For most tech startups, success increases with each new market launch. One example is Uber's intense series of city-by-city launches, which quickly catapulted the company from a small San Fran car service to a $40 billion company that operates in 58 countries and 300 cities worldwide.
Launching a business in a new market takes a lot of research, planning and marketing, but nothing makes an introduction quite like a great launch party. Following are several expert tips to plan and executive a successful launch event without a hitch.
Let someone else do the planning for you
A lot more goes into event planning than most people realize, so working with professionals can make your life easier and ensures you’re not missing a single detail. Some companies, such as Kapow, let you plan a corporate event such as a launch party at the click of a button. All you have to do is enter your estimated number of attendees and budget and the online marketplace will generate a list of local venues and activities ideal for your launch event. While the event company handles all the details, this frees up time for you to spend on your strategy, marketing and other important initiatives for the new market.
Understand your target audience
Depending on the city you’re expanding to, it might offer a variety of unique event opportunities available nowhere else. However, don’t let your excitement for these new events cause you to overlook your target audience. If your audience consists of fellow techies, they probably enjoy engaging, hands-on events such as a night at an arcade bar. However, finance gurus and investors typically prefer a more formal setting with the opportunity for face-to-face interaction, such as an upscale cocktail party. Assess who your ideal launch attendees are before selecting an event activity.
Market the event
After all the work planning the perfect launch event, you want to make sure the right people attend. Consider a variety of local marketing channels, including social media promotion and advertising, distributing a press release or blog post announcing the event, reaching out to local news outlets, and posting on local event calendars. Another way to market your event is through establishing relationships with local business leaders, who can use their networks to spread to share your event via word-of-mouth and other channels.
Expanding to a new city is always an exciting milestone for tech startups and with all the responsibility involved, planning a launch event should be the least of your worries. By taking these tips into consideration, you can host a successful event that will help your company jumpstart success in each new local market.
Marc Halpin is the Founder and CEO of Kapow Events, an online marketplace for corporate events. Combining the expertise of a local event planner with the efficiency of an online marketplace, Kapow works with the best local venues and entertainment partners to offer companies a curated selection of unique, pre-packaged corporate events.