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5 Crucial Launch Party Tips for Southeast Asian Start-ups

Though things will not always go according to plan, it pays to be prepared.

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BY Marishka M. Cabrera - 20 Mar 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

After months of the grueling process of conceptualizing, prototyping, testing, and refining your product, you have finally come to the moment you and the team were waiting for: the product launch party.

Though things will not always go according to plan, it pays to be prepared.

“In retrospect, there are many factors that I wished I had remembered to prepare before a launch,” Alden Leong Qi Wen, chief strategy officer of VAV Apps, a Malaysian sound solutions technology company.

For Southeast Asian entrepreneurs, here are five things to remember to make your launch party a success:

 

Make sure everyone on the team knows what to do

Before the launch, it is advisable to do a dry run to make sure that everyone knows their roles. “This is to ensure that you experience how the launch will be like and to help you find problems,” Qi Wen says. “This includes how the press will question you and what to answer, guests asking for discounts and your answer to their queries.”

He adds that at least two or three members of the team should be knowledgeable about every aspect of the event. “This is so that if anything happens that requires your attention, you will have someone who is able to manage the event and ensure that it goes smoothly,” he says.

Patch Dulay, founder and CEO of Philippine-based crowdfunding platform The Spark Project, recommends having somebody who can run quick errands for you during the event. You wouldn’t want your team worrying about running to the convenience store to buy ice!

 

Choose your location wisely

Location is crucial. Qi Wen says to avoid doing it near an entertainment hub where bars and clubs are within reach. “It gives your audiences a reason to ditch your event for other more exciting places. You don’t want places that will fight for your guests’ attention. And trust me, chances are they will leave the event faster than you can imagine,” he says.

 

Always give a reason for people to stay

For Qi Wen, launch parties should always have a reason for guests to stay until the end. “Our go-to reason is always lucky draws. Ang Bao once every hour is always better than one grand lucky draw at the end of the event. It increases the excitement of the crowd,” he says.

Needless to say, your program needs to be well thought out, too. Dulay adds, “Don’t mix the food and drinks along with the program. The food will drown the content of the program. Better to have them eat first at the cocktail area, then once the program is about to start, move them to the main area. That way, you’ll have their full attention.”

 

Invite family and friends

Qi Wen recommends inviting family and close friends.

“This is to ensure that the event feels as lively for as long as possible, as close relationships tend to stick longer to support you. But the most important thing is for you to feel comfortable being with people who already know you and it will skyrocket your confidence, giving you the ability to handle the event in a happier mood,” he says.

They can also help out in hiccups that may arise during the event in the form of extra cash, last-minute suggestions, and social media blasts. “We’ve even asked them to help out moving tables and props during the event to make space for more guests,” he adds.

 

Be active on social media during the event

Live stream the event through Facebook, post photos and videos on Instagram, or get the discussion going on Twitter. Try to get as much attention for your event because this will, in turn, promote the product.

It will also attract the last-party goers, says Qi Wen. “The more you show how lively and exciting the event is, the likely you are to attract these bunch of people, and chances are they are the cool guys.”