It sounds like a lot of work to organize an event like a fashion show for kids but truthfully with good planning and structure it can be simple. I am excited to share with you How to Organize a Kid Fashion Show because I just did it and it was amazingly successful. I am proud to say that I worked hand-in-hand with Beyond the Blackboard in Southlands Shopping Center and Great Pretenders. Together, as a team, we created an experience that the kids will always remember. I am the Marketing Maven at Beyond the Blackboard and proud of the events we share with families. I love the dress-up and pretend-and-play items from Great Pretenders so I can honestly say that this was totally fun from start to finish. This post is sponsored by Great Pretenders but the planning, ideas and opinions are my own.
I am going to share the steps on How to Organize a Kid Fashion Show one by one, in order. Know that as you go through the process, you might find yourself stepping back and making changes or updating things from previous steps.
Create a Team
All great events have a team of people that worked together. Plan to have people to fill the following roles. Whatever roles do not get covered will fall on the organizer (YOU) so. A suggested team would have a marketing person (social media and email marketing as well as more traditional), make-up/ hair artist, photographer, emcee, helpers for dressing the kids and keeping them in place, costume coordinator and support crew (greeters, clean-up, snack table, etc.). Depending on whether you are providing extras (goody bags, sweet treats, crafts, etc.) at your show will determine how many helpers you need the day of the show.
Choose a Venue
This is super important. Be sure that your venue has enough space for your event and has the necessary components to a successful show. If you are playing music, you will need speakers. If your kids are getting dressed on site, you will need a private place. If you are having a craft, you will need tables. A runway can be whatever works in your space. Kids are just happy to be in the “light”.
Costume the Kids
Have parents help with this step. Depending on your theme, the costumes/clothing could vary. Order the clothes to arrive in plenty of time for fittings. If you are holding your event in a retail store setting, the kids can come in on specified days to try their outfits on. It is fun to have them hanging up with fun themed name tags on the hangers. A suggestion would be to KEEP THE COSTUMES together until the day of the show.
Choose kids in whatever way works best for you and your event. If you are doing this as a birthday party, clearly you will invited friends. If you are doing this as a community outreach, you might have a contest to model. If you are doing this as a retail store, you might like to ask some of your best customers to participate.
Choose a Photography Plan
Hiring a professional photographer is always a great idea. Agree on a fee up front for the photography and rights to the photos. Have the parents of your models sign a photo release if you plan to share the photos in any way.
Plan the Extras for the Event
There could be a lot (or a little) to this step. Each extra thing you add to the fashion show requires planning and preparations. Some ideas are goody bags for siblings or guests, snacks/treats, craft stations, dress-up trunk for siblings, dance contest and/or professional photography. If you are doing this as a retailer, you might want to offer a discount on the day of your show or some other kind of incentive.
Day of the Event
Have everything prepped a couple of hours before the event begins. Be sure to have plenty of support people in place. Keep things moving, If you have a kid who get scared and won’t step on the runway, just keep going right on to the next. If you have a kiddo who wants to go more than once, let them go as many times and they want after the last kid gets a chance. Remember that this is supposed to be FUN.
Thank your sponsors with written notes. Thank your models and parents in a way that shows them you appreciate their participation. You might let them keep their costumes or give them gifts. When your photographer sends you the photos, share them in the way that you had planned with your sponsor and the kids.
We had the kids come in to try on their costumes the week before the show. This allowed changes and alterations (and we had a few). This made the dressing up and getting ready on the day of the show effortless. When it was time to do photos, it was their second time in costume which made it a bit more natural. Here are some of my favorites.
FASHION SHOW TIPS
Okay, let me share some of the things that made our event so special. These are the things that make me feel like I can share with you How to Plan a Kid Fashion Show. We started planning several months ahead of the show, allowing a timeline that took pressure off of the different people with different roles. Here are some of the things that worked great.
Hire a good photographer. All of the photos are the masterpieces of Farrah Jobling (except this next one)!
Let the kids be themselves. If you have older kids, let them put a twist on their costumes to allow for self identity.
Provide a mirror. The kids looking at themselves in costume is magical. It is a totally different experience from looking at a cameral.
Have a dedicated make-up person for the kids.
Allow older kids to come and help. These girls are Cadette Girl Scouts and earned hours for volunteering.
Having a trunk filled with extra clothes was a huge hit. Customers who came to watch ended up dressing up and participating at the last minute.
Here are a few of these sweet kids.
Have snacks and definitely water!
Be sure you have a lead person to help the kids on and off the runway. The amazing owner of Beyond the Blackboard, Jacqueline Killian, is so fabulous with kids. She might have had as much fun as them. Did you know that Jaqueline is also on the Board for ASTRA. She is an example of what it looks like to truly be commited to the world of PLAY and childhoods filled with it.
This is me after the last kiddo jumped off the “runway”. I was then and am still, so proud. I am proud of these kids. I am proud of my team. I am proud of me!
If you have any questions about How to Organize a Kid Fashion Show, ask! I am totally willing to support you in hosting an awesome event too!
Cheers to the Magic of Dress-Up, to Great Pretenders and to Beyond the Blackboard!