models.
- Find designers
Depending on how big or popular your event is, this might be a walk in the park or a walk in hell. For newer events organized by lesser-known brands or organizers, it’s tougher to get designers on board as they do not know your track record. I’d advise starting out with designers you already know personally as they are more willing to get on board if they’ve seen your track record. Once those are on board, you can leverage them to get other designers on board by advertising that they will be showcasing. Once other designers familiar with them see that they will be showcasing, it will be as if they are vouching for you so that when you approach others, it will be much easier for them to get on board as you’ve leveraged other names.
- Find service providers
I usually find that sometimes service providers can make or break your event. It’s very important to get reliable service providers. Always make sure that for whatever service you’re hiring, you see the products in their entirety before the material day, if it’s possible, that is. You do not want to be in a situation whereby a service provider assures you that they have nice chairs and you place a deposit only to realize on the setup day that the seats are not what you expected them to be. Always make sure you work with reliable and trustworthy service providers. Also make sure that all service providers do their set up at least a day before the event so that in the event that there are any mishaps, you can quickly sort them and move on before the event.
- Get an MC
I’ve been to fashion events in which they got the wrong MC for the job and this totally killed the mood for me. Realize that there are different MCs for different occasions. Ideally, you don’t want a musical/concert type MC to MC at your fashion show since they will transfer all the principles they use in those events to your event. Granted, some MCs are versatile enough to do it, you just have to be careful. Ideally, you want to get an MC who is interested in fashion and has even been an MC at other fashion events. You have to brief the MC beforehand on what you expect of them, lay down some ground rules and some do’s and don’ts.
- Market and promote the event
This goes without saying. Whatever budget you’re working on, dedicate 40% of it to marketing. It feels like too much. But trust me, you’ll thank me later. Most beginner organizers usually think about marketing as an afterthought and dedicate whatever is left to it while marketing should be among your major priorities. The more people hear about your high fashion show, the higher your chances of it being successful.
This is critical to the smooth running of the show. Models obviously need more rehearsal time than anyone else. They need to know how to get on and off stage, where to pose, how long they’ll have on stage and the many other nitty-gritty that will be involved on the actual day. You’d want to organize for at least one or two rehearsal sessions with all the participants in order for everyone to know how the program of the day will run and what is expected of everyone.
- Schedule fittings
This goes without saying. Fittings are critical. They should be done at least two weeks to the event. In case of any problems with the costumes, designers will have enough time to correct them and redo the fittings in good time. Always make sure that all designers have attended and done their fittings to avoid any last-minute struggles.
- Enjoy the process
Unlike many other projects, planning a high fashion show is actually fun. It may get a bit intense and the pressure might build up a lot. Don’t get carried away. Go easy on yourself and enjoy the little moments that you have along the way as you prepare for your event.