When setting up a new business, a launch party can be a great way of building up initial buzz. Here are just a few tips for throwing a successful launch party.
- Invite the right people. Launch parties tend to be on an invite-only basis. Ideally you want to invite people who are either potential customers or people who are influencers (these people could include local business owner and journalists who may help to give your company more exposure by spreading the word). You should spare enough time to gather people’s contact details and send out invitations. Traditional snail mail can be a good way to send out invites as it ensures you don’t end up in people’s spam folders.
- Choose the right venue. On top of having the right people there, you want a suitable venue. If you’re opening a bar or a restaurant, you may be able to host your launch party at this premises. For shop-based and office-based companies, you may want to find a more party-friendly venue. Good examples include local clubs, town halls and function venues. You could even consider dramatic settings such as a rooftop bar or a boat or a beach. The more unique, the more likely it is to encourage people to attend. Unique venues are also memorable.
- Select the right date. You don’t want your event to clash with any other events, otherwise you could find that most of the people on your invite list can’t come. It’s possible to arrange it on a school night, so long as it doesn’t go on too late as this may put some people off. Choosing a Friday or a Saturday night may encourage more people to make it.
- Offer exclusive promotions. As an incentive for people to come along, it could be worth offering some exclusive promotions on your services. This could include a voucher that gives people a discount or you could even offer a freebie. This promotion can only be valid if they attend.
- Invest in branding. It could also be worth investing in some branding for the event to help build brand awareness. This could include feather banners and branded balloons. It could also be a chance to get creative such as using projected lighting and even branded candy (it’s possible to customise your own m&ms online).
- Talk to everyone. It’s important that you get a chance to talk with all your guests. Hosting a small speech could be a great opportunity to thank everyone for coming and tell people a little about your brand. You don’t want to be too promotional with you speech – it’s a launch ‘party’, not a sales conference – however that doesn’t mean you can’t do a bit of promoting to help generate some leads. As well as talking to everyone as a group, it’s worth then trying to speak to everyone one-on-one. This will allow you to do more negotiating and secure more leads.
- Keep it fun. A launch party is a chance to celebrate your opening so make sure that it’s fun. You’ll probably want to provide some food and drinks, as well as music. It’s worth hiring a catering company to take care of food and drinks. You may want to offer some of this food and drink for free as an extra incentive for coming and as a way to make your event more memorable (you could provide a free drink on entry and perhaps some free canapes). When it comes to music, you may want to hire a DJ or you could hire some live musicians (make sure to cater your music to the type of people that are likely to attend). Check that the venue has licensing for food, drinks and music. On top of this, you could also book some entertainment – this could be anything from dancers to fireworks.
Note: this post contains contributed content.