For any start-up company, or an established business with a new product, the launch party is a crucial part of your future success. This is the public’s (and the media’s) first impression, so it had better be a good one. Let’s examine some ways you can ensure a great event.
Guests vs. Press
Your guest list is obviously vital. Take care to hand select appropriate and supportive guests to make sure you’ll have a good crowd. Once you have a foundation of attendees, aim a bit higher. Send personalized invites to significant city members, politicians, other business owners, and influential people. Even if these invites are not accepted, you want to put the word out to the movers and shakers that you’ve arrived.
You’ll definitely want press there, but the invitations you send to them should be very different. The language should focus on the relevance, the significance, and the interest of your launch. The press has to have a purpose in attending, something to benefit their publication. Spend time crafting these invitations, because one press member can do a lot of publicity for your company. Prepare a press-kit with product and party info, hi-res photos, contact information and a personalized note. The easier you make it for them, the more likely you’ll get some much-needed exposure.
Venue & Decor
Appropriateness is the keyword here. The venue and the decor of your party should match the style of both your company and your product. In fact, it should reinforce the intended reception of the product. When considering a venue, also keep your guest list in mind. Make sure the space can accommodate all of your invitees comfortably and then some. But don’t go overboard. If you rent a huge venue and fewer guests show up, the size of the space will emphasize those missing guests.
If it’s within your budget, hire a Party Decorator to ensure a professional atmosphere, even if you want the decor to be fun and light. Party decorators bring an outsider’s perspective, which is often exactly what is needed for inspired choices. Again, keep appropriateness in mind. Your guests will associate the party with the product, so make sure you’ve designed the look of everything to capture the spirit you want!
This is something you’ll probably want to invest some money into. A Wait Staff and a Bartender, for example, are invaluable additions to any party at which mingling and chatting are paramount. You want as many representatives of the company available to guests as possible. You want them walking around, talking up the product, explaining nuances, and in general keeping the focus on the reason the party’s happening to begin with. Also, assign a member of your staff to function as a Event Coordinator. As long as the person in this role is someone you trust, you can rest assured the party will go off without a hitch!
Once again, appropriateness is the name of the game, so be cognizant of your audience and your company’s brand. DJs and Cover Bands add a lot to any party’s atmosphere, but they may not be right for you launch. Don’t be afraid to be innovative and unique. Comedians, Magicians, Circus Entertainment and Impersonators will pretty much guarantee that your party will be remembered!
Food & Libations
Food is an absolute must. Whether you serve hor d’oeuvres, a buffet, or a sit-down meal, food gives your guests a reason to stick around. Hire a Caterer for this.
Alcohol is optional but recommended. Like food, cocktails and other alcoholic beverages encourage people to stay and chat. It also eases tension for guests who may not know every member of your staff. Remember, your guests are there to support you. It is in your best interest to keep them as happy as possible. If you do decide on alcohol, talk to your Bartender about concocting some product-themed cocktails! The object of this party is to promote and emphasize your new endeavor, and creative cocktails (especially after they’ve been drunk) always please!
Something To Remember You By
Party favors can be cheesy, but your launch party can use them in a totally cool way. Fill a gift bag with the relevant information about your product and, more importantly, some related items that the guest can actually use. Giving them silly little trinkets won’t do. As much as your budget allows, try to instead fill the bags with gift certificates to your company (or some other related discount) and as many items as possible. The better the gift bag, the more appreciative the recipient, which translates into positive word-of-mouth for you!
The launch of a new product or service can be a risky endeavor, so we know how important this party is for you! We hope our tips have assisted you in some way. And, as always. GigSalad is here to help.