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Cazenovia College 2017 Fashion Show: Qualitative Article

Katie Gorczynski and Tyne Emery

Cazenovia College

Business Research Methods


This article reviews the qualitative research that was conducted from October 17, 2016 to

October 31, 2016 for the Cazenovia College 2017 fashion show that will take place on April 29.

The variables of this study included event planning, promotion, advertising, and attendance rates.

The results of this research will be will used to better plan the fashion show and to gain a higher

attendance. To properly and successfully plan the 2017 Cazenovia College fashion show,

qualitative research was conducted. This paper explores the responses that were generated from

qualitative research and analysis. It analyzes the common themes that were found in the

respondent’s answers.

Keywords: Cazenovia College 2017 fashion show, event planning, promotion, advertising


Tyne Emery and Katie Gorczynski completed qualitative research for the Cazenovia

College 2017 fashion show in the fall of 2016. For this study, the data was conducted through

researching scholarly databases used to depict the important aspects in event planning, such as a

fashion show. After assessing the scholarly research databases, qualitative research questions

were formed. These questions were used to obtain results from ten qualitative interviews. These

interviews were conducted among individuals who are involved in the fashion and business

industry. The average length of these interviews was an hour. The respondents were asked to

respond to thirty-five questions that included topics such as event planning, promotion,

advertising, venues, models, management skills, etc. The respondent’s answers were then

transcribed and analyzed. The results were coded to better understand the similarities in the

responses. After the respondent’s answers were coded, they were analyzed to find common and

uncommon themes within an Excel spreadsheet.


For this study, the method of qualitative research was conducted to gain valuable insight

for planning a fashion show. Qualitative research is used to gain a detailed understanding of the

respondent’s experiences and opinions based on the questions that are provided (Broom, 2005).

“Qualitative research is not used to prove or disprove a theory; instead it is used to understand a

central idea and to think outside conventional ideas (Broom, 2005).” Many qualitative studies

focus on a problem. This problem either needs improvement or an alternate solution. In this

study, the qualitative research was conducted through ten interviews. Qualitative research is

generally done with a small and specific sample size. This method was chosen because it is an

effective tool for increasing our knowledge on planning a fashion show and what aspects are

included in doing so. Qualitative studies allow for an individual to gain knowledge in an area

they are not familiar with. Conducting qualitative interviews is a way to produce meaningful

research findings (Broom, 2005). The key to a qualitative interview is the questions that are

asked. Qualitative research consists of multiple questions in regarding a specific theme. For the

Cazenovia College 2017 fashion show, the interviews were semi-structured, which means the

interviewer has questions that belong to the theme of planning a fashion show. This allows for an

open dialog with the interviewee (Broom, 2005). A semi-structured interview allows the

respondents to fully explain their thoughts and experiences within this theme. After completion

of qualitative interviews, common and uncommon themes are analyzed to produce the results of

the interviews. Qualitative research is used within the future of projects to give an idea as to what

direction would be the most beneficial.


After conducting qualitative interviews from ten participants, the results were analyzed

and reported in common and uncommon themes. One of the common themes that were reported

through this study was the importance of communication (Textiles, 2015). Communication was

seen to be an important leadership quality for any team leader to have. This was reported by

participant A, participant H, and participant I. Each of these respondents felt that it was a

necessary quality to run an event effortlessly. Team leaders must possess excellent

communication skills to be able to communicate clearly and effectively to the other group

members. Communication was also found to be an important factor in motivating a team to

complete their tasks (Shukla, 2012). Participant D, participant E, participant F, participant G each

responded with communication. These participants believed that a team leader should be able to

communicate without getting emotional and communicating with a positive attitude.

Communication is extremely important when planning an event because each team member must

know what their task is and when it needs to be completed. An event can only run effortlessly if

there is the proper communication. This would allow for each team that is part of the Cazenovia

College fashion show to know exactly what to do.

In addition to communication, the common theme of using social media to promote and

advertise the Cazenovia College 2017 fashion show was popular among the participant’s

responses. The common theme of social media was seen in the overall promotion and advertising

of the event. Today’s society is mainly a digital world, and that is how people are getting news

and learning about upcoming events within their community. In regards of effective advertising

to attract the target market of the Cazenovia College 2017 fashion show, participant A,

participant B, participant C, participant D, participant E, participant F, participant G, participant

I, and participant J all believed that social media is the best option. Since the main target market

of the fashion show is Cazenovia College students, these participants believed that social media

would be the best and most effective way to advertise to them. Social media is one of the largest

impacts in advertising and would be the best option to generate a higher attendance rate (Mohr,

2013). Social media was seen as another outlet to promote to the Cazenovia community and the

surrounding Syracuse area. Participant A explained their experience in paid Facebook posts that

were greatly effective when promoting their business. This could be a very useful tool to have

advertisement posts appear on individuals Facebook’s to hear about the event. This would reach

people outside the Cazenovia College community in hopes to have gain a higher attendance.

Common social media accounts that were mentioned by participants included Instagram, Snap

Chat, Facebook, and Twitter.

One of the most important aspects in planning any event such as a fashion show is

creating a timeline. Creating a timeline was one of the common themes from the participant’s

responses. In creating a strategic plan, a timeline was most commonly found to be very

important. A timeline should be created in order for the team to know exactly what needs to be

done for the event and when. Participant C suggested that a timeline be created for everyday to

know exactly what to do. This would allow each team member to know exactly what needs to

happen. Participant H suggested that the timeline should include any deliverables that will be

made. This is very important for any outside third parties that are used for the show. It should be

scheduled as to when the items will be delivered such as lighting, stage props, and the runway.

Even though many of the results from this qualitative research included common themes,

some of the responses were uncommon and may have a positive and beneficial effect for the

fashion show. Participant B suggested having local vendors at the beginning of the show to sell

their products as a form of advertising. This would bring in their current consumers to the event,

and it would also advertise their brand to members of Cazenovia College. This would be an

effective way to generate more revenue. Another uncommon theme was creating a logo

specifically for the Cazenovia College fashion show. This was suggested by Participant I.

Creating a Cazenovia College fashion show logo would create consistency each year among the

fashion show. This is a more beneficial approach instead of making a different logo for each

show. Creating a logo would be a start the Cazenovia College fashion show brand. It would be a

common symbol that people would recognize.


To gather qualitative information, interviews were conducted with ten individuals. A

series of questions were asked relating to the planning of the 44th annual Cazenovia College

fashion show. There were a few questions that should have been phrased differently for the

interviewees to have a better understanding of what was being asked. Answers would have been

more focused on the topic that was to be understood if the questions were clearer. The interviews

would have had a nicer flow and would have been more focused if the questions would have

been more thoughtfully organized and specific.

There was a question asked about contracts and what should be included in a contract

(Doyle, 2016). Many of the people from the interviews were unsure how to answer the question

because it was so broad. Every contract will be different for the planning of the fashion show.

This was a question many of the people could not give a specific answer for. Although general

ideas for contracts are helpful, they were not able to go into depth with specific contracts for

each contract that will be made for the event.

Another question was difficult for the interviewees pertained to the set of the stage and

the screens. The question was choppy, and it was challenging for the individuals being

interviewed to provide a clear answer. They needed to have more of an explanation that was

provided in order to get the proper response. This had to be done each time by the interviewers.

Only some of the interviewees had attended the Cazenovia College fashion show at The

Landmark Theater in Syracuse, New York. The interviewer had to paint a picture for the

interviewee to have an image of the set and where the screens were placed in order to have a

more specific answer to the question.

If the interviewees never planned an event before, they were unable to answer some of

the strategic event planning questions thoroughly (Harrison, 1995). Although it was important to

ask if they have had any experience in planning events, there should have been a follow up

question in place if their answer was no. This was also important for the question that involved

details for how to sponsor an event. Participant A and participant F had never planned an event

that involved sponsorship. There were other individuals that were interviewed that did not have

experience with sponsorship, but they answered the question based on other experiences with

event planning.


This qualitative research allowed the researchers to see what should be the main focuses

for the Cazenovia College fashion show that will take place in April. The individuals that were

interviewed had a lot of fresh ideas for the fashion show merchandise that should be sold at the

show such as student’s garments, scarves made by the students, and tote bags with the show’s

theme logo on it. The fashion department has struggled with increasing revenue from the fashion

show merchandise, and these suggestions could make a difference. While conducting this

research, the researchers notice that the most important advice that the individuals that were

interviewed gave was to have more of a presence on social media, good communication among

the teams, and be organized in order for the event to be successful. The researchers are now

aware of the importance of branding the Cazenovia College fashion department as well as the

fashion show.

The qualitative data that was collected by conducting interviews by the researchers has

given the researchers a clear idea of the directions that the fashion show must go in order for the

revenue and attendance to increase. The researchers were able to find common themes from the

qualitative data. The researchers will use these common themes to improve the show by applying

the information and advice that was provided by those that were interviewed. The qualitative

data is a useful tool that will be utilized and referred to for the planning that is to come for the

Cazenovia College fashion show event that takes place on April 29, 2017.


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Textiles, apparel design and merchandising students plan "luminous," student fashion show

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