Lagos Fashion Week 2018: 7 lessons for Cameroonian event organizers

heinekenlfw18

The Heineken sponsored Lagos Fashion Week 2018 is over but not without leaving behind big lessons for growing fashion industries in countries like Cameroon to learn from it.

The highly anticipated fashion event took place at the event’s center in Lagos from October 24 – 27 and we were right there for all the scoops!

After the success of such a grand event, it’s our duty to pick out one or two things which could help shape or re-shape Cameroon’s fashion industry, given the fact that, it can’t be compared to how huge Nigeria’s fashion industry really is.

Here are seven lessons we believe Cameroonian fashion event organizers and stakeholders could learn from the #LFW2018.

  1. Pre-preparation

For an event as big as the LFW to hold and hold successfully, pre-preparation plans towards the event began almost a year before the actual show down. A team is created to handle the affairs of the event and under the said team, are sub-teams headed by experts, to make sure all details are noticed and followed.

The team is solely formed to ensure the success of the event. It is to make sure, dates and events are organized and time is respected by everyone. From modelling and cast auditions, to picking out locations, light and sound engineers, final list of designers, which makeup brand to work with, what companies to partner with, media partnerships and media tours, guest list, ticket sales points, security measures etc, the teams in charge have to make things happen, no matter what!

  1. Publicity

The organizers of the #LFW2018 didn’t just leave the attendance of the event to its name or past glories or even to the fact that Nigerians love to attend events. Massive publicity was done, on and offline, five months prior to the event in October. From radio spots to TV ads and massive online commercials, the LFW had to be solid and well attended. Honestly, they nailed it! But this means a budget was set for the pre-preparation plans and they managed to follow it to the teeth.

  1. Décor

This year’s event was outstanding because finally, the LFW got its own space. A Nigerian blogger told us, “This gives them an identity and makes them better respected in the industry.” The organizers went for a black and white theme for the red carpet which was perfect for pictures. The place was neat, easily accessed, spacious and beautiful to the eye. A giant Heineken (major sponsor) statue rested on top of the tent, which perhaps made the company very pleased. The space was divided into various spots: the red carpet venue, the trade fair area, a VIP Heineken lounge, big enough backstage and the main runway hall. Perfect!

Finale! Ss19 @lagosfashionweekofficial __ #EmmyKasbit #HeinekenLFW18 #LFWNG

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  1. Runway

It’s a fashion show and all attention is on the runway! The #LFW2018 runway was not only amazing it was spacious! The runway space featured a wide black shiny floor, giant whiteboards at the background, two large projectors by the side, well arranged silver chairs for guests, a very talented DJ and sound system, plus timely music played and perfect lightings (from above the runway), the models and designers had to please with the way their pictures will come out.

  1. Time

This was one aspect of the fashion week which wasn’t respected. The daily events began pretty late and on some days, some people left the event even before the show started. However, Cameroonian fashion event organizers DO NOT have to repeat this bad lesson. When you say 6:00 PM, it should be 6:00 PM! Respecting time makes it possible for guests to trust and respect your event. They will always want to come each year because they know you will finish on time. They will also find themselves trusting every design they see on the runway only because they already trust the organization of the event.

Being on time means, organizers should ensure that the hall is set, red carpet set and lit, media men arrive on time, models are on ground 3-4 hours before kick-off time, makeup artists come even earlier, the sound and light technicians are on ground on time and so forth. It may sound difficult but if you began planning a year to your event, these things get even easier towards your deadline.

  1. Guest List

This is one very important aspect of any fashion show. The guest list is a reflection of what the show represents. Who are those invited? Who will buy the designers creations? Which company needs models for ads? Who will write reviews? Where can pictures from the event be found? Which music director will need video vixens later? At the #LFW2018, fashion stakeholders made 80% of the guest list. From fashion bloggers, fashion editors, fashion influencers, consultants, stylists, fashion retail store owners, small fashion stores owners, fabric manufacturers, advertising firms, car and tech companies, PR agencies, fashion photographers, video set designers and slay queens and kings, the vision of the fashion week was meant to go further than that Lagos venue. The designers, makeup artists and models needed to know that their time wasn’t wasted. As for the organizers, they had to make their sponsors happy (by getting more people in one place to create market for sponsored products) and also create influence in the fashion industry.

7. Sponsorship

Its simple! The Lagos Fashion Week 2018 was sponsored by liquor brand Heineken. However, they weren’t their only sponsor. Telecommunications brand, Techno, Farouz, Mitsubishi Motors Nigeria, and multiple fashion and beauty brands were also behind the fashion event. Meaning, having a major sponsor is great but seeking for support from smaller business ventures is very vital to the growth and stability of any event. Do not be afraid or less considerate of small businesses when it comes to hosting an event in Cameroon.

All in all, the #heinekenlfw18 went well despite the little hitches. Billionaire and business man Aliko Dangote was in attendance as well as various international media networks and fashion like Vogue were present.

 

Writing and producing content is my life! I mean...10 years of working experience can do that, right!? Follow me @joanngomba

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