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Planning the Perfect Launch Party

If you work as an event planner in London, launch parties are going to be a big part of your business. Whether it’s a product launch, company launch, project launch or something completely different, this type of event is one of the most popular you will be working on.

Launch parties happen all the time so coming up with an original idea for yours is going to be a tough ask. This page will outline some actionable tips you can use to generate your own launch party ideas.

Launch parties come in all shapes and sizes and for all types of things. For ease of comprehension, we will use product launches on this page but these tips are relevant for all launch event types.

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The product or company at the centre

One of the toughest challenges when planning a launch event is making it so special as to be memorable while not outshining the product or company the event is showcasing. It’s a delicate balance but one you’re going to have to strike. You need the event to be amazing, with as much creativity you can throw at it, but you cannot ever outshine the bride.

Link the venue with the launch

If the launch party is for a new product, look at venues that reflect that product. For example, a launch for a new drinks company could be held at a brewery or distillery. A car launch at a racetrack, a new clothing line at the venue of last year’s London Fashion Week. You get the idea.

If you can link the venue with the launch you have already given the event important context. This will just add to the overall experience.

 

Link the theme with the product

If you can also link the event theme with what’s being launched, all the better. Again, balance is key. You don’t want to overdo it but having context throughout the event will work wonders. For example, launching a new software platform could include workshops demonstrating it in action, show attendees real life situations where it works and include seminars and other useful workshops that teach attendees something new while showcasing the product.

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Educate and entertain

People attend events because they want something from it. Whether that’s to share the joy of a wedding, meet new contacts, learn new things, try cutting edge products, meet old friends or something else. Deliver those things and you’re on track. Add further engagement such as a singer, band, comedian or some kind of show and you elevate the event.

Link the entertainment to the product or have the product feature and you showcase the product while entertaining the attendees.

Timing is everything

Your sponsor may tell you exactly when to hold the event but you may also have to devise the timing yourself. Product launches often happen just before or at the time of release. Company launches happen as soon as everything is ready. Other types of launch party usually happen when the product, service or item is ready for retail or publication.

If you’re in charge of timing, look at the product being launched. Look at the wider industry calendar. Look at what else is going on in the event calendar and select the most appropriate time from there.

Start marketing early

You won’t always be able to publicise too much about the product early but you will need to begin marketing the event as soon as you can. Some product launches are shrouded in secrecy until the reveal but you can use that to your advantage with teaser campaigns. Hint at what’s coming, hold social media competitions to guess what the product is and use the secrecy to your advantage.

If you can be open and clear about the product being launched, the usual hint early and gradually build intensity method works well. Cover all relevant channels, tune your marketing to the product and audience and you should be fine!

Time the invites

Once you have an event theme, venue and schedule, it’s time to begin putting together the invites. If you’re planning a commercial launch party, you will need to get your invites out early so busy people can put it in their diary or have their people put it in their diary.

If it’s a non-corporate event, you need to time the invites carefully. Send them out too early and people may forget or the hype falls flat. Leave it too late and people may have other plans. The younger the target market, the later you can leave it. The more corporate or professional your target market, the more careful you have to be with invite scheduling.

Spread the word

Marketing is a huge part of event planning, especially at launch events. You want to generate enough hype that people want to come and enough to pique the curiosity of the press, social media influencers and anyone who might like, use or want the product being launched.

Send out press releases and press advisories. Invite local and national press, bloggers, influencers, TV or whoever is likely to reach the target market of the product. Do it early and give them a reason to come.

Don’t forget the swag bag

Even in these more environmentally aware times, the swag bag is an important aspect of a launch party. Attendees expect them of corporate events and they are always optional for other types of launches. Skip the cheap stuff, skip the single use plastics and avoid items that nobody will use. Instead, make the swag bag relevant to the launch, genuinely useful to attendees and that shows the product in a positive light. Less is often more with gifts. It can be a single item or a couple of items but as long as it is of quality and offers genuine value, it will be well received.

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