When should you start planning your event at the Milan Fashion Week? The answer is, of course, yesterday, if not last week. September will be around in no time and any brand that has even a tangential interest in the fashion business is already at work on securing the best venues for all manners of events, from presentations to catwalks, from press conferences to cocktail parties. Whether you are planning to launch your brand by opening a pop-up shop for the duration of the Fashion Week or throw a party for your potential clients and business partners, you should start looking for the right venue now and secure it as soon as possible, before all the best ones are taken and the prices skyrocket. Our experience as event organisers during the Milan Fashion Week has taught us a few tricks on how to make the best of this unique and much-anticipated occasion.
Milan Fashion Week: how to secure the perfect venue for your event
Aim for the stars
The Milan Fashion Week is one of those events that incite curiosity and excitement and the kind of buzz in which trend-setters emerge. Everyone who is anyone, within the fashion world, is going to be there. And everyone knows it. It could be argued that the whole point of any Fashion Week – for the press at least – is to speculate on which brand will host the most excessive shows, to be awed by and comment on the most extravagant and outlandish pr stunts, the weirdest collections and the most surprising shows. It goes without saying that the bar has been rising for years and it is becoming increasingly difficult to impress this kind of audience. All the more reason for being unapologetic, when you plan your own event. Just being there is not going to be enough and it’s not going to get you noticed, particularly if you don’t know where “there” is. Hiring a venue “in Milan” is the bare minimum, but it won’t make your event successful. Take the time to research other events and find a venue that will place you next to the big names in your field. Try to get as close as possible to the mainstream events that will draw the kind of crowd you want to impress and then… impress them. Don’t be afraid to pick a venue with a unique style, a strong personality, a memorable decor. There are times, in life and in business, when understatement is your best option. And the Milan Fashion Week is not one of them.
Join forces with someone who is as motivated as you are
It’s not enough to stay hungry and foolish, if you are the only one with the Steve Jobs attitude. Particularly if you are growing your brand or launching a new one, you will need to team up with other players in the industry. That might mean working with brands who have an interest in reaching the same audience as you (the association between fashion and make-up brands, for instance, is a natural one), but also taking the time to research new media that might be trying to make a name for themselves – from bloggers to online magazines – and new venues that might be opening this year. There are several advantages to working with new venues. While you won’t be able to build on the existing prestige of a historic venue, you will be benefitting from the natural curiosity that new openings incite and you might be able to work with the venue management to get a better price as part of their own or investment.
Seek out local expertise
Local expertise is vital when planning a business event. Researching a venue’s reputation and history online might not give you the kind of practical, useful information that will make a difference when you plan your event. Working with a local events agency will grant you access to the kind of up-to-date intel that stays in the market and rarely makes it on the internet, as well as giving you more leverage when discussing prices. Events agencies are often discounts or extra services, on account of the number of events they organise each year. Moreover, you won’t have to worry about finding the right vendors and service providers for every aspect of your event, from sound system to catering.