Every February and September, bloggers and fashion girls alike travel to New York City for one of the most exciting times of the year: Fashion Week. But for those who have never ventured to the NYFW runways, the entire process on how to prepare and get tickets to shows can be a bit confusing. Here, we’re breaking down an easy timeline to follow so you can make the most of your first trip to New York Fashion Week.
8-12 Weeks pre-NYFW – Pitch Hotels
Attending NYFW takes planning. So about 2-3 months prior to the shows you need to work on pitching hotels. (For those that live in NYC, the Tri-State area, or have a friends that live in the city, obviously this step doesn’t apply.) What we mean by “pitching hotels” is to find a property that’ll offer you a complimentary stay during the week for your NYFW trip. Reach out to a handful of hotels asking if they would host you (or your group of blogging peers) for a certain number of days in exchange for social media/blog promotion.
Because this is a busy time of year and you may receive “Unfortunately due to the high volume of guests this time of year we’re not able to collaborate at this time.” emails. Which is OK and you shouldn’t take as NO. Instead, ask f they can’t comp your stay, ask if they have a media rate? Get a group of bloggers to stay with you to help split the cost and expand the coverage. But also remember that you’ll need to pitch a LOT of hotels to find one willing to work with you, so don’t feel discouraged. Aim for the more boutique hotels who could use the coverage/have a small social media following. Trip even going to Trip Advisor and search “best boutique hotels in NYC” and start emailing them all. Whether you’re OK call asking for a PR contact, or sending an email their info@ hotel name accounts – get your request out there! The best is when you find a direct email to someone in their PR department. Really, it just depends on the hotel.
In your email pitch, include your blog name and highlights of your brand (were you featured in a magazine, named a city style-setter, etc? Something that makes YOU different) and the dates you’re in town. Also include your social media reach and what you’re willing to do in exchange for a stay. Keep this email short and sweet, maybe 1 paragraph, and that’s it! And don’t attach your media kit unless they request it.
4 Weeks pre-NYFW – REQUEST SHOW TICKETS
About a month or so before the shows, you’ll start seeing the schedule fill in for what shows are when during NYFW. You can google “NYFW (insert season) Show Schedule” and you can find it that way. Or even look up the previous seasons schedule (you can find it here) and make a “wish list” of shows you’d like to attend to stay organized. Then research PR contacts off of that, kind of like how you did for your hotel pitching. Remember, a lot of shows/presentations are NOT listed on the official schedule, so you’ll have to do your research.
So what does it mean to “request” when it comes to NYFW? All it means is that you’re reaching out to those PR contacts asking to be invited to their NYFW show. When you send a request email, keep it short and sweet, just like the one you did for your hotel pitch. Divide up your emails that you’re sending out to PR Agencies and then the emails you’re sending directly to brands, since the verbiage is going to be a bit different. For PR agencies, send a somewhat generic email asking for invites to any shows/presentations they’re coordinating this season (if I’m not sure what they all are) and for brands I’ll directly ask to attend their show/presentation.
2 Weeks pre-NYFW – FOLLOW UP EMAILS & SET UP BRAND MEETINGS
Follow up! Every single ticket request you sent (if they didn’t respond) should get a follow up email. Nothing long, just simply saying you’re following up on your request. You’ll typically get more response from these follow up emails then the originals. That’s why this step is so important. As you get invites to shows/presentations, organize your calendar and don’t RSVP YES to a something that you know you won’t be able to attend. Brands know when you’re a no-show and you don’t want to get the reputation as the blogger that says they’re going to come to things and never does.Only say YES to things you know you’ll be at.
This is also the best time to download the Fashion GPS app. Majority of brands use this app to send ticket requests and seat assignments, in addition to via email. NYFW Shows you RSVP yes too will pop up in there and it’s an easy way to keep your schedule organized. When you arrive to the shows, a lot of times you’ll need to scan your barcode, which can be found right in the app.
If you’re wanting to set up brand meetings outside of the NYFW shows you’re attending, you’ll want to take the time to set up showroom appointments or meetings with brands. This is a great opportunity to get some face time with brands you’ve been working with via email. It’s also a great opportunity to meet new brands you’re hoping to work with. Just like you did for the hotel and tickets – do your research on contacts and send them an email to connect while you’re in town.
So you get tickets to a few shows and you’re so excited, then you see that you don’t have a seat, but are handed a “Standing” assignment. Don’t stress! Standing tickets are actually sometimes better then those who get actual seats because 100% of the time not everyone shows up to the show. What they do typically is use the Standing people to fill in the empty chairs. The agency running the show will let you know when to fill in the seats so don’t jump the gun and take another editors spot. Be respectful.
Also, make sure you’re checking your Fashion GPS app to see if any new tickets were sent your way or seating assignments updated/changed. These things can pop up even just hours before the show starts, so stay on top of your schedule. Most importantly, have fun!