Friday, August 24, 2012

How to Throw a Killer Startup Launch Party

Your launch party isn’t just a fun night of drinking and schmoozing with friends, family and potential customers—more importantly, it’s your startup’s first impression.  And like the old adage says, you only get one first impression.

Your startup’s launch party is one of the most important days of your business’s life.  It’s technically your startup’s “birthday” and it’s a chance to find potential customers, interested investors and brand advocates.     
So how can you make your startup’s launch party truly stand out?  We’ve got six important tips for you to get it right the first time! 

1.  The Perfect Location
No launch party is complete without a kick-butt location.  But just because a location is modern and swanky, doesn’t mean that it will fit your business’s voice.  Some startups need to launch during the day at a local coffee shop, others are more fitted for the bar scene, and still others should look into modern business-oriented event spaces in the area.  It all depends on what you want your startup’s message to be and the vibe that you want to give from the start. 

Looking to save some cash?  Many startups opt to throw their launch parties at nonprofit locations or  schools.  These options often have the most reasonable pricing opportunities.

2.  Marketing
No one will show up your launch party if they don’t know it exists!  That’s why marketing your startup launch party is critical to its success.  Blast out an email to your contacts about your launch party, add it to your startup’s website, Tweet it, Facebook it, blog it!  Do whatever it takes to get word out about your startup’s launch.

Another great marketing tip?  Get in touch with online calendars (like through your city’s newspaper) and add your launch party to the list.  Newspapers reach a large amount of people, and oftentimes, adding events to their calendars is free!

3.  The Right Guests
Speaking of’s important to get the right people to your startup launch—more specifically, potential investors, potential clients and media.  Therefore, when marketing, make sure that you’re using the correct platform to get the right people.  One of the best ways to guarantee that the right people will show up is by using a tool called EventBrite.  It’s a social-media-friendly event management site perfect for any launch party.  Another tip?  Send out a media advisory to important media resources like local newspapers, television stations and bloggers.

4.  Entertainment
Keep in mind that sometimes, it takes a little more than rockin’ music and an open bar to keep launch party guests entertained.  You want to keep guests engaged not only in the party, but in your product as well.  We recommend featuring a live demo of your product or service as one of the main focuses of a launch.  Other great ideas?  Live bands, contests, keynote speakers and raffles (plus, if you ask for business cards during a raffle, you automatically have some leads!). 

5.  Swag
What launch party is complete without swag?  Every guest loves swag, especially when they may not expect it!  Swag could be as simple as a few pamphlets about your startup, a stress ball with your startup’s logo or a discount coupon.  A lot of the time, you can get another partner to sponsor your launch party’s swag!  And that brings us to number six...

6.  Generous Sponsors
Donations are life-savers for startups...especially during the beginning phases.  Sponsors can play a major role in your startup’s launch party—from providing food and beverage to purchasing swag to donating event space.  Get in touch with the movers-and-shakers in your city and try to get your startup’s launch party sponsored! 

What are you waiting for?  Now that you have the six tips to blow your launch party out of the water, it’s time to get planning!  Best of luck, not only on solidifying your startup’s inception, but also on throwing a party that potential clients and investors will never forget! 


  1. I can so relate to what you have said Trent. I’m into organizing events myself and if there’s one important lesson I’ve learned so far in this industry is to always have backup plans to the original ones. When things don’t go out as designed, you must be quick to think on your feet and find ways to still successfully execute the event.

  2. Thanks for this, it's really useful. I'd not have thought about sponsors before, but I guess it's an easy and cost-effective way for other businesses to get promotion on the back of someone else's event.