Guide to Planning a Corporate Fashion Show on Long Island

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Corporate fashion shows are a break from the norm in terms of fundraising. It offers a fun event that entertains as well as informs, and provides your staff, their guests and other donors a chance to sit back, relax and enjoy. Of course, finding a venue for such an event is the hard part, but we're here to help. Answer the questions below to help secure the perfect spot for your fashion show:

  • Is there a specific geographic area you would like to restrict your search to?
  • Knowing what region you do or don't want your fashion show to be located in can easily help rule out several hundred catering halls. Of course the more specific your desired geographic area, the fewer options you have to work with. This fact may be very welcome to some overwhelmed party planners, but may seem frustrating to others who look forward to being given a variety of catering hall options. A good compromise is to first limit your geographic area to a very specific area. If you are not pleased with the choices of catering halls in that region, then slowly expand your search to the surrounding areas until you are happy with the number of choices being offered, as well as with the distance. Perhaps your decision has already been made for you if you would like to keep the corporate fashion show in the same neighborhood as your company's headquarters. Another good idea is to host your fashion show at or near the cause for which you are fundraising for.

  • Is there a specific type of catering hall (i.e. hotel, vineyard, restaurant, etc.) you would like to restrict your search to?
  • Limiting your catering hall search to the type of catering hall is another way to quickly narrow down your top choices. Knowing exactly the type of catering hall you would like to use can help organize your event quickly and efficiently. However, being flexible with the type of catering hall you choose can often result in a unique event that impresses all of your guests, including yourself! Hotel ballrooms provide a sort of blank canvas in which you can create the exact type of fashion show set up you have always envisioned. On the other hand, hosting a small fashion in the middle of a restaurant could be the unique edge you have always wanted to portray. You could even take advantage of certain catering hall's (some mansions, museums, etc.) daunting staircases to act as the runway.

  • What is the date of your corporate fashion show?
  • This may be an obvious "to do", but it is nevertheless an important factor in selecting the perfect catering hall for your fashion show. Just like selecting airline tickets, the more flexible you are the more likely it is to get better rates, options and availability. Your job as the planner is to ensure that the maximum number - if not all - of potential donors are able to attend the fashion show. Planning well in advance in order to set your fashion show date in stone is of utmost importance. It might also be a good idea to plan your fashion show at a time when most people seem to be more generous with their money (i.e. perhaps during the gift-giving seasons, and away from tax season!).

  • How formal an affair do you want your fashion show function to be?
  • As mentioned before, the level of formality of your fashion show can help you to select an appropriate type of hall if given the choice. It doesn't necessarily equate to the level of pricing of the catering hall. If you were hoping for a more laid back affair, then perhaps a formal hotel ballroom isn't the perfect catering hall for you, despite the large number of people it can hold. An outdoor location may be ideal for your fashion show function, depending on the weather.

  • Is there a specific theme you would like to portray?
  • Selecting a theme for your fashion show could really enhance the overall experience for the potential donors - which could result in increased fundraising! Of course, in general your theme could obviously be merely fashion - but you could take it a step further by perhaps choosing a location that is related to the area in which you are trying to raise funds for.

  • How many people will you be hosting at the fashion show?
  • The number of anticipated guests will undoubtedly help limit your catering hall choices, especially if it's a large number. This is true in terms amount of space and the pricing per plate of food. Depending on your budget, this could be the determining factor of where your event should be located at.

  • Will you be requiring onsite food catering?
  • Most of the catering halls we showcase on our website include food catering. However, some do not and will require additional cost and planning in order to provide quality food for your guests. Additionally, if the catering hall of your wishes allows onsite food catering, but not the type of food that you wish to feature, then you may be able to work out a deal with the catering hall's management in order to bring in the type of food you would like to feature.

  • How much do you expect to spend per plate?
  • As mentioned earlier, where your fashion show is located will largely - if not completely - depend upon how much you are able and/or willing to spend per plate. If you are especially interested in a specific catering hall, but the cost per plate is higher than you were expecting, you may need to rethink that catering hall, especially since your goal is to solicit funding. The worst thing that could happen is to offer expensive meals for a limited number of potential donors, and end up with a deficit rather than a surplus of funding. Another cost effective option may be to simply offer drinks and appetizers rather than a sit down meal. You could also just offer a bar service, making it easier for your fashion show guests to get drinks and enjoy the show.

  • Will you be requiring a Kosher, Vegetarian or Vegan menus?
  • Many catering halls do offer Kosher, Vegetarian or Vegan menus. If this is a requirement for your event, make sure your catering hall choice has this option.

  • Will you be requiring a full service bar or food stations/carving stations for a cocktail hour?
  • Most catering halls (especially hotels and large halls) will offer this service in a customized party package. If the catering hall of your choice does not offer this service in a package be sure to inquire about the additional costs and how it may or may not affect the overall scheduling of your event. As mentioned earlier, bar service and food stations/carving stations may be just the ticket for a fashion show where it is more difficult to get servers around the room.

  • Would you prefer a location with attached or nearby accommodations for out of town guests?
  • If your answer to this question is yes, then you should highly consider hotels as your choice of catering hall. However, pay special attention to non hotel catering halls that are in close proximity to other hotel accommodations. Most halls should have this information ready at hand.

  • Will you be requiring a party planner?
  • If you book your organizational/association fashion show at a catering hall, chances are you will be provided with an in-house party planner that can help ensure that your event goes smoothly. If you are not provided with one, but you are still interested in having a party planner, keep in mind that Long Island party planners have a wide range of rates, involvement and expertise. The catering hall of your choice could also assist you in finding a party planner who has been involved with past events at that location. In addition there are several planners whose sole expertise is hosting fashion shows (everything from hiring models, to dressing them, to putting makeup on them, etc.). Be sure to check out this option if it appeals to you!

  • Would simultaneous events at your location be acceptable?
  • This is an important, yet often overlooked, factor to keep in mind when booking your corporate fashion show. High energy neighboring events could distract from an organized fashion show. On the other hand, catering halls that offer simultaneous events could help keep your costs low. In any case, as the party planner, you should be aware as to what types of events may be going on simultaneously to ensure that your fashion show guests are comfortable.

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