Events are an important part of a fashion brand’s PR campaign. They can also be a fashion brand’s worst nightmare, but here are 10 easy steps to a successful shindig.
I’m definitely not going to give you my two cents on the latest fashion, but I do have an idea of how you can make your fashion brand or concept fabulously famous through a memorable, successful event.
Events can be scary, but they can also be very effective marketing tools.
All you need to remember is this very simple acronym.
(Purpose, Audience, Channels, Budget, Strategy, Measurement, Management, Equipment, Details, Follow-up).
Let’s start with purpose. There must be a reason you are promoting your brand or event. Do you have a new line? Do you have an interesting guest? Are you celebrating Valentine’s Day? Pick a purpose that will run through all the elements of your event.
Audience. Who do you want to attend your event, and who do you want to hear about it? Fashion bloggers? Cashed-up mums? Investors? Identify the groups who absolutely want to hit, as well as those it would be nice to hit.
Channels. There are so many to choose from now – be it the multitude of social media platforms, broadcast radio or TV, flier drops in shopping areas, blogs, newspapers, magazines, ads on taxis and buses. When you know WHO you are talking to (audience), it’s easier to firm up which channel is best for reaching them.
Budget and timeline. Bor-ing, you say. But this will make or break your event. These days, brands are looking for creative ways to do more with less, but things you may still need to pay for include venue, talent, F&B and marketing materials. Keep costs down by using your already-established relationships, by building partnerships with other complementary brands that reflect the same purpose and audience, and try to be clever about aligning your event with something your audience is already excited about (increasing their likelihood of attendance and support).
Strategise. Now that you have your budget and timeline, you need to make all the pieces of the puzzle fit together. How are you going to hit your audience via those channels you had established? How are you going to communicate your purpose? How much time do you have till the event takes place and what do you need to accomplish each week leading up to it?
Measurement. Before you start executing your bulletproof strategy, set yourself some targets. What will determine the success of your event? Media mentions? Attendance numbers? Sales? Make sure you place adequate weighting and direct budget towards the channels that will ensure you hit those targets.
Management. You’re nearly there, but before you press play, think about what you can do to make sure the people you are communicating with get the right message. Look at the materials you are giving press, and make sure there are no burning questions left unanswered. Brief your spokespeople on what they should and shouldn’t say to any press and make sure you prepare for the worst-case scenario.
Equipment. Technically this is the event management team’s role, but really, if the music is too loud, or there aren’t enough microphones, or your slideshow won’t play, or the lighting makes all the guests look a bit unwell in photos, there’s no point in having an event. Make sure you personally check all these components before the event.
Details. Again, you might think this is the event coordinator’s role, but what are the location, food, invitations, music and collateral going to say about the brand?
A lack of food, an awkward location, deafening music and tacky collateral can be all it takes to deter the media from what could otherwise be an amazing story.
Follow-up. So the event’s over – now don’t let all that hard work go to waste.
How are you going to track the success of the event, thank guests and media for their support, and give them something to hang on to, to ensure they continue to be interested in what you are doing? How can you make best use of the database you have built? A follow-up email with links to photos and regular (but not spammy) updates to let the guests know when you have special offers, or just that you are around, ensures you continue to build on the success of the event.
So, there you have it. A killer event, as easy as it is to say PACBSMMEDF.
Have a chat with us about organising a media event and getting the word out to ensure a successful shindig. Reach Joseph at [email protected]
Stop looking! Fashion Runway 2011 image by Henry Jose is licensed under CC BY 2.0.