Planning, promoting, and hosting a launch event might take a lot of hard work, but doing it well is integral to the success of any new business.
Here are seven steps to an explosive launch party that will put your company on the map—all while saving you money.
1. Know your vision.
Just like every company needs a vision statement—a clear and purposeful description of its overarching goals—the same is true of your event.
All events will be different in their goals, so don’t take a one-size-fits all approach. Establishing your event’s objectives should be the first thing you do.
Begin by asking yourself, “What’s the purpose of my event?”
Write down the most important things you want it to accomplish. These notes will make other decisions easier, such as deciding whether a promotional tool will help you to reach your goals.
2. Know your target audience.
When crafting your event plan, you have got to understand your audience.
The key is customization—letting you target audience know that you think of them as individuals and understand their lifestyle. If you don’t speak to their needs and lifestyle, a customer won’t attend your event.
Begin by developing a simple profile of your ideal customer. While prospects can be categorized demographically, you should also consider “lifestyle” categories. Is your ideal customer conservative or risk-taking? How do they consume products like yours? Online or in-person?
Whoever your target audience is, be sure to define them. These descriptions will be your guide as you plan your media and PR campaigns, going forward.
3. Location, location, location…
Choosing a venue is the one decision that will have the largest impact on your event—and you’ve got to pick the right one, if you want it to pop.
Here are the top three things to consider, when making this crucial choice:
- Convenience: If your target audience falls within a specific region, choose a venue within a short distance from their homes. If your company is like Kaizen Global, and attendees are travelling from all over the world, hosting your event at a conference centre near the airport is a better choice.
- Ambience: When I host marketing events for Kaizen Global, I’m careful to select a venue with ambience that matches the desired “feeling” of my event. Ask: What message does the venue’s architecture and design convey? If you’re holding a networking conference for young professional, you’ll need different accommodations than you would for a gala.
- Amenities: Does your venue offer catering services? Does it have tables, chairs, and linens you can use? A setup/cleanup crew? Audio-Visual capabilities? Your needs will vary from event to event, so it’s essential to consider what amenities and services you will require.
4. Create a “pre-event” page.
Too many event marketers forget they can create an event page and make it live to capture early interest. By creating a pre-event page, you’ll have a central page to drive people to, to capture early leads, and to build up your SEO authority.
When creating your pre-event page, I would recommend offering an early bird incentive to those who pre-register. As an idea, you might provide free giveaways to the first fifty registrants. This will add value and incentive for consumers—Marketing 101!
5. Don’t neglect email lists.
Too many young event planners believe that tapping email lists is an archaic practice. Not true. According to Pulse Report, email is still the single most effective tactic used by event organizers.
How do you capitalize on this?
Very simply, have kick-ass email content. Your content, like your event, has to be amazing if you want people to forward your emails and stay subscribed. There’s no substitute for having the best content. So, before you hit “send” ask yourself: “Would this email make me feel like I need to attend this event?” If you’re not convinced, nobody else will be either.
6. Create a press release.
Writing an effective press release is life and death. Never focus on features or benefits—that’s sales copy, not a news story. Instead, focus your press release on one of two angles.
- Entertainment Value: Your press release should explain why your event is novel, interesting, and “attendance worthy.” Ask yourself: If you were reading an article about your event, while commuting to work, would it catch your attention? If the answer is yes, then chances are a local journalist may also want to pick up on the story.
- The “Human Element”: Are you—or is anyone involved in the event—an interesting story? Have you overcome adversity and challenges? (Kaizen Global events always capitalize on this angle.) Telling the human story is a universal strategy of both local and mainstream press, so play to that if you can.
7. Keep it fresh.
As your event date approaches, the best way to keep the momentum going is through social media, email, and (you guessed it) novel content.
Whatever you do, do not send out the same email or recycle the same links. A good sales pitch plays upon the impulses of the consumer. If you fail to surprise your consumers with novel content, you will lose their interest.
The trick is to balance your underlying sales pitch with high-value, interesting content that your target audience will appreciate. Kaizen Global’s newsletter is a great example of this strategy, as it’s always different, engaging, and interactive.