Holding An Event? Put Some Planning Into It.

If you have ever read any of my writing you know how I operate. I rip people’s heads off, shit down their necks, then shove their decapitated heads up their asses.

Today I break from traditions and offer up sincere opportunities for improvement without the bad words and insults. Just don’t expect this to happen very often in the future.

I don’t attend many events because I find events are usually poorly planned and orchestrated. They are uninteresting at best and painful at worst.

I recently attended one such event. I’m not going to say who organized and hosted the event because I’m not seeking to tarnish any reputations. My intention is that when I go to the next event hosted and organized by these people I will enjoy myself and it will not suck.

fashion show no show

I can dream right?

If you are going to host a fashion show here are some suggestions.

1. It’s August. Turn on the air conditioning.

Nobody wants to be in a room full of people in August with no air conditioning. Here’s the thing about temperature control that you need to keep in mind. People who are cold can put on more clothing. People who are hot cannot take clothing off.

And I’m hot. I mean that both as “jump my bones” hot and temperature hot.

I could’ve taken clothing off to cool down but then there would’ve been complaints about the giant anaconda snake. My body temperature is about 10° higher than everybody else’s. I’m the first person in a room to get hot and break a sweat. I’m the last person in the room to get cold. At some point a couple of fans came into play and started moving the air around.

No substitute for not using the air-conditioning. And if you don’t have air-conditioning don’t host an event in your space in August.

2. A fashion show should be as dynamic as possible.

Looking at girls standing in one place is boring. Especially when you consider your target audience.

Young girls. They have very short attention spans thanks to smart phones.

Me. I also have a very short attention span when it comes to fashion shows. And young girls.

This was not a runway show and I get that. Regardless of that concept it could have incorporated elements of a runway show.

Here’s what happened.

Five models all came out to the floor at the same time and stood in the centre of the floor. At that point the concept was that the spectators could and would interact with the models and ask them questions about the clothing.

Remember the spectators are primarily young women who have no social skills. Thank you smart phones.

This was mildly successful and that’s a good thing.

Here are some suggestions for improvement.

You are welcome for the free consulting.

A. Have the models come out one at a time.

B. Have the fashion designer or fashion stylist talk about the outfit each model is wearing.

If it’s a designer who designed and created the clothing she can talk about her ideas and concepts and intentions with each piece.

If it’s a stylist working with off the shelf clothing she can talk about why she matched particular items and what sort of visual impression she seeks to create.

Thus sequence of events would look something like this.

Model number one takes the floor.

The designer talks about the ensemble, her creative concepts and the process by which she arrived at those concepts. She drops a joke or a humorous anecdote every now and then. It’s called stage presence. You need to work on that. It’s important in life. I suggest joining a Toastmasters club.

When the designer is finished with her talk, which should be less than three minutes, five minutes at the absolute most, there is a pause in the action for photography. This is when the photographers can close in and take photographs of the model.

I will be shitting down the necks of photographers later in this blog post. Don’t want to disappoint my fans. I believe in giving the people (and the young girls) what they want.

Model number two takes the floor. Rinse and repeat. Designer gives her spiel. Photographers take pictures.

Model number three takes the floor. Rinse and repeat.

Model number four takes the floor. Rinse and repeat.

Model number five takes the floor. Rinse and repeat.

At this point you have all five models on the floor. The designer now talks about how the outfits work together as an overall concept. This is assuming they do work together as an overall concept. If the designer is good they will.

The models step down from their podiums and converge for group photographs with the designer or stylist. Then they go back to their individual podiums.

At this point, beginning with model number one, the designer or stylist makes a closing statement about that ensemble and then prompts the audience to give some appreciation to the model. She does this by saying something like “and finally give it up for Alice who is really rocking this tank top.”

She does this because standing on a little podium in front of a bunch of strangers who are staring at you is not the most comfortable thing for everybody in the world. The fact that these models were willing to take on this challenge shows they’ve got some courage. They could use a little reinforcement and support. Plus the more positive feedback the model receives from her audience the more swagger she’s going to throw into her performance and thus the better the fashion show will be.

Additionally I think we can all agree that Alice is rocking the fuck out of that tank top. And that tank top has a whole lotta fuck in it to be rocked.

Model number one now goes backstage and begins a quick change into her next outfit.

Meanwhile on the floor the stylist makes closing remarks for model number two, elicits audience appreciation, and sends model number two backstage.

Rinse and repeat for model number three. Rinse and repeat for model number four. Rinse and repeat for model number five.

Now with no models on the floor the stylist asks the audience if there are any questions about the previous outfits. If so she responds to them, then tells everyone there is a five minute break before the models come back out. There is a person with a timer who makes sure the break is actually five minutes.

The designer goes backstage to make sure the models are as they should be and in five minutes she comes back to the floor, introduces model number one, and the process begins again.

Dynamic. Interactive. Interesting. Informative. Kick ass. Orchestrated.

3. If you are organizing the event make sure you publish a clear timeline of what’s going to happen.

What time are doors. What time does the event officially began. How long is the event expected to last. Will there be a meet and greet with the models after the event.

4. When organizing an event attended by less than 50 people it is important for the organizer to work the crowd.

Talk to each and every person. Find out what brought them there. Elicit from each person some need they have and some skill or service they can and are willing to provide to others.

I know this sounds dangerously like networking.

Networking is an activity originating on the Seventh Level of Hell which I despise with every atom of my existence. Here’s the difference between this and networking. In orchestrating this event you have invited all these people to a party at your house. It is your job to make them feel welcomed. People feel welcomed when you talk to them about themselves. We all love to talk about ourselves. You may try to act like you don’t like talking about yourself but you’re lying.

You like to talk about yourself. I like to talk about myself. Those people over there like to talk about themselves.

Additionally if you can make a connection between two people who are attending your event they will remember you and appreciate you for it. Being remembered and appreciated is nice. I enjoy it and I’m a total asshole. If I enjoy it I know damn well that normal people enjoy it.

There it is. Free advice.

Yes I know advice is worth what you paid for it. Next time around I am available for consulting.

And now for something completely different.  The shitting down necks that my regular readers came here for.

boring photography


I’m not gonna be nice to you.

There were a number of people at this fashion show with cameras. One of them had a very expensive multi-thousand dollar camera. These people – I can’t call any of them “photographers” and even “people” might be stretching it – were taking some of the most uninspired and shitty pictures I have ever fucking seen in my life.

Yes I saw the pictures. I can see the damn screen on the back of the camera when people are taking pictures. Plus because I’m a photographer I can tell what kind of picture you’re taking just from the direction you’re pointing the camera, how you’re holding the camera, and how your standing. You people were taken some boring fucking photography. Ya got five fucking models standing in front of you yet you still manage to snap the most boring fucking photographs that have ever been fucking snapped in the fucking history of fashion shows in Fort Fucking Collins.

I need to get in some extra fucks to make up for the lack of fucks in the first part of this post.  Deal with it.

When one of the organizers of the show bent down to tie the shoe of one of the models this was a fantastic moment for photography. You have an unscripted event taking place. You have the organizer of the show interacting with the model. You have a piece of real life happening right there in front of you. And every piece of shit that had an expensive camera in their hand stood there with their thumbs up their asses. Not one motherfucker got a picture of that. You all fucking missed it. You all fucking suck.

You were all taking the same boring head shots of the models. You have models interacting with the audience. Get photos of the that. Get photos of emotion and human connection and genuine warmth and humour and smiles. And unscripted fucking moments.

Sell your fucking camera on Craig’s list and get a goddamn job in a cubicle. You have the creativity of a turnip.

If you are organizing a fashion show get a photographer who is dynamic and can take some pictures that don’t suck. Especially in a situation like this where the models are not on a runway but standing in one place. Get a photographer who can direct the models. Someone who can make the photography of the models part of the show. Part of the sceptical. Part of the theatre. Fashion photography can be dynamic and interesting and can capture people’s attention.

If you have a photographer that doesn’t suck.

Yes I am available to photograph your fashion show.

A big problem here in Fort Collins is that there’s not enough truth telling. If the organizers of this fashion show ask anybody who attended what they thought of the production those people are all going to say it was wonderful and amazing and fantastic. Because they don’t want to hurt any feelings.

This is bad mmkay. That response is not going to result in improvement. I want to see some improvement. That’s why I’m telling the truth. I want the next time to be better. If nobody tells you that you can do better it’s unlikely you will ever do better.

You’re welcome.

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