What to Consider When Putting Together a Shopping Event

Are you thinking about putting together a fashion event or partnering with another brand? Events are a targeted way to get exposure and most importantly, allow people to see your product firsthand while you get to know your customers.

Event planning

With any event, you want to make sure it’s flawless, in-line with your brand image, and it’s worth the investment for not only you, but the people attending your event. Before you get into all of the fun and excitement of your brand’s very own fashion soiree, take a step back and consider what goes into making a great event.

Partners & Sponsors

Partnering with other brands and bringing on sponsors is one way to enhance your event. You can leverage their network and cross-promote to gain more exposure for your brand. Whether you partner with a brand within your category or not, consider giving it a theme or handle (e.g. Independent Designers Pop Up Shop) to create some hype and also to provide customers with a breadth of options. Plus, you don’t want to be the brand that promotes a good event and doesn’t deliver on a great shopping experience.

Sponsors are key and can help bring credibility to event. Even if you are just starting out, many alcohol brands, food companies or cosmetic lines are willing to work with you for exposure. If you provide an enticing package, you can oftentimes work out a mutually beneficial trade.

So, what can you offer them? Common sponsorships include being mentioned in the press release, logo on promotional materials, in gift bags and being a part of the brand’s social media push. Also think about in-venue exposure such as allowing them to have signage, a dedicated section or crowd shots with their product beautifully romanced.

The key here is to be explicit about what’s included in the sponsorship and to deliver on items pre, during and post event. In your pitch, be sure to quantify exposure and reach (e.g. A promotional flyer will be posted to 1,200 fans on our Facebook page).  Ultimately, you want to make sure that your partners are a fit with your brand image and target so you can continue to build a relationship with all parties.

Publicity and Promotion

Promoting your event is key to a strong turnout and utilizing all your networks ensures that everyone (you want to) knows about it. Event listings on Facebook, LinkedIn, Eventbrite, blogs, Twitter and now, Google + are crucial because of their sharing capabilities and extensive databases. With that said, let those sites do the heavy lifting!

If you are paying to be a part of an event, be sure to ask what type of exposure your brand will be getting? Good questions to ask is whether there will be a pre and post event releases, email blasts, photos, media that will be covering and who will be attending. Again, make sure it’s a fit with your brand (do you see a theme here?) and worth doing.

Costs

The costs associated with an event are inevitable and can add up quickly. Partnering with an established entity like Shecky’s Girl’s Night Out may require you to pay a flat fee or some companies may take a percentage of sales. You’ll have to determine whether the sales and/or the exposure will give you a return on your investment.

Other costs to consider are your sales and promotional materials, and of course, inventory! Will you be making products specifically for this event? Buying materials is another cost but so are merchandising items like rolling racks, tables, and displays that are necessary to making your product look good.

As you are putting together logistics for your event, be sure to answer a couple key questions too. Specifically, the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How’s of the event.  These questions become your checklist for a successful event and can be used to craft a succinct, informative press release. Now, after you’ve done this, go get excited about your event!

Contributor
Contributor

StartUp FASHION is an online community where independent designers and emerging brands are coming together, helping one another, forming friendships, collaborating, letting off steam, sharing victories, and belonging to a network of people who get it; who are doing it too.We’re a place to access and discover the tools and information you need to build your fashion business. We help you define your path and give you the guidance, encouragement, and resources to follow that path.

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