Everyone likes an excuse to throw a party.
Startups are no exception.
But how on earth does a startup throw an awesome launch party and get people to care?
Read on, we’ll tell you how:
1. Get The Word Out
Using Facebook, Twitter, and the help of the press, get people on board who align with your vision. A launch event is a great time to tell the world about your new updates, to break news such as funding and product releases, and to have a good time doing it. Evangelizing friends and providing them with an early scoop will help make them look good and make you look good. Pictured below is Michael Carney from PandoDaily sporting his At The Pool shades!
It’s important, however, to build real relationships with friends from the press. Make sure to provide each writer something different about your company so all the press articles won’t be identical. You also want to give the press an exclusive interview so they can construct a story that makes sense for their readers.
When we spoke to TechCrunch, they asked specific questions about user engagement and stats. For PandoDaily, it was geared towards funding and the backstory. Regardless of the publication, be prepared to give specific details to journalists to help them assemble a great article that’s specific to their readers.
The goal is to have articles published on the day of the event. That way, you can publicly announce a press release on time while allowing select early journalists to get a jump on the action. As a bonus, you’ll be able to share the news of the press during the day leading up to the event, creating even more buzz!
2. Share The Your Press Coverage!
Share, blog, Tweet, Facebook, or go old school and pick up the phone and call people to tell them about your feature! This drives traffic to the media’s site and makes them happy and possibly more likely to cover you again in the future.
3. Invite The Right People
Invite the people who have supported your company and those who can benefit and potentially help you grow. We invited all the members of At The Pool because, let’s face it, without them we’d be nothing. We invited our investors, advisors, and close friends who have been with us on this journey from day one. We even invited a few members of the press so they can see the energy that is At The Pool!
As a bonus, you’ll get to introduce people from disparate parts of your work/life and help them make meaningful interactions. Pictured above is At The Pool founder / CEO, Alex Capecelatro, speaking to members of the LA startup community who he’s known independently, but who hadn’t yet met.
4. Have A Theme That Correlates with Your Product
With a name like “At The Pool, we decided to stay classy and elegant but with a young fun and hip vibe. We brought beach balls, sunglasses, and pool toys for unique photo ops. We also dedicated a whole room for people to sign up, join pools, and explore our site. It’s easy to get lost within the “party” mode you might be on when planning but don’t forget the intention of the party in the first place: your product!
5. Add Cool Mood Lighting
We saved money on our party by having our office double as our party venue. Most office lighting is not very party friendly and usually resembles the lighting at the doctor’s office or a pharmacy. Turn the lights off and invest in the right lighting. We decided to run with our logo color (blue) which set the perfect mood for the party.
It definitely made the venue seem less like an office and more like a chic night club.
6. Work With The Best
Reaching out to friends and friends of friends, we were able to get experts in to help with everything. From lighting to photography to music to the food, we had people who do this professionally. This is important if you want to avoid an amateur-looking party, and it doesn’t need to break the bank either!
7. Bring On The Sponsors!
Getting a sponsorship or donation is a golden opportunity for startups. Try to use your connections and get in touch with local companies and get them on board to sponsor. We were lucky to get companies like Stacked Wines, Los Osuna Tequila, and Activate Water to sponsor us.
And speaking of tequila….
7. Add Some Alcohol
People need to loosen up and alcohol does a good job of that. Just make sure your bartenders don’t overserve people that look like they belong at an AA meeting and you’re all good. As a bonus, create a signature drink that resonates with your brand. Below you’ll see a bartender pouring the signature “At The Pool Cocktail”!
(Plus, Journey songs sound so much better when alcohol is involved.)
And speaking of Journey….
8. Add Good Music
Sure, you could save a bunch of money on a DJ and use Spotify or an iPod, but I feel like everyone knows SOMEONE who’s a DJ (or at least someone who puts a sticker on their MacBook and calls themselves a DJ).
A DJ is a good investment because he can select music that will fit the vibe of the people at the party. He can pump up the tunes if the party feels dull, and wind the music down when its time for people to leave.
Plus, you need someone to filter out the random Justin Bieber songs that sneak their way into your iPod or Spotify playlist.
Not-so-awesome person: Hey, those are really awesome sunglasses? How do I get a pair of that awsomeness?!
Awesome person: Oh, just invite a bunch of people to join At The Pool and you can win them!
Not-so-awesome person: Awesome…or at least I will be when I win them!
Monday, October 29th, come celebrate the Birthday of the Internet in a Halloween inspired extravaganza. At The Pool is partnering with Digital LA to bring an evening of geek-inspired fright! The party starts at 7pm and goes until 11, based at ROC Santa Monica. Click here for details.
The UC Davis At The Pool Pool Party went down this past Sunday. Check out the photos below, and join the UC Davis @ At The Pool page on Facebook to find out about more events happening on campus!
Very excited about the upcoming pool party at UC Davis! Taking place on Sunday, September 30th at the UC Davis Rec Pool, join other students for a fun time At The Pool! For more information, check out the Facebook event page here. Below is the description:
Get ready to start off the school year with an “At The Pool” Pool Party at the UC Davis Recreation Pool! So bring your friends, lay out in the sun, jump into the water and mingle with current and new members of At The Pool!
Start off the school year right, by meeting new people and making new friends that share similar interests!
Look out for our designated At The Pool area!
If you have not signed up for an At The Pool account just yet, don’t forget to use the activation code “UC DAVIS” and sign up today! Go to http://atthepool.com/ to register!
Also ‘like’ our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AtThePoolUCDavis?ref=stream to get new updates! :)
Wow, what a night! Our Sunset Strip Party was a huge success! Big thanks to Brandon and Mehow for hosting, as well as Kevin from Digital LA for helping to coordinate. We had a great turnout with awesome members from At The Pool meeting up and having a great time. We’ll be hosting many more events, so if you want an invite to future events, make sure to join At The Pool and keep an eye out!
Our friends at Miso Media had an office party last night. Keep an eye on At The Pool for special invites to VIP events around the world!
Today was AMAZING. We had our first IRL (in real life) pool party at the W in Westwood. It was great meeting so many people from At The Pool and connecting face-to-face. The point of At The Pool is to facilitate offline interaction, and seeing this come together at a picture-perfect venue was absolutely gratifying. We can’t wait to throw more parties, host more events, and take this to more cities in the coming weeks. Below are a few photos from the event. For the full gallery, click here.