If you’re looking for a great alternative to the normal sit-down charity dinner event, then look no further than to a fashion show.
Fashion shows are different from other events in several ways; they are thrilling, fast-paced productions that requires a lot of hard work with months of planning. There are many key stakeholders involved that all have demands and different creative visions. Have you ever been in a room full of visionaries? Simply put, leave the egos at the door and prepare to plan with delicacy.
Create a Theme
Choose a theme that you can bring to life with every element of the event for the total guest experience! Start by understanding the mission of the charity or the overall fundraising goals of the event. For instance, if the charity has a program that focuses on the professional development of women and the connection to jobs, a show featuring women business attire would be appropriate and would resonate with the attendees.
Select the Proper Venue
For your typical venue search, you’ve already considered the location, crowd capacities and availability. But fashion shows require you to examine the venue a bit further. A few important elements, often overlooked, is the understanding of the lighting and sound capabilities. Ask the venue coordinator or AV technician for a demo of at least the lighting. Look for the potential of various settings and cues. Take serious notes as it can shift your budget if more lighting is needed. After all your guests is there to actually see the fashion, right?
Wait, there’s more!
Don’t forget the back of the house! It’s key to have a models’ holding room, place for hair and makeup and room for the designers to layout garments and dress their muses. This can sometimes be done in one room, but it better be a big one with easy access to the stage or main event area.
Become Familiar with the Fashion Industry
Now we’re not suggesting to go deep into the history, spending tons of hours of study time, but consider having some basic knowledge about the industry and all that goes into the production of fashion shows. As things begin to get hectic and you’re surrounded by fashion-savvy people, you’ll hear terminology tossed out that you may not be use too.
Get to know some of this lingo! We’ve got you covered with two you need to know.
- Call Time – This is typically the time the models are due to the venue. But it can be widespread with you hearing the designers, makeup artists, etc, each asking for their own call time which you can outline in your overall production schedule. Generally everyone knows to show up at least 15 minutes before the actual call time to be set and ready to go on cue.
- Comp Card – Not to be confused with the usual abbreviation for complimentary meals or stays. The comp card is carried by models that highlights their height, measurements, experience and other pertinent details to get them booked during the casting call.
Build with a Knowledgeable Team
As the event manager, you’ll be pulled in various directions so you should get organized, fast! You’ll need some hard working people on your team. It’ll be your responsibility to hear and please all of your stakeholders, but there are other key roles to consider for the event success. We recommend at minimum having these roles filled: a backstage manager to oversee the production of the show, model coordinator to coordinate casting calls and fittings, media relations coordinator to serve as the liaison for all media and photographers.
Bonus Tip: Have Fun
Fashion shows evoke emotion and allows your creativity to reign. Have fun along the way! Take a moment, even if it’s just 30 seconds, to be in the audience and experience the show.
If you’re planing for a charity event, it’s the ultimate “party with a purpose” that allows you to effectively couple fashion and philanthropy while raising awareness to a cause and meeting fundraising goals. Cheers to you creating a unique guest experience!
Photos By: Chuck Olu Alabi