And what better way to reward your team’s hard work than with a party? A product launch party, that is. After months, maybe even years of coming up with the perfect design, then building, testing, and finally executing it, the next best thing is here. Your brand new product.
It’s time to celebrate! Throwing an incredible launch party isn’t rocket science, but it does take thoughtful planning, preparation, and dedication from every single person involved.
15 tips to plan an amazing launch party
Try not to get too overwhelmed by the little details. Although still important, this article will outline 15 broader themes to get you thinking and staying focused on what is most important. By following these tips, you can guarantee that your launch party will be a huge success!
1. Build hype
Before people can be excited about your launch party, they have to be excited about your product. To get the proper excitement your product needs, you’ll want to think outside the box. Take some advice from the experts who built up hype for their new product introductions, and in turn, had immense success with their launch parties. A party is nothing without fun guests, so make sure they are anticipating what you are about to release.
2. Have a clear ‘why?’
Why are you having this party? Sure, it’s to celebrate your hard work and introduce your new product, but what’s the answer to the greater why? What value does your new product provide to your target market, and why did you create it in the first place? Have meaningful answers to these types of questions and the greater importance of the party will show during the event. Be genuine and real. It's important for your future customers to see that.
3. Utilize a unique venue
Associate the venue you choose with your new product. This will bring your party’s theme full circle and provide an even better experience for your guests. It’s important to remember to not choose a venue that will outshine the main purpose of the party. You want your new product and party to be what everyone can’t stop talking about, not the place where it was held.
4. Make it exclusive
Carefully curate your guest list because you don't want just anyone showing up at your party. Make a list and invite the most relevant Influencers, press, future customers, and anyone who had a hand in the creation of your product. You want every guest to be invested in your company and product in some way. If not, the vibe of the party will be off, and it will be noticeable in a negative way.
5. Capitalize on your differences
What makes your new product different from the others just like it in its category? Find what that is and run with it. You can center your party’s theme around it or have unique touches that play it up. This will create a memorable experience for everyone in attendance, because it's something fresh and exciting.
6. Find a fun partnership
This is the time to pull in local businesses and related companies to complement your party. Working with local restaurants will make it a community event that people will be excited to be a part of. This will also get your name out there and in front of a new set of people, as well as create an initial support team of other businesses that will have your back in the future.
And of course, every good party must have delicious food and drinks. This will make it easy for you to find the best options for refreshments while simultaneously building important relationships with the community and other relevant businesses.
7. Provide engaging live entertainment
Entertainment is a must for any party, and for your launch party the options are endless. Keeping your party goers engaged and entertained can simply be done with music! This can be in the form of a hand-picked playlist to a live band or DJ. In addition to music, Keynote speakers, CEO speeches, developer roundtable discussions, product demonstrations, and more are all fantastic ways to fill in the gaps of the night. These presentations are all great ways to allow your guests to understand your company's method behind its madness. Taking a closer look at your product through the explanations of people who know it best is a sure way to get your guests invested and excited to purchase.
8. Speak to your cause and inspire
The main purpose of the night is to have fun and introduce your new product, but there is still room to inspire your guests. If there is a greater reason for why you were compelled to create your new product, then your product launch party is the perfect time to capitalize on it. Remember your greater ‘why’ and speak to it. Let everyone understand the emotion behind it. It will spark amazing reactions from your guests and team that is sure to bring a new dimension to the party.
9. Get your guests involved
Provide a hands-on event that will get your guests excited to be a part of. This can be in relation to your product and something they can take home or it can be an auction or raffle. The more involved the guests are in the party activities, the more invested they are in your product and company. These types of activities also break up the night, ensuring that everyone is always enjoying themselves and entertained.
10. Be loud on social
Get loud on social, and I mean really loud! There is no reason your launch party shouldn’t be all over social since its free to use. By doing this, you can guarantee those who aren't in attendance will wish they were, which means your party will have effects on people beyond the guest list. You should have snapchat filters, branded event hashtags to use on Instagram and Twitter, and the person who is in charge of your company social media accounts to post frequently throughout the night. Encourage your guests to post to public stories and use your hashtags. This will get the word out quickly.
11. Keep the party momentum going
Don’t let the excitement die down too quickly. After the whirlwind of your launch party settles, take notice of the content you are left with. Anything from pictures, guest reviews, recorded speeches, video snippets of the night, and more! The fun doesn't have to end just yet! Use this valuable content to create an article for your blog, post the video clips to your social media, or send it in to local media and reporters. The opportunities are endless.
12. Make the experience personal
Work hard to foster a party atmosphere that feels personal. It is important to make sure that your guests know how much they matter to you and your business and that they were specifically chosen to celebrate with you. Whether your guest have invested their own hard earned money into the creation of your new product or they are just loyal, supporting customers, these are the people who are rooting for you to succeed the most. Treat them with the same respect and make them happy!
13. Create a memorable theme
Sure, you can have a successful party without a theme, but a perfect theme is what will make your party. Use your theme to tie in all of your elements such as your venue space, cuisine, music, and more! Your theme is the cherry on top of a flawlessly executed party. Just make sure it matches the type of product you’re unveiling.
14. Have giveaways and gifts
Of course, you should always have something for your guests to take home. This is your way of saying ‘thank you for coming and we value your support’. Don't waste money on cheap and useless gifts. Make sure it’s worthy and something that they will actually be excited about receiving. If budget allows, gifting your product at the end is an excellent choice.
15. Implement fun and unique details
Don’t forget about the little touches that will bring your party to the next level. Get creative with this! The more you can tie in your theme and product to these details the better. Think about specially crafted and named cocktails, branded accessories, unique photo or accent walls, and performers. The ideas are endless! If you want people to talk about your party, then these details are a good idea to put your time and energy into.
Launch party examples from companies that did it best
It’s sometimes easier said than done. For even more inspiration and guidance, I’ve asked marketing and event professionals what they did for their launch parties to ensure their event wowed and amazed while still keeping the main focus on the new product and properly introducing it.
Here is what they did:
Inspiring and uplifting
“I'm a coach for moms. I help them figure out how to have big careers and big lives, to lean into motherhood and ambition, and be happier while pursuing it all.
In my previous career at HBO, events were such a large part of my role that I wanted my entrepreneurial launch to be extra special. I know the power of connection, anticipation, and transformation events can foster. I hosted it at a lake house and managed all the details myself, from the playlist to the activities, to the keynote, to the guest list. It was an amazing launch party!"
Biggest piece of advice
“Tone matters. What do you want the overall vibe of your party to be? Start there. Don’t get obsessed with details, start making decisions, or spend any money until you figure out what the purpose of your event will be and how you want your guests to feel.”
“My favorite element turned out to be my keynote, which was what I was most worried about early on in the planning. It’s not often you get to lead your audience on a journey that celebrates them, motivates them, connects them, and introduces a brand, so I wanted to capitalize.
I opted out of media elements, like videos or slides, and instead had beautiful props printed with meaningful quotes that resonated, and asked the audience to read aloud personal favorites with me. There’s power in giving everyone a voice and a role, and inviting participation throughout the night. I also purchased really good wine, as generosity is important to me.”
“Ends+Stems is a meal planning app to reduce household food waste. We launched our app and had our party shortly after.
We are about preserving food and educating families on how to cook the entire vegetable, so we had a M.Y.O. Pickles Party. The platform is designed for families, so we hosted it in a parent's clubhouse and play space near our headquarters in San Francisco. The event was held from 2-4pm on a Sunday when families are looking for fun. Kids decorated Mason jars and stuffed veggies and spices inside, then my chef attendant filled it with hot pickle liquid. We had amazing, zero-waste swag bags sponsored and filled by Regrained, Brandless, Who Gives A Crap, Wisdom Paper Supply, Socola Chocolates, InkForest Printing, and more!
As the CEO and Founder, I gave everyone a tour of the app and its new features and then gave a short thank you speech. We had 50 attendees, which packed the place in a good way!
The guests posted their pickle success to social media all throughout the evening! It was an awesome event and unlike most!”
Biggest piece of advice
“There are three: set a budget, be creative, and remember your target audience. The point of a launch is to welcome your customers and celebrate with them. Think about what they would consider a fun party, not about what your peers in business are doing.”
For next time
“I would have been more diligent about capturing the contact information from the guests, even if it was just an Instagram handle or email. The party was such a whirlwind that a few potential supporters came and went, so I'm missing the opportunity to follow up with them personally. I would assign a greeter to the door or somehow turn it into a game, raffle, etc.”
“We recently launched Noggin Oil in Los Angeles. We held our launch party at Cinema Secrets, a prestigious store that serves the film and TV makeup industry. We had vegan entrees and vegan wine to match our brand new vegan hair product! The keynote speakers were two co-founders of the product, and we had models from Wilhelmina and an actress from Bosch to model the hair products.
Our guest list consisted of people who do hair for film and TV, music and other VIPs. Attendees included DJ Speedy, who has produced hits for Beyonce and JayZ to name a few, the Senior Editor from LA Fashion Magazine, P!nk's hairdresser and more!”
Biggest piece of advice
“Target your invite list effectively. By reaching out to the people that the product was most geared to, we were able to create an internal industry buzz. Know not only your target market, but those who influence that market as well.“
For next time
“Make sure you have time for all the details! The little things like getting the gift bags done sooner or putting the banner in a different place for better pictures. In all the excitement we never got a picture of all the great attendees together in front of the banner. Make sure to coordinate specific times for things like that!”
“We had dogs of every breed, shape, color, and size join together with their owners for our product launch. We called the party, TEEF!-a-Pawlooza, and it was the perfect opportunity for pet lovers to celebrate the latest innovation in dog dental care.
Over the course of three hours, we had over 150 guests at a new and trendy microbrewery and tap room in our area for great beer, food trucks, games, music, raffles, and vendors. Our guests had a fantastic time mixing and mingling with other animal lovers and participating in all of the fun. All proceeds benefited the Minnesota Animal Humane Society.
During the event, Dr. Emily Stein, Founder of TEEF!, along with Co-Founder, Lindsey Campbell, spoke about their background, the importance of proper dental care, and the inspiration behind TEEF!”
Your launch party is the cherry on top of your months and months (and months) of hard work. You and your team deserve to be celebrated for everything you accomplished by introducing your new product to the public in a fun way! By following these tips, you’re sure to throw a launch party that is highly regarded by future customers and investors alike and memorable for all who attended.
Now that you have the best tips and advice to plan the perfect launch party, you’re going to need some help keeping all of your ideas organized. Check out the best event management software to assist you with every step!
Hannah is a former Content Marketing Associate at G2. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in Journalism. In her free time, Hannah enjoys running with her dog, Teddy, traveling to new and exciting places, and capturing the beautiful places she travels to with her DSLR camera. (she/her/hers)