How To Plan a Launch Party
Over the years I’ve planned many launch parties and have learned that unless they’re exciting (in some way) and news worthy, then they appear as just another party.
A launch party is the perfect way to highlight your client’s new product or introduce your event planning business (or products or event services) to clients and your supporters, so how do you make it memorable?
When you plan a launch party it’s more than hiring a venue and working with a caterer to make sure the right food is served. When in the planning phase, 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.
- Make your event exclusive – on your invitations, make it clear that guests must arrive with their invite in hand and security will check their name on the guest list. By making your event exclusive, your attendance rates will increase because people become more curious about what you have planned.
- Hire event staff to manage your launch party so you can focus on your guests and drumming up business. Hiring the right team of event staff should reflect your brand, and meet your event needs and company values.
- Don’t forget the giveaway – skip the cheap, kitschy giveaway and instead give your event guests a cool, memorable and useful item that shows your creativity. In other words, don’t waste money on inexpensive pens, tote bags or t-shirts and instead opt for a small care package, branded skin care products, or even branded wine bottles. In the past, I have bought a good bottle of wine and attached a well-designed branded sticker to the back of the bottle (no matter what you choose, it must reflect your business, product or service).
- Invite the press (including bloggers) – when you plan a launch party, to increase awareness, invite media to your event by sending a one page media advisory that includes the who, what, where, when and why of your event.
- Celebrate your team – your event team is your greatest resource (including your event vendors) so it’s important to celebrate and acknowledge their hard work. If it’s in your event budget, throw them an after party to say thank you. If it’s not in the budget, publicly say thank you during your launch party and/or set up a brag board to showcase their unique talents.
Whether you’re starting your event planning business or you have new services to share with your event clients, celebrate your business with a launch party by building relationships with your audience, event vendors and your team.
Now I’d love to hear from you.
In the comments, share one tip you’d add to this list to plan a launch party.
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