Fashion week is the perfect opportunity to give your brand visibility and create buzz.
However, whether it is your first or hundredth time participating, it is never the same and can take your brand to new heights… or new lows if not managed correctly. Today, the success of a show relies mainly on your guests, especially VIPs and influencers, and their coverage of your event. More than ever influencer management is key, as a single post on Instagram by an opinion leader can either make one of your pieces famous or devalue your brand in the eyes of thousands or millions of followers. When managed correctly and if the right influencers are invited, the potential impact for your brand can be invaluable.
Build a Winning Guest List
Inviting the right celebrities and influencers is as key as preparing the event itself. Their attendance will be the first sign of measuring the success of your show, even before they start sharing their experience on social media. With that in mind, make sure you invite people who will be excited to come to your event and who are genuinely interested in your brand. Your fans know when someone is a real supporter like them or just a front-row filler.
The second key to success is to invite people that are connected to an audience that matches your target customer. An Influencer Relationship Platform (IRM) can help connect you to thousands of like-minded influencers. The right influencer management platform should give you data about their bio (resumé, lifestyle, family status and content categories), the type and quality of their audience (demographics, interests), and their relationship with those fans (engagement rate). When used correctly, an IRM Platform can help maximize the value of your show, leveraging these attendees not only for their attendance but for their ability to share your newest looks with their highly engaged and relevant audience.
Send Memorable Invitations
An invitation is often the first touchpoint between your brand and your invitee to start their journey to your event. Make sure you make an impression with visually stunning invitations that have a Call To Action. If you are sending it electronically, the best email software platforms today include simple Drag & Drop features and should allow you to customize your emails with any type of content (images, GIFs, HTML code) to ensure there is a seamless show theme from start-to-finish. Finally, track RSVPs in real-time to know right away who’s coming, who’s not and who might need a reminder.
Offer Flawless Check-in at the Door
Don’t forget to include a QR Code on your invitations to check in your guests easily with barcode scanning or an iPad. Using an app that allows you to add guest photos means your team will be able to immediately identify the attendee or VIP and quickly direct them to their seat. You could even take the tech up a notch and embed RFID chips in invites, to give your most important guests an even quicker arrival experience.
Create Seating Charts that will Enhance your Guest Experience…and your Coverage
A fashion show seating chart is not something that can be done randomly. Seating Anna Wintour next to a “nobody” is both a risk and a lost opportunity. However, sit her next to Beyoncé and your show will be on every social media channel in a matter of minutes and will receive tons of press coverage the next day.
Ensure you always have a plan b in case of a guest cancelling at the last minute. Digitizing your seating chart is a great solution to avoid empty seats and make adjustments, while working in one unique environment in the cloud so everyone can work from the same information. The digital seating chart allows you to easily move your guests at anytime and share real-time updates with your team to make sure that your fashion week front row will be the best it can be when showtime starts.
Set your Marketing Coverage Objectives and Work with Influencers
Your ultimate goal, and the reason behind your brand investing so much money in organizing events, is to generate coverage and create buzz around your latest collection. Your guest list is key in order to reach these objectives. However, relying only on your guests to generate some noise might be risky. Organic coverage is great, but not always under your control.
Paid partnerships with influencers are a great solution. Select influencers who are interested in your brand and who talk directly to your target customer through their audience. Set a contract to agree on the type of content that they will publish and when. And finally, do not be afraid to look for new influencers that might not be world famous…yet. You might find out that a micro-influencer with a niche but very segmented and loyal audience (between 10,000 and 500,000 followers) might be a lot more effective for your brand than a mega-influencer who can reach millions all around the world.
Extend the Experience with Gifting and Sample Loans
Shows can be very effective, however they give little time to develop relationships and share more about your brand with attendees. Sending gifts and samples after your show to VIPs, editors, and influencers is a great way to keep everyone engaged. Make it part of your PR and marketing strategy, and track how much coverage each one of these relationships yielded for your brand.
Track your Coverage and Measure the Success of Your Event
After investing so much time and money into organizing your event, you want to make sure that you can evaluate your success. Track your mentions online, in social media and print magazines. Monitor key performance indicators to evaluate the engagement and ROI generated. Coverage tracking platforms exist to help you save time and make sure that you do not miss out on any mentions about your event coming from a specific set of influencers and editors.
A great fashion show today relies on a lot more than a great collection. It is an opportunity to create buzz around your brand and to develop and nurture relationships with VIPs, editors, and influencers. Launchmetrics can help you manage your entire event seamlessly, support you in finding the right influencers to maximize your coverage, and deliver comprehensive reports to analyse and evaluate your success. Want to know more? Get in touch with us via this link.