Last updated: May 15, 2023
After hosting hundreds of networking events and cocktail parties, I can honestly say that these launch party ideas will work.
But all too frequently I see company founders and small business owners make mistakes at their launch parties.
Keep reading to learn how to host a perfect launch party the first time.
Why you should listen to me: Hi! I’m Nick Gray. I used launch parties to help boost the success of my last company, Museum Hack. I’ve hosted hundreds of networking events and cocktail parties for people all across the world. New York Magazine once called me a host of “culturally significant” parties. I also wrote a book called The 2-Hour Cocktail Party.
Pick a Great Day
Host on a non-competitive weeknight day like a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday night to host your launch party on.
Here’s why: Most people are more available during those nights. They almost never have things going on these weeknights. It makes it easier for them to RSVP to your event.
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are terrible days to host your launch party. I call these red-level party days because they’re socially competitive: other events and family commitments make it harder to grow your guest list.
Give Plenty of Notice
Send invitations early. Give your guests at least three weeks notice. This gives you enough time to invite your core group, great guests, and have a high attendance rate.
You’ll also have enough time to plan and buy all the supplies stress-free.
If you make the major mistake of planning your party for next week, everyone will already have plans and won’t be able to attend. Read more about this concept in my article The Party Runway.
Collect RSVPs on an online event platform. I like Partiful and Mixily.
Getting RSVPs from everyone increases your attendance rate. It creates a social contract with your guests.
Pro tip: Nobody wants to go to an event that has zero attendees. Invite your core group of friends to RSVP on the event page first.
You can also use your RSVP platform to send party reminder messages. I suggest sending three reminders: the first one one week beforehand, the second one a few days prior (3-4), and the final reminder on the morning of your party.
Make the Ask
What’s the purpose of your launch party?
It’s probably to get support for your new app or business or startup company. You want people to download the app, or leave a review online, or even buy your book for a book launch.
Here’s the key takeaway: You need to ask for your favor. Make your ask at the party itself.
When you’re providing value at the party, then you can ask for value from your guests.
But don’t wait till the day after your party! Nobody cares. Life goes on.
Make your ask to support your launch at the party for maximum impact.
Hosting a launch party can help your startup, small business, or even nonprofit venture.
Remember to do these four things to help make it a success:
- Pick a great day, like a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday night
- Give plenty of notice, ideally two weeks
- Collect RSVPs on an online platform
- Make the ask towards the end of your party when the energy is high
My name is Nick Gray. I wrote a book called The 2-Hour Cocktail Party that teaches you how to have a successful party for your friends, neighbors, your startup, or your business. It’s a step-by-step guide. I’m really proud of it.
When will you host your next event? I’d love to help you out by holding you accountable and giving you some more advice. So go ahead and email me with your event date!