How To: Host a Great Launch Party
4 Sep 2015
A launch night is your opportunity to showcase what you and your brand are all about. Whether you are launching your latest collection or looking to spread the word about your new shop, launch parties are a great way to reach an audience and get them excited about your idea. However, throwing an event is no easy feat and there are lots of details to consider – great parties don’t happen by accident. To help you make your launch night one to remember, here’s a rundown of the key aspects you need to think about when throwing your launch party.
Perhaps this is an obvious point to make, but just because you have the keys to a space doesn’t mean you can run riot whilst inside. Respect the conditions your landlord has put in place and ask permission from them before you make any changes to how the space looks or the agreed usage, such as decorating, playing loud music or closing later than usual.
Know your purpose
Launch parties are more successful when they have a clear purpose so it’s important to have a good idea about what you are hoping to achieve from your launch. When you have direction you can then focus on ways to achieve it. For example, if you are launching a product will you be offering free samples? If you are after media coverage have you informed the press and given them as many details as possible?
Nail the guest list
It’s true what they say; quality is better than quantity. You need to invite your target market, the people who might want to invest in your brand and buy from you and also the press so they can generate hype around your launch. So avoid trying to entice the masses in with free gifts and a free bar as it may lead to you drawing in a crowd who are only there for the free drinks and drowning out the people who actually matter. Also, by creating a guestlist, you can see who attended your event so you can thank them afterwards and follow up with more information.
Create an atmosphere
At the end of the day, you want people to enjoy themselves, so you need to put time into thinking how to create a great atmosphere. The atmosphere will set the tone for how you want your brand to be remembered. Elements such as lighting, music and staffing all contribute. One of our users who always get’s the atmosphere right is, Ejder For Life, an urban clothing brand from London. At their launch party for their pop-up shop on South Molton Street, they brought in a couple of DJ’s to get the party going. Their love of music struck a chord with their audience, who queued outside to get in to see their latest collection and hear their favourite artists. The atmosphere will set the tone for how you want your brand to be remembered.
Give out freebies
The word ‘free’ is everyone’s favourite word. The little details in your launch are what will make you memorable so offering free things such as drinks, nibbles and goodie bags is a good way of keeping your guests happy. Recently, Lawrence Brand, founder of Porterlight Bicycles launched his pop-up in Floral Street, Covent Garden. To lure his guests in, he collaborated with Dodd’s Gin, a local distillery in Battersea and Five Points, a microbrewery from Hackney. By gaining support from other local brands, Lawrence not only reached out to their individual focus groups, he showed his guests that his principles lay in supporting independent businesses like his own, giving him a positive brand image.
Be an ambassador
People don’t just buy products, they buy people so try to chat to as many guests as possible. If people like you they are more likely to believe in you and your ideas. Enlist a great body of staff who not only know everything about your brand, but also believe in it and feel inspired to share it with people because then your guest will go away having had a friendly experience to remember.
Keep it going**
The launch is just the beginning – it’s a way of starting a good relationship with your guests but you need to keep working on that relationship once the event is over. Start by thanking your guests for coming, either by reaching out on social media or sending them a personal email afterwards. Collecting contact details during the launch night means you’re still able to contact them once they leave. Keep them updated with where they can find you next and offer them exclusive offers to build closer relationships.