Tonight I was invited to the LocalSearch launch party – if you’re interested in directory marketing they are worth having a look at – the people are lovely and they love what they do.
Being me all I could think about was what would I do to make the evening better from a marketing perspective. But first, let me list the things they did well.
- I was invited – being invited to this kind of events is always a bonus, they are not cheap to put on and it scores them definite brownie points
- Free food and drinks – again lots of brownie points – there is nothing worse than an event at dinner time and there not being enough food for everyone
- There were several greeters at the door – given I knew no one, it was nice to have people to say hello to.
- Freebie on entry (All for marketing purposes, but who will turn down a magnetized USB stick… very cool)
- The room was a good size for the number of people there – enough room to mingle without it being crowded, small enough that it felt like there were lots of people there
- The marketing spiel was short and sweet!
- There were company representatives making the rounds and chatting and introducing themselves
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Now that you’ve read the things they did well I’m going to share with you some of the things I would have done and my tips in general for anyone planning a launch party!
- People are generally awful at mingling. When you have invited a group of people to the event that won’t know each other, try to facilitate the meeting of people as much as possible – make it the social norm. Whether you have a competition for meeting the most number of people, set it up as an actual networking event, or have facilitators to introduce people. Especially to talk to those in ones and twos standing against the wall.
- When you give out a freebie try to make it something useful for future use. A USB is a great idea, but perhaps one USB has a prize on it – that’ll ensure people check -otherwise they are going straight in a desk draw if not the bin. The freebie should really be market-specific. Whether you’re an app startup and you give everyone free access to your app, or an entrepreneurial company and you give everyone a limited edition t-shirt – It can be hard to provide something with the “cool” factor that’ll keep it out of the bin – but be creative and always ask yourself “Why would they want to keep this?”
- Ensure that you have enough people mingling and talking about your company – be careful that this doesn’t become forced and sales-focused. Get to know those who attended and really get to know them. Make them feel valued
- Remember that this is a party! It’s supposed to be fun, those in attendance are curious or love your company and they are here to celebrate as much as you are – make sure your event reflects this.
- Consider a thank you gift on the way out – you’ll get a better idea of people’s reaction at the end of the night than you will as they walk in.
- Follow up – Send a ‘personalized’ email to everyone who attended and thank them for their attendance – again you want your clients and potential clients to feel the love!
- Most importantly remember your target market! If you’re targeting the young entrepreneurs you can go a little bit crazy, if you’re targeting small family businesses a more subdue event will be in order – this is important to consider in everything from the venue, food choices, music selection, marketing presentation, and any gifts and marketing material you hand out.
If you’re having a Launch Party – congratulations, it’s a very exciting opportunity for you and your company – just always remember that everything is marketing and don’t waste the opportunity!
My name is Dahna and I’m the founder of Bright Red Marketing. I live and breathe marketing, I can’t see an advertisement without analyzing it, or pass by a Marketing Book without reading it. Most of all I love helping businesses with their marketing and I love to chat.
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