Over the years I’ve planned many launch parties and have learned that unless they’re exciting and newsworthy, they come across as ‘just another party’.
But, a launch party is the perfect way to highlight your business or your client’s new product or service.
How do you make it memorable?
When you plan a launch party, it’s more than choosing a venue and hiring a caterer. It’s essential to decide what you must have at your party, what is nice to have and what you can do without.
10 Tips To Plan a Launch Party
If you’re ready to plan a launch party and want to fill the room with the right people, and leave them with a great first impression, follow these 10 tips to plan a launch party.
- Know your (measurable) event objective – often overlooked yet an important part of the planning process, setting your event objective (or outcome) is an important first step when you plan a launch party. Your event objective helps you identify the success criteria for the end of your launch party. For example, your event objective may be: Increase your yearly events by 10% or Increase sales by 25% by the end of the event or Establish an ongoing relationship with three new media outlets who write editorials about your events.
- Know your event budget – when you plan a launch party, make sure you have a line item for everything in your event budget. To stop you from overspending, use these event budget tips.
- Use a unique event venue – consider using a unique event venue for your launch party but make sure it represents who you are and your personality, and make sure it’s easily accessible for your guests. By using a unique event venue, this also makes your event more exclusive.
- Know your audience and invest in your relationships – knowing the wants, needs and buying behaviors of your VIP guests is what sets apart successful event planning businesses from those that fail (this is true of any business). It’s nice to invite friends and family for moral support, but it’s equally (if not more) important to think long term about what clients you want to work with and invite them when you plan a launch party to build a strong relationship with them.
- Create your launch party invite – create a custom designed launch party invite that sets the mood and includes the date and time of your event, what the event is about (it’s a launch party!), and provides a map and contact information to make it easier for your guests to find you.
Color defines a lot of things in an event; besides the theme, it sets the mood, look and energy. Event planning decor and color trends evolve all the time. Some come and go, but others linger on for years.
Recently we saw Monaco blue, Emerald green and Tangerine taking over the event planning decor tips and trends. So what’s hot this year?
Event Planning Decor
You can’t ignore Pantone’s chosen color trend and this year it’s Dazzling Blue. The best way to bring out the elegance in this color is by using it against neutral-colored décor. For a more dramatic look; try combining it with red, yellow, acid green or even a touch of metallic blue-green-turquoise.
For lighting, try hot pink or blue. Use glass or acrylic ornaments like beaded swirl chandeliers. Think of complementary colors like sea green, nautical blue, aqua blue, French blue, and lilac when choosing centerpieces.
How about using wine glass vases and candleholders with a hint of blue?
Photo Credit: Pinterest. com
Who would have thought rustic chic would be one of the hottest event planning decor tips and trends for 2014?
Personally, this is one of my favorite color schemes because it blends natural fibers and textures (think country) with modern elements. For example, while this isn’t an event photo, it will give you a perfect example of what the rustic chic is all about as it actually combines many of its components. In my living room I’ve combined modern furniture with wood palettes, flowers, burlap, rocks and plants.
Use accent pieces like seashells, pearls, crystals, dried pods and pinecones with patina finish. Also, think metals like brass, wrought iron, and copper for your candleholders. How about wooden crates and flowers with earth colors like moss green, chocolate brown, and masculine mineral blue for your center pieces?
Add texture with either tweed; burlap; leather; double-colored satin with a hint of brown, blue or turquoise; or flannel for a natural look.
Photo Credit: trendir.com
Bright red, tangerine, fuchsia, hot pink, bright green and sunshine yellow are colors of energy! Oh my!
Besides lighting, you can use them for your cocktail glasses’ sugar coat. Glowing water and wine glass vases filled with neon beads or gems are a good complement to centerpieces. For the flowers use either glass or vintage china vases, or mason jars. For the bouquets use either a single strong color with varied shades, or adopt elevated flower arrangements to add more color to the event. The neon colors will be even more accentuated when used against a white background.
Photo Credit: patternbank.com
All these colors are suitable for any type of event. More importantly, most are found in flowers like ranunculus, tulips, peonies, dahlias, orchids, lilies and roses, which are a favorite for weddings and corporate events.
Fabrics can be used to add texture, as well as a background for these colors.
Now, we’d like to hear from you in the comments below…
I’d like to hear from you, what are you favorite colors and what tips do you have for creating memorable event planning decor? Please share your comments below…
Party Ideas • 12 comments
The weather’s getting colder in Canada (and for the rest of you in the Northern Hemisphere). Stores are starting their big sales and you can already find TV channels changing their programming to Christmas movies. Yup, the holidays are quickly approaching and for event planners that means it’s party planning season! Parties are my favorite events to plan!
This is the perfect time to build momentum for your event planning business. Regardless of whether you’re new to this industry or you’re already well established, the holidays offer many ways to strengthen your reputation and showcase your talents. It’s also the perfect time of year to gain new clients.
Ways To Showcase Your Talents
One great way to network and find potential clients is to plan your own holiday parties. Hosting a party for your friends will also let them see how you work and what you can offer to any future events they may have coming up.
Encourage your friends to bring guests and that will give you even more opportunity to gain new clients. Not only will you be able to show off your own style and talent, it will be a great way to catch up with your friends to celebrate the holidays. Make it fun and entertaining and let your creative flair shine.
I bidder on, you bidder on $30, now $40…going once…going twice…sold!
I’ll never forget my first foray into auctions. Honestly, I had very little experience in this niche market of event planning. But I dove head first into making the Art for Africa event I was hosting a great one – complete with African drummers and dancers!
I worked with artists from the U.S. and Canada who donated their artwork, coordinated the entire event and auction and made sure the presentation the night of the event made people want to bid on every work of art so we could raise money to send Bella, a 15yr old girl I met in Rwanda, to school.
Planning a Lucrative and Exciting Auction
After managing this event I wanted to speak to an expert in auction planning. You’ll recognize my guest today because you’ve seen her before. Welcome back, Alex Durant from Durant Consulting! Alex shares her years of experience running huge auctions for her clients and gives you some great tips that you can use to plan a successful auction too – no matter how big or small your event is.
One of Tony Robbins’ events had an EPIC FAIL a few years ago when 21 people suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns while fire walking. It doesn’t happen often but, if you organize events, sooner or later you may encounter an embarrassing moment or an event planning failure. Fortunately, most event failures don’t involve permanent damage – just bruised egos.
No event is immune to unforeseen circumstances. And, there can be setbacks during all types of events ranging from conferences and business meetings to weddings and galas. Decorations, tents and awnings can fall; laptops can crash; stand-up comics, speakers and panelists can slur inappropriate or insulting comments.
The key is to be prepared and react appropriately if something goes wrong.
Lessons Learned From Event Planning Failures
It’s important not to have tunnel vision and to learn from all the events you plan.
Here are some (sometimes funny) videos of event failures.
Reason #1 to use a professional wedding planner to handle the wedding cake!
Fireworks can add that WOW factor to your event, but what happens when they don’t go off as planned?
http://youtu.be/pqpMRxsYlj0Or, what do you do when one of the waiter you hired spills a drink all over the guest of honor? (Watch The German chancellor’s reaction when it happens. It looks like she wants to tear into him, but flirts with the cameras instead! Classic political move!)
It’s Important to Keep Things In Perspective
7 Tips To Take When You Experience An Event Planning Failure
- Have a back up / emergency plan for every event.
- Ensure your whole team knows the back up plan, and include key clients too – if or when necessary.
- If you are taking part or planning any high-risk activities (i.e. extreme sports), make sure emergency personnel (first-aid responders, police, ambulance, etc.) are on standby. You may not need them all on-site, but be sure to have their contact information with you.
- If something goes wrong, begin damage control right away! This could involve getting people out-of-the-way, administering medical aid or putting out fires (sometimes literally!).
- Don’t be defensive. Appoint a team member to deal with any media and be honest about what happened.
- Conduct a post-mortem (term used for follow-up after each event. This should be done for all your events so you learn, even if nothing went wrong) to uncover lessons learned.
- Apologize, repair damage and compensate if necessary. This could involve refunding all or part of a fee, giving refunds, issuing credits, paying to repair property damage, covering dry cleaning expenses, etc.
Have a great week,
It’s time to host a fantastic party, but do you really know how to start party planning? It’s not enough to throw together a punch bowl or bring in an ice sculpture.
What kind of food will you serve? Do you know how to get your guestsmingling at your party?
What is unique about your party that your guests will remember?
Whether you’re party planning for friends or clients, let us know how you transform your setting into a party to be remembered!
I’m really excited to announce that a celebrity event planner is going to share her tips and trade secrets of event planning with you! Right here. Soon.
So, we’d like to hear from you. What topics will help you better plan your events, get your business started? What would you like to hear from an expert event planner?
Comment below the youtube video and we’ll answer your questions and address your comments!
Do you struggle thinking about what gifts to give your event planning business clients or potential clients?
It can be difficult figuring out the best approach: Get the perfect gift and you’ll boost your business, but get the wrong gift and you could send the wrong message. Like anything else you do to connect with clients, event planning gifts should be part of your event planning marketing budget.
Here are 3 steps to getting it right:
1: Decide on your event planning business objective for gift giving
Before you can choose the right business gift strategy, you really need to set your objective. You don’t want to spend too much money overall, and you want to thank your event planning clients appropriately while also reminding both clients and prospects about your event planning and event management services.
2: Set a realistic budget for your event planning business gifts
What’s your total budget, how much do you want to spend per client then calculate # of clients x the value of each gift for your total.
Is this within your budget? If not, be more selective about who you give a gift to
Can you get away with sending just a card to some clients? If you can, take the time to write a personal note because sending a card with “happy holidays” and your signature does little to build your event planning business relationship and will be tossed in the garbage.
To stay within your event planning budget, can you lower the dollar value per event planning business gift? From experience, I’ve found it’s better to be selective about who you send a gift to rather than include everyone and then spend too little.
3: Choose the appropriate business gifts for clients
Once you’ve decided on your budget, it’s much easier to start thinking about gift options. For many, the default will be a gift card to a coffee shop like Starbucks because they’re easy to put inside a greeting card and mail; plus most people use these services.
The problem with giving a gift card to a particular establishment is that you’re associating your brand with theirs. Gift cards also have a specific dollar amount. You’ll get clients who might be offended rather than appreciative of your generosity. Once money enters into it, you trigger all kinds of emotions.
They might think, “Wow! I spent $10,000 on her event planning services and she’s sending me a $10 gift card!” But, you were hoping for a positive reaction like, “It’s so thoughtful of her to think of me. It was great working with her to plan our event and I will have my admin assistant call her again to see if she can help with our upcoming event.”
This actually happened to me when my mortgage broker sent me a $5 Starbucks gift card after I renewed my mortgage with his bank. Instead of the gift saying “thanks for your business”, I found it insulting and no longer use his services!
On the other hand, let’s say you sent a sample pack of eCreamery Ice Cream to your event planning client’s office. Then it’s not about the dollar value but more about the time you took to think of them and to send a gift. Plus, it’s an interactive (and tasty!) item that everyone can enjoy!
What gifts have you used to boost your event planning business?
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At Event Planning Blueprint, I talk to Jay about his event planning experience and how he’s been planning his first event / fundraiser in 5 months.
Watch the first video here: Melanie talks to Jay about planning his first event (click to watch video)
My goal with Event Planning Blueprint is to give you the information and inspiration you need to create a successful event. If you have a story idea or question you’d like me to answer in a future article or video, please let me know by commenting below.