12 Launch Party Ideas to Wow Your Guests
Congratulations! Your team has invested countless hours into a recent project and it’s finally completed. Now you get to do the fun part: plan a launch party to release it for the world to enjoy. Following are 12 creative launch party ideas to inspire you to design a celebration that is as exciting as the project you’re unveiling.
Of course, first you’ll need a venue to use as your “launchpad.” The simplest place to find a space is Peerspace, boasting thousands of bookable, unique venues in metros across the country. Choose your theme or mood — cozy and warm, modern industrial, sprawling and picturesque — and then find your perfect-match venue on Peerspace!
What are you launching? Is it a brilliant new piece of software, a fabulous cookbook, a proprietary blend of wine, or a new marketing or fundraising campaign? Use the product itself to drive the planning process. It seems redundant to say, but you have to make sure the point is clear to your guests — that is, refrain from focusing exclusively on the design of the event, as people may forget why they’re there. Once you have that clear picture in mind, get planning!
1. Get creative with color or a theme
Regardless of the budget or size of the event, color is a simple place to start. If you blanket the room in your product’s signature colors, it may come across as suffocating! Instead, create a palette that will complement (and not overshadow) your color scheme. Select neutrals as a base for table linens—creamy ivory, tan, or shades of gray—then add pops of color with centerpieces, uplights, and even the staff uniforms.
Likewise, if you choose a particular theme instead, the possibilities are nearly endless when it comes to the décor. Plus, you can event event invite guests to dress up in costume. Who would ever forget a launch party with incredibly thoughtful decorations and attendees?
2. Start celebrating at the door
People always remember the beginning and end of an event. Make both memorable! Begin by parking food trucks or a mobile bar somewhere between the parking lot and front door. This way, you can get the business of eating and drinking underway! This obvious-but-creative launch party idea will break the ice and, on a practical note, lighten the lines for food and drink indoors.
3. Greet guests with sound
Set the tone for the party with music from the moment guests walk in. Choose a strolling Spanish guitar or a mandolin duo to create an upbeat, surprising mood as attendees arrive; then switch to a DJ or live band once the party is in full swing.
4. Create vignettes within your event
Though your product is the overarching theme, a great idea to expand on the finer points is to theme decor and A/V displays as a gallery of sorts. Take your guests on a journey to introduce them to your product. It’s a creative idea to keep your launch party fresh and moving along — literally!
5. Sample self-care items from small businesses
Everyone loves a party favor! Another interactive launch party idea is to create a “bar” of Earth-friendly, non-toxic, sensitive-friendly skincare products for men and women. Your guests can slow down and try some balms and moisturizers by grassroots brands. Support a tiny business (find them on Etsy!) and send your guests home with fancy presents. Win!
6. Keep them busy
Busy people have a tendency to blow through open-house events in order to simply “make an appearance.” A creative idea to keep them at your launch party is to tap into everyone’s creativity. Find something that pairs well with your product or theme: an artist providing airbrush tattoos, a bartender to give a quick mixology lesson, or a braid bar staffed by a local stylist. Not only will it make them laugh, but it’s a great conversation starter.
7. Make your team the stars of the show
They’ve worked hard, now they’re sending their creation out for all to see. Plan ahead and shoot video of their process: working, building, interacting, celebrating, or otherwise shaping the product for which you’re having your awesome party. Let your editing team have some fun with the footage: speed it up, add effects and filters, layer it with music, then show the edited video on screens throughout the event.
8. Sample perfectly portioned, bite-sized food
Pair your menu with your theme! Whether upscale and sophisticated or playful and fun, small bites are always a winning, creative launch party idea. Try miniature versions of complete, composed entrees or fun carnival treats of cones of fries or mini corn dogs on a stick. Pork BBQ sliders or street tacos with a margarita shot are a guaranteed way to get people to loosen up and have fun.
9. Create an indie bookstore within the event
Is your launch featuring a new tome, or is there new literature that is relevant to your topic? Put it on display. Cluster soft furniture and coffee tables to create conversation areas. Provide espresso drinks and Italian sodas along with tiny sweets. Fill funky bookshelves with brand-new titles, and invite guests to browse and take volumes home with them.
10. Make an ethical swag bag
Reach out to partner businesses to assemble a surprising swag bag that guests will use for weeks to come. Include something edible and decadent (local chocolates), something to benefit the community (such as Pura Vida bracelets), something practical (a Moleskine notebook), and a gift card to a local business. While reusable totes seem to make sense, not everyone is going to carry someone else’s logo around. Instead, a craft bag made of recycled materials is likely going to be more appreciated.
11. Don’t forget the sweet tooths
Few people can pass up a dessert table. Create a final stop comprising a candy bar with wrapped treats or a selection portable desserts — cupcakes, donuts, or hand pies are all safe bets. Kick your event up a notch by allowing your attendees to decorate their own baked goods by having sprinkles, frosting, and other fun decorative goodies on hand. In all, make it easy for them to take it on the road. This is definitely one of the sweetest launch party ideas.
12. The grand finale
The best parties are the ones that leave everyone wanting more. To close your event, send guests out the door with the promise of a fireworks display outside or a dance troupe — modern, Latin, or belly-style — leading the way. Is it over the top? Of course it is. This way, you’ll have your attendees talking about your event long after your launch party has ended!