Following executing your business plan and utilizing your business tools to get ready to sell your product or service, your concept requires a coming out party if you will. This is to showcase what your business is made of to the rest of the world and to let every potential investor, client and PR person that matters know that you’re here, loud and proud with a vision, a brand, and an excellent idea. It’s your businesses birthday, and you’re going to create a launch party. But unless you’re an events management expert, you probably need a splash of advice to get your launch party on the right track, which is where the following points chime in.
What’s the reason for your party?
Before you get your thinking cap on to think of an out of the ordinary event to amaze your guests, you need to collect your thoughts on what it is your business birthday shindig is planning to achieve. Parties arrive in all shapes and budget-friendly sizes, but this business expense and effort requires an ROI. For instance, is it an email list you seek to gain for company marketing purposes, is it to increase your brand profile and status, to educate people on a new charity, to explore potential angel investors, increase your social media following or a mix of a few. Establishing the agenda of your event will present you with better-focused ideas on planning to claim that which you expect to gain from this investment. Thus allowing you to think about eventually; who you intend to invite and why, what food will you serve if any and whether to invest in a free bar.
As you’ve experienced through your business plan, all business processes take time, thorough research and planning. Investing this time to find the why behind your event will be the difference between creating a successful party or an expensive aimless event. It’s vital you spend time brainstorming with your team to make sure your business makes the best first impression ever. Alternatively, if money allows the luxury for a professional events manager with relevant experience, hire one of these experts pronto.
Picture by Yutacar
Who should you invite?
The aim of your event will set your intentions for who you should invite and the reason behind each invite. For instance, if you’re hoping to increase your minimalist, eco-friendly office design company online, you’re going to want to request the presence of influencers related to this field. Such as, business and social media socialites, bloggers within the business arena, and perhaps a celeb or two. Your mission is to impress these people to build a relationship and persuade your guests to write about, promote your event and/or become ambassadors for your company, be it an interior design company, clothing boutique, bistro and so forth. You may also want to invite potential clients within your target audience, whether it’s the small businessman, corporate giants or consumers. The common theme established in this section is that you spend time, money and effort creating something tailored to those who are going to propel your business past the point it is now. Which is why you need to be thoughtful and savvy in choosing your guests.
How to choose a venue
This mostly depends on the budget you’re willing to spend. However, if you’re tight on cash, you may want to look to potential sponsors who wouldn’t mind footing the bill to have their brand displayed and advertised around your event.
Some start-ups are under the impression you must hire a fancy hotel space with a bar and a stage for a launch party, however, this isn’t entirely true. The majority of people you invite have most likely at one point or another been to a lot of launch parties all singing the same song with a like for like venue. To save blurring into the background like other business birthdays, make a stand to be a little different, and offer something unique to invoke curiosity amongst your guests when they receive your invitation. Your launch party doesn’t necessarily have to involve an oversized hall and canapes, if it’s 10 people you are wishing (or can only afford) to impress, you could consider an intimate dinner produced by a privately hired chef.
The venue you pick should of course always be tailored in some way to your guests. For example, if your hosting a party for the older generation successful businessmen and women within the financial industry, a sophisticated party with fine wine and cuisine is most likely what your guests will appreciate. If you’re targeting a younger millennial audience and wish to demonstrate your new theatrical themed bar opening, you may host a cocktail making party, a show, a glamorous dress code and a free bar. Please take into consideration, if ever you are going to offer an open bar, it’s a good idea to include this on the invite and specify a timeframe that starts at the time your party begins. This will persuade more people to arrive sooner rather than later.
Suss the details
The details of the event are what will keep everybody’s attention in the room and on the concept you are marketing. With this in mind, you need a plan, an itinerary, branding, and design to create the details that keep your audience present with the idea. Keep in mind that the people you invite to your event have been to a number of launch events, so what will you offer that’s different and memorable? Creating ammunition for your party to surprise, inspire, shock, inform or impress your guests is vital.
- Venue design – Concerning designing your venue, this is all dependant on the vibe you wish to create. Such as using feather banners here and there around the premises, bunting or a large media wall could give the impact you need to spread your brand design and help your guests connect your brand to your product or service. Furthermore, other finishing touches such as balloons, confetti, a large bow around your new premises, or the use of effective lighting will all come into play for helping you to create a memorable, visually appealing venue for your guests.
- Speech and presentation; Perhaps you have a compelling speech laced with humor, it’s relatable and engaging sparking people to listen, or better yet you may have a celebrity willing to read a speech about your company. Drawing celebs to your event is spectacular for good PR. If you are unable to attract celebs, attempt to use the tools you have to engage your guests, For example, if you own a dance company, part of the party could include an impressive dance-off between hired dancers.
- Gifts and merchandise; Giving your guests something tangible with your brand on for your guests to take into their homes will instil a reminder about you, your business and your product. If you can afford to, it may be worth giving your guests the product you are selling as a gift for attending your party. For instance, if you are creating organic baby food, you may send your guests home with baby food goodies for them to try with their own children. This could encourage reciprocity. Even simple things like a branded pen or cup is a nice thank you gesture for your guests attending and a reminder your business exists.
After all the market research you’ve committed too only you and/or your team know who you are trying to impress, which will give you a great indication of what you can offer them that will help them to remember your business by.
Picture by Robinsonk26
The host and team
You like no other have the information on your startup to bestow upon your guests in the most passionate light to convince people your product, service or idea is worthy. Which is why your free time is essential at the event to do nothing more than ensure your guests are happy, and that you have time for networking with your guests.
People will buy you before they buy your brand, so bringing your best self to the party is critical. Which means your appearance should be immaculate and relevant to the type of business event you are hosting. If it’s a ball you are hosting you’ll wear black tie attire, if it’s a dinner party perhaps smart casual, if you’re launching a clothing brand for women, you will wear the clothing if it’s deemed appropriate for the event. The consideration of your appearance should stem to your hairstyle and makeup to ensure you are creating the best impression possible. Aside from your presentation, bring high energy, big smiles, charm, and charisma. Ensure you are well rested and have practiced the things you are most likely to talk about to your guests.
For you to be readily available to tend to your guests, you’ll most likely require a team. One of the biggest reasons being, something is likely to go wrong at your event as is the case for all events, but you should never let your guests know this and should devise a solution privately. This is difficult to do if you’re running the event alone. Which is why you need to delegate tasks which don’t require your specific attention, whether this is a doorman, bar staff, caterers, entertainment staff and so forth. From this you can assign each part of your team as a head of to a specific part of the event, to handle issues while you are taking care of building business relationships and presenting your launch party.
The highlight of running a successful launch party is the opportunity to network face to face which is a powerful marketing and sales technique, as your potential client’s customers and PR can put a face and a personality to your brand. Furthermore being meticulous over choosing your venue to suit your audience, selecting your guests, designing and planning your party schedule and remaining the host with the most are all necessary components for creating an epic birthday for your business. Good luck!
*This is a contributed post