As an entrepreneur, your business is not only your livelihood but your joy! Opening your doors is a brand new day for the people of the community. You want them to celebrate with you, not only because they will be your future customers. What’s the best way to make sure your Launch Party is a memorable one, both for your business and your community?
Chances are that you, like most people, probably don’t relish public speaking. However, you are the figurehead for your whole operation. You are not only the owner and operator. At the heart of the organization, you are the Brand! It is the business you’ve built, the team you’ve assembled, the logo you’ve approved which are the foundation for your work; your personality colors all of these things. Create a speech that celebrates your goals for the company, praises your team, and speaks of how much you appreciate your community and how much you are honored to be able to serve it. Short, to the point, and grateful for the wonderful work you’re about to commence to help other people.
All spectacular parties want to be memorable, and so your décor matters a great deal. Nevertheless, simplicity is a lovely skill to develop. Your business need not have ostentatious themed décor added in order to create ambiance. The types of decorations you use depend upon what kind of business you are promoting. A bank, for example, and a café would naturally have very different needs for decorating! Current trends include using food as part of your decorations, so look to beautifully decorated cookies and cakes, which can also be offered as treats to take home afterward.
How do you make swag bags on a budget without looking like you’ve thrown a children’s birthday party? Besides custom (and wrapped) cookies, there are a lot of customizable options available. Your company logo and branding can be printed on pretty much anything. Is there a funny tie-in you can make with your purpose or name? Coming out of a pandemic, there are some things which, like masks, might have been fun a year ago and aren’t anymore. Hand sanitizers, though, won’t go out of style. Customers also want products that are eco-friendly, and not due to be plastic trash in another week, so choose carefully. Think sustainability!
Now the important bit: people show up for free food! Folks are going to be a bit skittish after a year and a half in a safe shelter, in which they needed to protect themselves from germs. Think of treats that can be individually wrapped and distributed. You can reduce messiness and elevate the presentation by using little knotted skewers. This prevents lingering by the buffet table. Anything from dipped fruits, cooked meats, and vegetables, or even small petit-fours can be placed on skewers. If desired, several can be placed within a paper décor bag for easy handling and distribution. Think towards things that are sanitary, easily displayed, and beautiful to display. This is a great opportunity to share networking with another small business in your community, whether a bakery or restaurant. And if you are a restaurant, being able to offer samples of your own excellent work is a wonderful option!
When throwing a party, as in advertising and in writing, knowing your audience is key. This is the time to think of your target demographic. Is your business intending to be most popular to be used by a young, hip crowd? By older patrons? Are you a business that is specific to children? Consider your target demographic, and figure out what they will both show up for and enjoy. If your beautiful establishment is specific to allergy sufferers, don’t hold it outside in springtime. If you want to be popular with youth, don’t play music from a generation before, and vice versa. Research and advertise to your target, as your party is a large advertisement.
What can you offer to show what it is your business does? If you are a café, you will have samples, obviously, but it’s hard to give away samples of children’s birthday parties! Figure out what your brand does, at heart, and give samples of that thing. Are you an advertising agency? Have an improv session of funny ideas for a couple of brands. Are you a landscaping business? Show how to create a simple garden, or demonstrate how to replant a shrub. Figure out what kind of freebie you can demonstrate to show how you will benefit the community.
If you’re going to have a successful launch, you want to make sure that everybody (especially that target demographic) knows what is happening and where! Remember that paper fliers in the mail, although traditional and still possible to use, are not as effective as utilizing social media in many aspects! Determine how your personal target demographic likes to be contacted. Some prefer email, some text options, and many, many social media options. The bonus to using digital invites in social media is that they often have the option of linking directly into digital calendars.
Don’t forget, it’s ok if you want to soft launch your grand opening! A soft launch is a small party for just your team and their close friends and family—a trial run for a grand opening party. It’s a small rehearsal for your big party the next day or week. Having a trial run can give you a chance, just like a theater company would, to get rid of the opening night jitters, and test out all the problems that might be common.
Your company is going to be magnificent, so why not celebrate it? You have assembled a great team and a wonderful business plan. When you launch, you’ve created a pathway to success. Prepare well, plan in advance, and have fun!
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