5 Tips for Fashion Show Event Planning

Models are an important part of any fashion show, but there's a lot more to these events than the people showing off the clothes.

You enter a room full of people and see acrobats suspended from the ceiling, flashing lights and loud music. You may think that you just walked into a circus, but in actuality, you've just come to a fashion show. If you're blown away, then the event planner has done his job.

Because fashion is always changing, not only do designers have to be on the cutting edge of the industry, but event planners have to think outside the box to ensure their guests experience something new. If you're planning a fashion show and are intimidated by wowing your guests, we've got five great tips to help you organize an event that everyone will be talking about.


Continue to the next page to see how lighting and music will set the stage for success.

5: Create an Engaging Atmosphere

Having a great set up is the key to creating an atmosphere that grabs people's attention and keeps them wanting more. Choose a location that's impressive and works with the theme of the show. Use lights for striking effect at the beginning and end of the event (though not while the models are walking; everyone's focus needs to be on them) and have engaging music that also fits the theme. For example, if you're going for a modern feel, look for an urban loft or industrial building with exposed ceilings for a dramatic effect, and select music that's upbeat and energizing rather than slow and sultry. During the show, make sure the lighting is bright enough to showcase the designs and assist the photographers in capturing the event.


4: Take Advantage of Technology

The more technological touches you can add to your fashion show, the better.

Technology can be used to enhance the show for the viewers, even if they're sitting right next to the catwalk. Use big screens on both sides of the runway to give the audience an up close and personal view of the clothing worn by the models, and consider webcasting the event online. You could even host an online chat room to engage your virtual guests and keep them talking about what they see. Also, advertising is huge for these kinds of events, so utilize all your options, including social media and e-mail marketing.


3: Choose Your Models Carefully

Models will make or break your fashion show, so be sure to select them carefully. Choose people with personality that can keep the attention of the crowd. Looks aren't as important as you may think -- don't be afraid to pick models who have an edge or don't have the stereotypical model figure. Choose men and women who have a lot of variety in their looks -- thick, thin, tattoos, short hair, long hair and so on. The crowd will appreciate seeing a range of styles and body types.


2: Practice Makes Perfect

Yes, full dress rehearsals are a pain, but if you want your show to be perfect, they're necessary.

Practice the show beforehand with a full dress rehearsal. Let the models practice walking on the runway, do a run-through of the production elements and let the emcee practice transitions. Time your rehearsal so you know exactly how long it will be and where you need to add transitions and intermissions. Knowing what you're doing will make all the difference when it's show time.


1: Make Your Guests Feel Like Stars

Depending on the scale of your event, the people who show up may have been to hundreds of fashion shows. You'll want them to feel special and for your event to stand out, so do what you can to show them as much hospitality as possible. Give out goodie bags with samples of hair and makeup products, serve cocktails and finger foods before or after the show, and consider hosting an exclusive meet and greet with the clothing designers. Think outside the box and get creative!


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  • Entrepreneur.com. "The Event Planning Industry." (Feb. 9, 2012) http://www.entrepreneur.com/downloads/guides/1313_Event_Planning_ch1.pdf
  • Fortini, Amanda. "How the Runway Took Off." (Feb. 8, 2006) Feb. 15, 2012.http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/fashion/2006/02/how_the_runway_took_off.html
  • Milligan, Lauren. "And the award goes to..." (Feb. 25, 2010) Feb. 15, 2012. http://www.vogue.co.uk/news/2010/02/25/best-moments-of-london-fashion-week
  • Models. "Question: What are the requirements for being a model? Is there a minimum or maximum height, weight or other factor?" (Feb. 15, 2012) http://models.com/help/005-what_are_requirements.html
  • Patner, Josh. "Fashion Week FAQ." Sept. 13, 2004. (Feb. 15, 2012) http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/fashion/2004/09/fashion_week_faq.single.html
  • Solaris, Julius. "The top 5 tips for a cool fashion show." Event Manager Blog. June 13, 2008. (Feb. 8, 2012) http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/tips/how-to-fashion-show