If you’re starting a new business, a launch party can be an important part of your marketing. It may not be as important if your business is online, but if you want to connect with your local community, a launch party can generate buzz and interest.
However, if you’re just starting your business you probably don’t have a huge budget to work with, so how can you throw an affordable launch party that feels high-end and represents your business well?
The following are some tips for throwing a business launch party, even on a shoestring budget.
Get Creative with Your Marketing and Advertising
If your business is one where you’re going to be interacting with customers, such as a clothing boutique or some other type of retail store, you want potential customers and the public to be part of your launch party. Get creative with your marketing and advertising to attract people to want to come. For example, use custom inflatables or banners to let everyone know that your business is coming and that you’re going to be launching soon.
A lot of local businesses that are in shopping centers or office parks may not be noticed by the public otherwise, and if you’re a customer-centric business, you want people to know you’re there and you’re open.
Invite the Right People
Whether or not your event is open to the public, you still need to invite the right people from the community to your launch party. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have the most “important” people in your community if they’re not on-brand with your new business. Instead, think about the people in your community who are in line with the overall brand and messaging of your business.
As an example, going back to the clothing store example, if your business caters to a young, trendy audience you should try and invite social media influencers from your local area as opposed to inviting local politicians.
On the other hand, if you’re a tech company, you’re going to want more business-oriented people at your launch. Think about who you want to sell to when your business is up and running, and build your invites around that.
As you’re inviting people, you should already have specific goals in mind as far as what you hope to achieve with your launch party. Is your goal attracting prospects? Is it becoming more known by the local public?
Give People a Reason to Want to Come
To generate buzz, you need people at your event, and for that, you’re going to have to give them a compelling reason which is where most of the costs are going to come in. For some people, having food or just a trendy event with a DJ may be enough. Regardless of how you incentivize people to come, ensure you include it in all of your marketing.
If you don’t attract enough people and your party is empty, it’s going to feel like you lack interest and buzz and that’s never a good first impression.
Also, while you want to fill your space, one way to do that is counterintuitive but works well. Make your event feel exclusive. Give your invitees the option only to bring one guest, and make it so that if you don’t RSVP to the event, you can’t come, unless of course, you do want the public to come.
However, if you’re launching something like a tech startup, exclusivity is something a lot of potential guests will find interesting.
Have a Table with Promotional Products
You want to give guests free things, even if they’re small, that they can bring away from the party and that will remind them of your business.
Also, give your guests something to take with them that includes your social media information so they can follow up with your business.
Speaking of social media, create a custom hashtag for your launch party. This will let guests tag all their photos from your event and share them on social media, which is then in and of itself free marketing for your new business.
Finally, unless you’re doing a retail store or something like a restaurant, you don’t necessarily need to have the party at your location. Try to find a cool, unique space, and if it’s empty and on the market, you may be able to work out an affordable deal to use it for the night because it can serve as advertising for the space as well as your business.
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Founder Dinis Guarda
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