Search Laboratory and a group of some of our favourite fashion bloggers attended the House of Fashion event at Leeds Baracoa Luxe Bar last week to raise money for the Childrens Heart Surgery Unit at Leeds General Infirmary.
The event, which was sponsored by House of Fraser who showcased their SS14 collection, was a great success. Here we speak to a few of the attendees to get their opinion on what makes a successful fashion event.
Yuna Winter, who spoke to Search Laboratory Content & Online PR Executives, Jennifer Kelly and Natalie Clince, told us that a good event for her hinges on the venue and that she likes to get an insight into the brand and their products.
She said: “A good venue is always key. I also like to know what will be happening on the night a little bit before so I can plan my time at an event i.e. walking around and taking my own photos, when I need to be visiting certain areas for demonstrations, talks etc.
“It’s nice to know what’s happening so that you don’t miss anything out by mistake.”
Katie Nelson agreed and told us that she enjoys being able to interact with both her fellow bloggers and also representatives of the brands she knows and loves. She also finds networking very important: “As someone who is hoping to pursue a career in PR or Social Media within the beauty and fashion industry, making connections with a whole host of different people is something I really value from blogger events” she added.
Kellie Hill also feels like networking is a big advantage when attending a fashion event. When asking her what she enjoys most when attending these types of events, she said: “Really discovering more about the brand, the ethos and the people behind the brand, finding out things that you cant discover in a press release.”
Kizzy, the Events and PR Manager from Baracoa, added: “The House of Fashion event was a great success, we managed to raise over a £1000 so far for the Childrens Heart Surgery fund, a charity close to our hearts.
“We would like to thank House of Fraser, Russell Eaton Spa & Salon, AKA, Lisa Jayne Dann, Lush Apparel and all the models who helped make this event happen, we look forward to many more events in the near future.”
Here are our top tips for setting up a fashion event:
If you want to invite bloggers that you feel may be interested in attending a blogger event, make sure you do your research properly. If you are reaching out to bloggers that you havent spoken to, make sure you read their blog first and find out as much detail as possible to see if this is something they would like to take part in and suits their style. If there is a deadline to RSVP, always highlight this in your e-mail and ensure to get their full name so you can add attendees on the guest list.
Think about the details
When sending out your initial invitation e-mails, give as much detail about the event as possible. Inform when the event will take place and at what time pre-drinks or after parties take place.
Make sure you give directions to the location of the event and finally, provide as many details as possible of the event and what bloggers can expect, such as live make up demonstrations, charity raffles, fashion shows or complimentary gift bags.
This way, they know exactly what to expect and how suitable the event will be to cover on their blog.
Make sure you work out what your aims are when you are attending a fashion event, both as a blogger and as an agency or brand representative. Naturally, your main aim should be to establish or maintain relationships so work out how youre going to do this before you go.
It is always important to find out how you can ensure the relationship you have with the bloggers is mutually beneficial and sustainable – so speak to the bloggers to find out what it is they feel they can benefit from.
Use social media to your advantage! Bloggers communicate online and almost always have a twitter profile, so make sure you provide them with hashtag details should they wish to tweet about the event.
This will allow you to follow the conversations that take place and also help to build engagement at the event. If you are creating a hashtag make sure you stick to the following rules:
- Unique: If you are using a hashtag to promote an event, make sure that the hashtag is unique and simple.
- Catchy: You want your hashtag to start trending, so make sure that it is catchy so people dont forget.
- Relevant: It is also important to make sure your hashtag is relevant to the event, i.e. #BaracoaWhereItsAt or #houseoffashion
- Short: You only have 140 characters to use on Twitter to make sure your hashtag is short so people can still include a sentence in their tweet.
After the event following up by e-mail or by telephone is a must as you want to build/maintain a relationship with any bloggers youve met. It is important you follow up in the right way so always try to give them a gentle reminder of where and when you met and ideally, what you spoke about during your conversation.
If you spoke to someone and discussed a specific topic or a challenge they are currently having, then look for an opportunity to follow up by including content they find useful. For example, if you spoke to a blogger who wants to know more about how they can best optimise their blog, follow up with them and refer them onto useful resources such as this SEO guide for bloggers.
Images courtesy of Natalie Clince