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If you’re planning a fashion show and are intimidated by wowing your guests, including buyers and the press, there are plenty of ways an experienced event planner can organize an event that will impress them all and set you apart from last year’s news.

First ,establish a goal behind throwing this affair.  Are you promoting a new designer or trying to raise funds for a particular cause?  Having a clear vision of what you want to accomplish with the event is the first step towards planning a production that is cohesive and memorable.  Sometimes, themes can be in line with the cause you are trying to promote, such as “Wear Red” for cancer research.  A theme might be having the lights, or sets, or even the whole line showcase that color!  Or if your designer is young, urban, and cutting edge, you might have the event in a renovated industrial building with exposed lighting.  Making sure the lighting is flattering and bright enough to showcase the chosen designs enables photographers to accurately encapsulate the event, and buyers to really appraise the vision behind it.

In keeping with whatever the theme that has been chosen, discuss with your planner all that technology can add to the overall production.  For larger venues, huge screened monitors could be used on the sides of the runway to project each design as it is unveiled.  Also, nothing ever happens anymore without being simultaneously streamed live on the internet.  This increases your audience, as well as encourages real time participation while webcasting.  Live chats offer an interactive aspect to promotional events that is invaluable when collecting feedback.  Advertising is necessary for the success of these events, and taking advantage of social media and e-mail marketing is a big part of that.

Knowing what type of models to choose can be the making of a successful fashion show.  Working with a professional to narrow down the type of men, women, kids, animals, etc. that are desirable to capture the vision established in initial planning is a vital task.  These decisions aren’t just based on physical beauty, but overall image…Are you hoping for a wholesome image?  In that case you may want to steer clear of those with piercings or outrageous tattoos.  Conversely, if you are trying for that more edgy, modern look, you might seek models with those traits as well as funky hairstyles that can pull off more of a rock’n’roll  vibe.  Whatever the types of models you choose to go with, be sure to make them interesting!  Your audience will appreciate a variety of style, body shapes, sizes, and ethnicities.

It can also be helpful if your event company has a familiarity with the various “talent” in the area.  Professionalism and reliability are super important when choosing to hire someone to represent your brand, and these reputations are often known in the industry.  If your planner thinks someone is or is NOT a good idea for a specific project, you may want to hear them out as to the reasons.  This includes dressers, make-up artists, and production assistants.  “The show must go on is an adage” that holds true in all showbusiness, but cutting down on wild card variables will certainly make the production smoother and more put-together.  Looking back at various Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows, its obvious a thousand little things can go wrong-from high end model Ming Xi’s trip and fall (from which she recovered gracefully and continued on with a smile) to Karolina Kurkova’s shoe falling off right in the middle of her 2006 catwalk, after which she just kept on strutting.  Anyone less professional would have been flummoxed at the very least.

In order to prepare for any of these unfortunate mishaps, full dress rehearsal and run through of production elements is imperative.  That way, you and your event planner can work out any kinks before the event, practice what works and what doesn’t.  By running through the entire production in full costume, you can time how long it will take and if you need to add or remove elements to make it go more smoothly.  Maybe you will need an intermission, or the music should be set up to introduce a different portion of the show.  Do you have time for refreshments?

Which leads us to the overall goal of your fashion show…to stand out from the possibly hundreds of other events the guests have attended, photographers have showcased, and press has written about.  You do this by throwing a seamless, interesting fashion show AND by being as hospitable as possible.  This means, serve drinks and finger foods easily enjoyed while watching the show…nothing puts a damper on an evening like spilling on an expensive outfit or trying to use a spoon while writing notes on what the models are wearing.  Hand out gift bags, arrange meet and greets with the guests of honor, whether they are designers, charity organizers, or recipients.  Treat everyone like they are special, like an honored guest, because that is exactly how you want them to leave feeling.  An expertly produced fashion show can be an event that is remembered and talked about for a long time after.  And if it isn’t, what’s the point?

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