Pre-Show: Create a Timeline and Checklist
This is again a little bit more logistics and here way want to think about the big picture not just the event so uh we want to think about the announcement and this is where I mentioned before about reverse engineering you kind of want to think how far out do you want to talk about this because if it's too far out people will forget about it so you want to think in terms of a save the date and then uh invitation and then maybe even a follow up as a reminder to get there are supes in so you want to think about what that timetable is and there's no right or wrong really you know you can kind of adjust it tio your audience is needs you know what you think their needs are but I would say you want to have the cps far enough in advance that you can plan for instance seeding you know if you have two hundred people are cp and you have a venue that seats one fifty you know you have a little bit of a problem so you need to figure that out so you want to have a cut off that's early enough that yo...
u can tell if you're working with the venue what you know what your needs are and then also work backwards from that and say ok, the reminder will come two weeks before and then the same that they maybe I don't know a month before, but once it gets past that, it's just starts to get really leggy that's about the most distance from the event that I would give it. But besides picking a date for the event and for the announcement, you need to think about what that announcement is going to be like and this is where you pull in all your great graphic design friends and you start to say let's, collaborate on on what this is going to look like, how it's going to reflect mia's a designer but then also the event itself and a great place also not so much the invitation but if you and do any printed materials for the show it's a great place to thank people be careful with uh I was just a little warning about programs and things like that sometimes they're a necessary evil for events, but they get very logo heavy everybody wants their logo on it and just lots of thank you's that's all great, but I would challenge you to make that program a little bit more of a keep sake rather than a programme and saying what could I put in their image wise or story wise or something that people go oh, this is really special I want to keep this s o instead of just, you know, just doing logistical stuff even though that's very important that you want to acknowledge everybody, uh, I would say make it a little bit more special because one of the things I've noticed over twenty years is that programs andi, any kind of handouts like that at a show usually end up under the seats and it's, just a matter of cleaning them up afterwards for recycling. So you want to give them a reason, just like with the press, you wanna give him a reason to take home that collateral that you've created all right promotion when it comes to promoting the show, just like the timetable for for all of this, for the for the date, you want to think about rolling out a campaign that's like in advertising, you want to serve, roll things out and ask yourself, when is a good time to send that press release? When is a good time? A little note on that. The key to that is finding out where you're sending it and what their lead time if you send a magazine. Ah, press release for your event, that's happening in four weeks. They won't write about it, they may come and cover it, but you can't count on that, but they definitely won't write about it and help you promote it, so because they don't have the time line usually it's at least four to six weeks in advance, so but online services or online calendars or daly's, could be, you know, someone you approach a little bit, you know, with that kind of lead time, um, and then you want to think about what are the messages we talked about this earlier about creating different types of messages for different audiences, different sizes? Um, I went through this when I was thinking about this course, you know, how often am I going to tweet how, how much? How many posted a magnet on facebook and it up my time was really completely filled, so I didn't do much of it, but I tried, but the plan was I thought about it and said, how am I going to roll this out? You know, how am I going to tease it out earlier? How we're going to make it sound exciting and it's interesting, because working with the creative life team has been really cool because they have their needs as to how they roll things out, and they encouraged me to think about how I would connect with my audience around the course because it's a little different than the bigger audience you know the scope of the company so when you're working collaborating with different people think about those elements like you know, a week before there has to be a really good facebook post the week of I'm tweeting every day you know, sending a little message yes, some examples of what what those tweets might be or what what's the content they would put in one of those facebook post to get that attention because it's very different the facebook post I almost treat them as archive oh, you know, I think of them about sort of letting these like sort of stone sit in place that they'll you know they'll have ah shelf life so I think of them is like this is a good post that takes someone where that tells someone a story or connects with connects them with somebody who's important part of the show like the charity you know, it might be a whole event about, you know, the one of the people that the charity is helping and how the designer met that person and they're part of the show those air interesting little stories that you can go sort of longer form when you're tweeting I often find either they're sort of fun energy you know all about the energy of the show so little perceptions of what's going on but also they're really really good for called toe actions so you can put something out there and say, you know if you are sleepy for the show today or if you are goto get your ticket today it's going to be twenty percent off so you think about that the early bird conferences do that a lot where if you get your ticket by a certain time and you announced this on the website and the invitation but then you reinforce it with tweets and posts and andi you have instagram which is I think we talked a little bit about this about giving people this visual insider uh look into what you're doing not just the process but when you're putting together a show you're doing the model casting click click click you know and not necessarily the specific model you know because that could be a little like you know that's not a special but the environment like get a picture you know walk to the corner of the room there's a lot here in the studios like cool shots and you know and get a shot of the room and get a shot of the like behind the people you know, checking out the model als o are the models all waiting and looking really bored you know, like all these different kinds of things that could be fun and exposed your your audience to this whole experience with you all right um prep it sounds pretty easy, but you need to build in a really sensible block of time went in for just the prep of the show you want to anticipate any issues, pack tool kits? You know, we were talking about this with the guides actually that's a good place to kind of bring up the gear guide for fashion shows. I have it here at the back and so many of the things it's a long list, so I'm not going to go through the hole thing, but you want to think about the care of the clothes, what you need to do once it arrives, you know, for instance, like steamers and irons, and then even just a little side note, you want to make sure at the venue that you can plug those things in hair and makeup. You want to see so many hair dryers anymore, but hairdryers, you know, step of a lot of electricity, so you're gonna make sure you don't blow a fuse but getting back to the gear guide all different kinds of tapes, pins, sewing kits, scissors uh oh straws for the makeup kids so that they don't ruin their makeup and still can drink, and that could not pass out on you, you know, little things like that and index cards, sharpies, travel bags, hangers, music you know like have something where you can play music because that can always help set a mood all these one like all these little minute little things that you made sort of take for granted but when you get there like if only I had that ah a key thing about models and just your team in general what you want to really consider is having food and water for for your team's especially if it's going to be a long period of time I have had models faint backstage just waiting just waiting they just completely pass out and you know, having bananas or water you know, bars, health bars, whatever it is you do want to make sure that whatever food did you get isn't dangerous for your clothes so you know we're gonna have red wine backstage or anyone for that matter s o but you want to think about you know, those kinds of things because I'm guilty of it most you know, every once in a while I get a reminder from when the crew here drink some water because I forget on dh so you have to remember when you're in the moment you need that person who's checking you know, it's playing mother so to speak and it shouldn't really be you it should really be someone on your team who's checking in with you to make sure everybody's okay and that is a incredibly valuable thing so okay, so the prep there's so much going in just the prepping what you're bringing never mind just prepping the collection and we also talked about in the making stage how finishing and packaging everything how are you transporting it if it's going in a car for instance, all your clothes are going to be laying down right there going to be flat so how is that going to affect your clothes for some clothes that won't be a big deal for other close it will mean lots of work at the venue so it might be worth it to hire a van that has you know that you could put a rack in standing up and actually drive it out and have the clothes and perfect you know, in perfect condition when you get there um in this block of time you also need to consider communications making sure that throughout this whole process you make sure all the people that you have coming are you're checking in with people who make here they're getting in okay, they're not lost they know the entrance of the venue that they need to go through rather than the first one I mean the audience one and so that takes a lot of planning and you have to allow yourself that and I know a lot of designers you see in movies and television shows working to the very last minute you know, they're sewing something on before it goes on stage. That's gonna happen? It shouldn't, uh, it shouldn't really be happening right before the dress goes out. If there is an accident or something that makes sense, but your clothes, you should have them done well in advance, and not only just so that they're ready for the show, but in promotional materials the very day after the show or even the day of the show. You might want to have already photographed all your pieces, so when you have because a customer, possibly when you have press that's something as your your design team, your assistant or your press person, I can hand off in a moment and it reinforces that whole possibility of people writing about you, but it takes a lot of planning tto have this clothes ready way, way in advance when we work with our launch designers in boston, which are new designers that were kind of helping get in the public eye, their clothes have to be ready a minimum of two weeks before the show, because we schedule a photographer to shoot every look so that once the press asks, they don't miss an opportunity to get in the press because those items have already been photographed, okay, and again, it doesn't have to be a big, fancy shoot. An editorial it's almost better if it's, you know, white space and it's more of a catalog field. But you've documented and also for your archives is a designer it's good to do that, uh, set up a schedule, the sequence so you want to know what makes sense a lot of designers initially, we'll have everyone show up at the same time. You want to stagger everything for when you need them. If you have everyone show up at the same time, not only do you have a lot of people just waiting around for hours, but you get a lot of angry people waiting around for hours, so really try to think, how early do I really need this person? And we get teo, we're going to talk about it in a minute about the post show, but you want to do that at the end of the show is, well, you want to know who's going to be with you at the end of the show? Because if it's a long event, you might not be the same team staging sets and choreography we touched up touch about this, but again planning it out with the professionals or eliminating an altogether, you know, saying, I want a clean, clean slate and then show time just a little advice. Um the audience and what its and and and what is supposed to happen they don't know what's supposed to happen they don't know the order that dress is supposed to go out in. So I've had shows that where the designer will hold all the models because one of the looks is not ready. The worst possible thing you could do nothing worse than dead time on a runway people get fidgety, it looks terrible, they don't know that that model is supposed to come out next so it's better to have a great flow and go with it and have fun and act like this is the way it's supposed to happen than to apologize or to make people wait. So remember, this part of your fashion experience is not so much about you as about the experience that you're sharing, so just a little tip like they don't know what's supposed to happen, so whatever happens, this was supposed to happen, okay? And we have a question here from wonderful yeah, I was just going to say that I'm struck by how all of this relates to planning a wedding, and all of those things are exactly what people need to have happen when they plan their wedding and actually what had happened bright suit, they hire a wedding planner because often this is so overwhelming and they're concentrating on being the bride so it's just like with the designer you want to make sure you have this incredible team and what I would suggest to if you don't have uh sort of this team in place think about working with people that you think that you might identify as being good at certain things that maybe have never done it before and being honest I've never done it before right? So you say to them I've never done it before but I think you'd be really good to do this part and on dh working with them and coming up with strategy for like thinking it's because sometimes out of not having done it before and this comes into that place where if we haven't done it before this seems like very foreign and distant but if you haven't done it before sometimes you can come up with new and fresh ways to look at it that no one else has seen because they're so used to you know the structure that's been in place forever yeah well I would love to see if anybody at home or anyone here has additional questions on the subject matter that are things to consider challenges that you've had in terms of I'm getting to this point uh or any further experiences that you want to share well I think everything we talked about so far is pre show yeah this is like this huge pre show checklist this is before you even get get the girls on the runway and uh it's important not to again like I said before about other areas it's not tow located as a chore even though it's exhausting sometimes even talk about it and think about it it's just like feels like so much if we compartmentalize and we break it down and we take it one nugget at a time we can allow ourselves to do a lot with it and then also as I think I mentioned earlier when you asked me about you know, do I lose sleep over fashion shows nowadays and it's like not anymore and the main reason is I delegate so I make sure I worked years on developing relationships with incredible people who are really talented at what they do and on and we collaborate on all the issues in advance and then they take the ball and run with it and in all these areas and and after a while you build up a real trust and you know, not only does she have your back but she's going to deliver and probably surprise you in a really good way so yes, I have a question here um uh I found some some when I've done these shows and I've also done some other not fashion shows but other events and uh I've I've actually they used to have to do with the arts and stuff like that, but I've always yeah, they're stressful and you know there's a lot of work to be done but I've always looked at it uh from the standpoint that it's all part of the creative process because it's you have your let's see your outfits or what your designs that you're showing but this is showcasing everything zall big part of the theater tire design process it's like it's like the finishing touches on a big picture oh and and to look at it like that kind of takes the stress out of out of, you know, thinking home well because I mean it really is a whole other job and like a lot of the things we way spoken about, you know, the research phase the sewing, the construction, the pattern making not we're not going to be experts at all of them and we need to really embrace that in a good way and saying it'll if anything we're saying to ourselves, well, this is going to help me figure out what I'm really really good at and I know I've done a lot of things over the years and I love designing I love drying I love making patterns all those kinds of things but I realized that the communication aspect of it was what was I mean, I could just go on for days talking about it and doing it and I lost time you know how they say you lose time and that's, what you should be doing and so in that come out of years of training in all different times of things. But all that training and all that information is I feel what kind of makes me good at what I do and it's funny, they say it's really funny. They say that what you were scolded for when you were a kid often is what you're really good at as an adult. And I remember on my report cards, j I's doing jacob was doing very well in class, but he would do so much better if he stopped talking in class and that's. All I do is an adult is talking about what I do, and I love it, you know, and and thankfully, people are willing to hear what I have to say, but, yeah, it's, like a lot of times you can look to those things that aaron ate ly a part of your nature and go with it. So I was always getting caught passing notes teo way talking way are, uh, jay wanted to ask a couple of questions before we dio you continue on and we have in the beginning, we started to talk about when you look at whether doing a fashion show is something you should even consider is the why and what is it that you want out of it so libera cheese saying I'd like to know how to make the average customer feel like fashion is relevant to them I understand putting models who look like you're customers in the show however, I never got the sense of washington watching shows from say, new york fashion week that those folks are actually speaking to me so can you and I think that's a lot for a lot of people who look at it I think it depends that what your goal is because the goal of shows for instance during new york fashion week and I don't want to say all shows but good majority of the shows is not to relate tio, as you know, has the individual who's looking about fashion it's all about perception and fantasy and you know this this imagery in this lifestyle and fantasy that they're creating so there often the clothes that you might see on a big show much of it might not ever make it to the store. But the feeling that you got at that sets the tone for why you would maybe pick up an accessory or pick up you know, a scent or pick up you know, whatever it is that will make you feel like you're connected to that fantasy, you know, we saw the karl lagerfeld beautiful experiential shows where he does these incredible sense so if you buy into that collection in anyway, whether it be an accessory or just, you know, perfume or whatever it is, you feel like you have a link to that, but it's less about being relevant to our lifestyle and more about selling you a fantasy. But that's, not the strategy of every fashion show that's why we talked about why that's definitely promotional and they're setting the stage is like the biggest advertising investment because they are setting the tone for that season, saying, this is what we're focusing on, and we invite you to be a part of it, whereas, you know a show that might be about the community and real time it's, you know, it's really about connecting and reflecting so but even with the big designers to do these big shows you the consumer for this product, even if they're not that age or that size that's what they want to see, they want to see the very young, tall, skinny model, because when they put on those clothes, they want to imagine themselves like that. So it's a part of the fantasy and everybody is different, so that's, the beauty of it is that we can interpret it however we want.