Hosting a fashion show is a great way to raise funds for charity, debut a new line of clothing or accessories or gain media exposure for fashion industry professionals. On the surface, a fashion show appears to be a social and enjoyable event. Behind the scenes, however, such events entail a great deal of work and expense. Knowing how to get fashion show sponsors can alleviate some of the financial burden.
Establish how much funding is needed to finance the fashion show. Document all of the costs and expenses associated with the event to figure out the total cost to execute the event. Such expenses include facility rental, lights, photographers, audio engineers, decorations, stage equipment and gear, advertising materials and staffing. Ensure that you have included every minor cost and detail in your business plan so as not to go over budget.
Outline a solid event marketing plan. Even if you acquire adequate funding to pull off your fashion show, a strategic marketing plan is essential to attract an audience and make the event a success. Clearly outline all promotional strategies you intend to use, including email, article and social media marketing and any applicable television, radio or print ads you may run. Include the associated costs of each avenue of advertising you choose.
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Make a list of potential sponsors and determine a reasonable pricing schedule. Once you know how much your event will cost and how many sponsors you may acquire, create your sponsorship packages. Deduct the funds you have from the amount you need. Divide this sum by the number of sponsors you anticipate recruiting to reach a per-sponsor price that will cover your expenses.
Create a fact sheet and letter of proposal. Write up a short but detailed summary of your company or the organization hosting the event. Include details about the fashion show and how sponsorship participation will benefit both parties. Include any incentives, like free pre-event promotion, media exposure and on-site sales potential. You should also include a formal proposal outlining your sponsorship package and a condensed version of your marketing plan.
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Approach companies with related interests for sponsorship. For instance, you'll be much more likely to obtain sponsorship from a clothing store or fashion designer than an auto mechanics shop. Target only businesses in the fashion industry to yield results, such as clothing boutiques, shoe stores and jewelry or accessory retailers.
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Pursue non-monetary sponsorship. You can save a considerable amount of overhead expenses with non-monetary sponsorship. Asking local designers, clothing and accessory retailers and manufacturers to donate or loan out items can help provide wardrobe and jewelry to display on the runway. Try recruiting volunteer models from local talent agencies, caterers to provide refreshments and entertainment companies for hosts, announcers and DJs to save on staffing costs.
Rent out booth space to local vendors. If you have enough space, renting out demonstration booths to local businesses or vendors with similar interests can significantly increase your capital. For a predetermined fee, allow proprietors of beauty shops, nail salons, spas and tanning salons rent space at the event to demonstrate and sell products and services.
Michelle Renee is a professional trainer and quality assurance consultant in the career, education and customer service industries, with two decades of experience in food/beverage and event coordinating management. Renee has been published by Lumino and Career Flight as well as various food, education and business publications.