Everyone loves a party- right? It brings people together, creates memories and celebrates an occasion… that is exactly why I believe a launch party for your business is so important. Now there are some nay-sayers and that’s ok! Some people may say they are a waste of time or money, that they are pointless or a thing of the past. Well- You can’t please everyone all of the time now can you?
You don’t need a huge budget.
It doesn’t have to be a black tie affair. It can be in your living room! In your workspace! Places that you already have so you aren’t paying fees. Even restaurants will allot side-rooms if they have them available (and if you have the budget to order their food). Get a cake- you can have your logo printed on icing and placed on it- your supermarket may do it, I know Dairy Queen does. Grab some branded coloured balloons and dollar store streamers, some finger food and a bottle of champagne. VOILA! A party under $150 that is going to set the tone for your new adventure. An enthusiastic and motivated tone.
Now, if you can afford more? By all means. Make the party yours. Rather than email or facebook an invitation? Maybe you will have them printed? You can have a raffle and draw prizes? Maybe instead of celebrating with your friends and family you can invite clients/customers (If you are launching a re-brand I do recommend you invite your larger accounts). You can have a themed party if the shoe fits or have a sit down dinner if you prefer. THE POINT IS- Have something. Be excited. Make it branded- it is meant to reflect your company’s style and don’t forget to have a small speech ready- you want to address your party from a personal standpoint.
SO who should you invite?
At the bare minimum- your close friends and family. Ideally? You want to invite existing or potential clients as well- but that isn’t always realistic when working with a small business budget. If you want/can you could reach out to the local media and hope for coverage. A simple press release could be picked up especially in a smaller town where a new business/service is beneficial to the community.
Some inexpensive launch party ideas:
- Bring your laptop & have your website open so that people can browse your site
- Have printed material for people to bring home & share with their circles (Business Cards, magnets, brochures or branded pens)
- Informative postcards for takeaway (vistaprint.ca has great prices)
- Make sure you have background music or some type of entertainment to alleviate any awkward silence
- Perhaps you took pictures to document your start-up journey? Why not show them in a slideshow
- Create a hashtag for your event and encourage guests to post on their social media
- An inexpensive “swag” takeaway for your guests! Something as small as a branded stress ball or paperweight… again- check online, you can find deals!
- GAMES! Networking games, Bingo type games- conversation starters are fun for large crowds who may not know each other.
- Take pictures & share them with your social media community! Get them excited too.
- Maybe have a branded photo-op backdrop on a wall for a red carpet experience!
Overall I believe in positive energy. I believe that you get from this world what you put into it and that if you maintain a realistic upbeat energy aura- you will become contagious. I believe that energy is infectious and that when you are excited about something, it shines through, it radiates! So why not throw a party (no one said it has to break the bank) to showcase your excitement, get that positive energy on the tail of your business and ride with it?! Start your adventure with positivity, excitement and be proud of what you are about to embark on. Show the public that you believe in your vision and they will believe in it too.