Fashion events, such as the London Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week, and New York Fashion Week, enable various brands to impress hundreds of people with one or more shows and generate plenty of publicity. As a result, they experience a surge in sales, which they can sustain throughout the year.
If you are planning your next fundraiser and looking for a great idea, since fashion shows help generate publicity and money, you may want to consider hosting one for your upcoming event.
Hosting Your First Fashion Show Fundraiser
If you want your first charity fashion show to be a hit and bring in high bids, follow these tips for organizing the event:
Choose a theme
Although fashion shows have a reputation for pulling out surprises and sometimes having an unstructured program, your event will benefit more if you come up with a plan for this.
Deciding on a theme can help you get started on creating a plan for your charity fashion show. Your chosen motif will also serve as your guide as you create a fashion auction site that you can use for the event.
When selecting a theme, you can consider the nature of your cause or the programs you support. If the primary thrust of your organization is saving the environment, you can auction off outfits made of sustainable materials and created by eco-friendly labels.
If you want to rake in high bids, you won’t go wrong with choosing luxury or designer fashion as your theme.
Other themes you can also consider are teen wear, wedding, and seasonal fashion.
Create your team
To have a successful charity fashion show, you need to have the right team.
Choose among your employees, co-workers, or volunteers the best persons that can take on these roles:
Show producer: Person seeing through the theme of the show, creating a budget, hiring the personnel or looking for volunteers, and supporting the other team members.
Publicist: Responsible for promoting and generating publicity for the event.
Sales manager: Oversees ticket sales, manages sponsorship, and generates donations.
Backstage Manager: Responsible for overseeing the production of the fashion show.
Liaison or purchasing officer: Solicits or buys from designers, vendors, and other companies the products or services needed for the event.
Model coordinator: Hires the models or looks for volunteers and coordinates the outfit fittings.
Prioritize getting the items for auction
Whether you are purchasing or soliciting donations for clothes and accessories for the show, you have to do everything several months before the event.
If you are buying these items, go online to look or ask for recommendations regarding the ones that will sell or bring in big bids. You can ask auction organizers to ensure you will get only the best-selling and popular fashion pieces.
In case you are soliciting donations, create an enticing sponsor package first. It should highlight the theme and goals of your show and the mission of your organization.
Make sure you explain the benefits the sponsors will get from the event clearly, which includes free advertising.
Choose your venue
A spacious event venue that can be equipped with a stage and catwalk and a dressing area behind them is the ideal place for your charity fashion show.
If placing a runway is not possible in an auditorium or small venue, ensure the stage is big enough to give the models enough time to show off their outfits and accessories (your auction items) and for several of them to walk on simultaneously for the finale.
Whatever venue you choose to rent, book it in advance. Additionally, make sure it can accommodate your expected guests.
Finalize your models
Whether you are hiring professionals or getting volunteers to model during the show, finalize your list months before the event.
By doing so, you will have time to allow your models to undergo fitting to ensure the outfits they will wear fits them.
Additionally, by finalizing your models, your backstage manager can schedule rehearsals. This is particularly important if some of the volunteer models are joining a fashion show for the first time.
Keep in mind that even if the guests are not expecting a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show type of event, you still need to host an impressive one to get big bids. A successful event can also help ensure that your supporters will participate in your other fundraisers.
Promote the event heavily
The success of your fundraising event will depend greatly on your marketing efforts. As such, you have to go all out in promoting your charity fashion show.
Use your website and social media accounts to promote the event. Generate a buzz by blogging and sharing videos and photos of all items up for bid.
If you want to start raising money even before the actual fashion show, consider holding an online handbag auction or a silent auction for your other items via your website and app.
Additionally, leverage traditional marketing materials. Have flyers and posters printed out and distributed.
Make sure the artwork or layout will catch the attention of anyone seeing them and have all the details they need to know about the event, particularly where the can buy tickets, the venue and date and time of the show.
Get as much media coverage as you can, as well. Use press releases and work with local media outlets to let people know about your charity fashion show.
Iron out the details
Lastly, finalize the program and all the details regarding the actual event.
Delegate specific tasks to volunteers or employees before and during the show. These should include preparing and decorating the stage, setting up the dressing area, and helping the models with the outfits.
Make sure you have all the people you need to make the show successful as well. They include an emcee or announcer, a DJ, or anyone who will play the background music, makeup artists, ticket sellers, and ushers, to name a few.
Assign a team to assist the winning bidders, too.
If drinks and food are included in the ticket price, ensure you have organized everything beforehand too.
Finally, create a program for the show so that all events and activities flow smoothly one after the other.
A charity fashion show can be a fun and effective way to raise funds for your cause or organization. Follow these tips to ensure you find success with this fundraising idea.
P.S: Thanks to Darran Brown, the CEO and Founder of Go Charity.