Case Study

How Nashville Fashion Week Keeps Its Couture Culture Growing

Nashville may be most famous for being “Music City,” but the apparel industry plays an important role as well. Fashion contributes roughly $6 billion dollars and over 16,000 jobs to the area. So when Nashville Fashion Week (NFW) rolls around, there’s a lot to coordinate.

NFW’s founder and managing partner, Marcia Masulla, says that this year alone, they are planning and producing around 75 free and paid events, including runway shows, workshops, gala events, and a “Shop Nashville” promotional event to showcase retailers.

Spreading the word quickly and easily and selling tickets is crucial, and NFW relies on attracting all sorts of people interested in being part of its community, both inside and outside the industry.

Amanda Casarez / Nashville Fashion Week / Photo by John Hillin

The challenge: Find a scalable and reputable ticketing solution

As the event grew exponentially over the years, the coordinators needed a ticketing tool they could trust that was prepared to scale with their efforts. Four years ago, Masulla and her team decided to try Eventbrite because it was a well-established brand — the fact that the company has an office in Nashville didn’t hurt either.

Masulla knew that there were three essentials she could not afford to compromise on when deciding on her ticketing solution:

  • • A clear, easy-to-use interface that would streamline the experience for attendees and creators alike
  • • A far-reaching discovery system to help get her event in front of a wider audience
  • • Robust analytics that would help Masulla and her team make smart marketing choices as they continued to scale

Based on Eventbrite’s reputation, Nashville Fashion Week organizers were confident they would be able to give the audience a clear and direct way to get tickets, improve discoverability, and manage the event well on the back end.

Give the growing number of attendees a “clear and direct” way to get tickets

Organizers needed something that made it super-easy for those who wanted to attend events, reducing follow-up and customer service back-and-forth between buyers and volunteer staff. After all, many buyers were often already familiar with Eventbrite’s platform from previous purchases. When it came to the day of an event, NFW also needed a platform that volunteers would be able to use easily, so they could keep track of tickets without having to be heavily trained.

“It’s easy for customers to figure out how to do the transaction themselves. They can use the app right away, or print tickets later depending on what works for them. It’s all pretty self-explanatory.”

— Marcia Masulla, Nashville Fashion Week Founder and Managing Partner

Eventbrite’s clear, professional branding and positive reputation also encouraged more people to buy tickets, since they knew the platform is used by “brands and companies that have good feedback or good consumer ratings,” said Masulla. “Especially in the age of data breaches, entering credit card numbers can make consumers wary.” It was crucial to their expansion to have the ticketing platform be a clear, well built system people could trust.

Nadeau / Nashville Fashion Week / Photo by Cameron Jones

Increase event discovery to reach a wider audience

One major factor that raised NFW’s profile was making sure that the events could be found by people who didn’t even know Nashville had a fashion week — like the 15.2 million people who visit each year.

Interested locals likely have heard about the event through word of mouth, the local news, or a myriad of on-the-ground sources. But tourists weren’t likely to find out until they arrived.

Because Eventbrite is a destination for tourists and locals alike to discover interesting things to do, Masulla and her team could more easily draw out-of-town visitors to NFW.

Eventbrite’s excellent discoverability also makes it easy for existing fans to find other NFW events, such as the kickoffs in the fall and satellite events held at stores and other venues around town.

Nashville Fashion Week

Use real-time analytics and reporting to promote events more effectively

Eventbrite’s analytics and reporting allowed Masulla’s team maintain momentum throughout the event’s sale. The team uses social media, NFW’s website, and email newsletters to get the word out. And thanks to the seamless integration with their marketing tech stack, Nashville Fashion Week’s digital marketing and promotion was able to promote to the right people, at the right time. Though attendance varies from year to year depending on the particular events, an average of roughly 3,000 tickets are sold each year for the gala and runway events, This represents a 50% increase in sales from as recently as 2015. And according to Connie Cathcart-Richardson, (who like Masulla is a Co-founder and Managing Partner) the investment in the Nashville community has reached $1.3 million since 2011.

“Knowing how close each event is to selling out is not just important for the bottom line. It's also a great promotional tool. For instance, it’s easier to sell the last 30 or 40 tickets if you can send out a blast on social media to let people know it's time to buy while they still can.”

— Marcia Masulla, Nashville Fashion Week Founder and Managing Partner

The tool also allowed the team to keep their financial books straight, cutting down on processing costs, which were higher when they had multiple vendors to deal with. That means more resources for promoting the event.

Celebrating the next decade

This November, NFW 2020 kicks off with a launch party to reveal the dates and events planned for its tenth iteration. After planning exciting celebrations of fashion and culture, Masulla and roughly 100 volunteers hope to bring out new audiences and encourage past attendees to keep coming back. Over the past decade, their events have united members of the fashion, retail, and arts-and-culture world to create a vibrant community, and those efforts continue.

“We are dedicated to making the consumer experience as good as it can be,” Masulla said. “Eventbrite’s platform is a big part of making that effort a reality.”

Eventbrite powered 3.9 million events in 2018

Eventbrite brings the world together through live experiences. More than 795,000 event creators like you used Eventbrite in 2018 to issue 265 million tickets and registrations. From music festivals and conventions to pop-up dinners and photography classes, events of all sizes use Eventbrite to transform your vision into an experience people will love.

  • Get started in minutes

    Make a beautiful event listing for free and easily drive attendance with marketing tools, payment processing, and analytics.

  • Partner with event experts

    Speak with industry experts to learn how you can drive sales, delight attendees, and simplify your work Eventbrite's full event management solution.

  • Create your next event

    Already using Eventbrite? Publish your next event to reach new audiences and turn that interest into ticket sales or registrations.

  • Already a customer? Contact your CSM or get in touch here.