How to nail your launch party.

How does one launch a social enterprise? What needs to happen for it to be considered a success?

ONE10 has just hosted its launch party and we considered it to be a roaring success! So we thought we’d share how we put it together, as well as a big lesson we picked up along the way.

The first element we identified as essential was building a fantastic guest list. We wanted to celebrate with the people who had gotten behind our idea from the start, with our new partners, with our friends, with current and future potential clients, and with people who are just interested in what we are up to.

The ONE10 team have been active in the social enterprise sector for some time, and so they were able to invite along their extended network and friends to share the evening. You can do this too! Even if you are reasonably new to the social enterprise space you’ll soon find you have a number of connections you can invite. Consider the people you have met at networking events, people you’ve been in contact with over email, or organisations you have discovered in your research who may have similar values or be interested in your services or product. Share your event with these people and encourage them to share it with their network! Before you know it you’ll have a packed out venue full of exactly the type of people who you want to be chatting with, and who want to know more about what you’re doing!

The second key to our success was having our wonderful partners show their support. Clearpoint CounselErnst & YoungSpace&Co.,Entrepreneurs&Co., the Impact Investment Fund, and Tout Creative all showed up to cheer us on and meet with the wider social enterprise community members who came along.

If you have any partners we highly recommend using your launch party to show your appreciation to them. A personal invitation is a nice touch to make your partners feel special – because they are. Give them an opportunity to speak at your event, and proudly show your attendees who’s on ‘your team’.

Next, ensure you provide delicious refreshments. ONE10 was very fortunate to receive sponsorship from two local businesses, Two Birds Brewing a beer brewing company run by two industrious women in Spotswood Melbourne, and Kooks a wine company out to fix more problems than yo

Remember why you are holding this event? Celebrating your enterprise getting out of the garage and into the public sphere is a great achievement, but more importantly, your event should be about spreading the word that you’re open for business (and what that business is!).

ONE10 took the opportunity to introduce it’s team members and explain what we’re all about – enabling purpose driven business! We identified our services: consulting for Not-for-Profits and social enterprises, our social enterprise acceleration program, deploying corporate programs with social purposes, founder/co-founder matching, mentor-mentee matching, and aiding with crowdfunding and capital raising.

We also revealed some of the exciting things we have planned for 2016, including holding aPitch Competition, a Workshop during the Sustainable Living Festival and that we will host a range of events throughout the year. (If you wish to hear about these events, you should sign up to our newsletter and follow us on TwitterLinkedIn and Facebook).

ur bad day! We also engaged the excellent catering services of the Fourteen on 3 Café, who delivered beautifully displayed (and tasting) nibbles to our attendees.

It’s important to consider where you procure your supplies and the message that sends to your attendees. We used a combination approach of seeking social enterprises and supporting local small and start-up businesses.

Whether or not you sort out all of these aspects, it is paramount that you do THE MOST IMPORTANT THING: Share your message. 

And Our Big Lesson? BE PREPARED

Sounds like an obvious one, but the better you prepare the more smoothly your event will come off. While our evening come together really well in the end, we were stuffing beers into the fridge as our first guests arrived (sorry for the initially lukewarm beers!) and somehow the VIP name tags didn’t quite get printed in time.. pretty minor hiccups but ones we will prevent next time!

Make a To Do list ahead of time and try to have everything organised before the first guest walks in the door! Recruit some friends who are willing to help out for a few hours (if you can) so you can make the most of the time with your guests.

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