How to plan a startup launch event


POSTED BY | Will Simmonds

Your startup’s launch party is your introduction to all the investors, journalists, suppliers, clients and other important people in your industry. Making sure you get it right is important, which is why the experts at event venue Glaziers Hall have come together to help. Our events team has helped startups achieve amazing launch parties and below are some top tips to help you succeed. Here are our 10 tips on how to plan a launch event…

1. Have a goal.

You are planning a launch event, but what do you want to get out of it? If your answer is not focused and well defined then you are not ready. Some good goals could be to:

    • introduce yourself to new clients
    • build brand recognition, or
    • win new investment. Whatever your goal is, you need it to be clear so you can move forward with confidence.

2. Measure your goal.

Having a pre-event goal is not enough. Post event, you need to know what you have achieved and whether your event has met your goal. For instance, if you are looking for brand recognition, tracking mentions of your event hashtag on social media could be a good way to measure success. The point is to understand what you achieve.

3. Find the right time and place.

Picking your dates and locations carefully is critical. If you pick a date that clashes with a major conference in your industry or a location that all of your investors have been to time and again, you are likely to get a low turnout and a poor reception. Do some research on the best date to pick and find an interesting venue. For instance, if you were launching a maritime company you might want to look into our River Room as it looks directly onto the Thames.

4. Check your amenities.

Depending on your startup launch event, you may need lighting, food, AV equipment etc. It is important to make sure your venue can provide all of these services. You also want to make sure you get a quote that covers every service.

5. Offset costs with good sponsors.

For most startups, money is tight and you may not have thousands to spend on food or other launch event necessities. Look at branding different areas of your launch event and finding sponsors. You can also look into a trade. If you are planning a launch event for a new food delivery service, larger food brands may be interested in getting in front of your audience. You could trade them advertising and branding space for help with the catering costs. A good place to start looking for sponsors is to look for companies who have sponsored similar events to yours.

6. Give your audience something to remember

Provide learning experiences, free gifts or something that is different from the usual launch event. These make your event stand out and can give you a unique way of reaching your target audience.

7. Hire help

At Glaziers Hall we understand that planning a launch event can be a lot for one person to manage alone. Just remember that something can go wrong with any plan. If you are handling everything yourself, your attention will be divided during the event, dealing with any event hiccups while hosting your guests. Launch your startup with the staff you need to support you throughout the event and ensure it’s a success.

8. Tailor activities to your audience.

Think about what your audience is expecting and what they will want before you plan your itinerary. If your audience is a group of journalists, they will want quotes and facetime with founders. If you are targeting potential customers then they are going to be more interested in trialing the product and learning about USPs. Know your audience and provide them what they want on event day.

9. Build your contact list and stay in touch.

You will undoubtedly be creating a list of attendees for your launch event. These people are valuable guests but you should not forget about them once you have sent your invitations. Reach out to attendees with a reminder before the event. Once the event is over, attendees can still be extremely valuable contacts so make a point of contacting them when you have something of interest to share with them.

10. Give yourself plenty of time.

6 weeks is a minimum for planning a launch event. The further ahead you start to plan the better. Remember that venues book up early, guests make plans and there is plenty of work that goes into any event so this is not something that should be done at the last minute.

If you stick to these 10 pieces of advice it will make planning your launch event much easier and less stressful. If you are looking for a great place to hold your next launch event, Glaziers Hall has a number of beautiful event spaces and experts who can provide further guidance.