Guest blog: how to hold a launch event for a new salon
Louise Stewart, account director at digital PR agency Tank, shares her tips on how to hold a successful launch event for a new salon or spa.
Launching a new venue of any kind can be a daunting experience. Whether it's new a restaurant, bar, hotel or salon, the same key principles exist when helping a venue off to a great start.
- Decide what your objectives are and tailor the guest list accordingly. If you want recognition within your sector and to recruit the best talent, column inches in your trade press are a must. If you’re looking to raise your profile among your target customers, find influencers in your area like bloggers and local press.
- Depending on who your salon launch event is aimed at, you need to be mindful of when it’s held. If you want to invite local journalists or bloggers who may have 9-5 commitments, exclusive parties held midweek after 6pm are usually best. Whereas opening mornings on a Saturday or Sunday can be a great way to drum up footfall and public awareness.
- Manage the expectations of your guests by setting out the details of the event clearly in your invitation. State when and where it will take place, who to RSVP to and what will be provided – such as drinks, canapés, entertainment, freebies or talks from key team members. Make contact with your attendees both before and after to remind them of the event and leave a positive impression.
- Poor service during a launch event can taint your salon's reputation, so make sure your team has been properly trained and prepped – ensure they are wearing the correct uniform, can answer likely questions and know to meet and greet people. Consider details such as how long it will take to get your space ready between clients and what they’ll have to do before and after. The aim is to ensure things run professionally and smoothly from the word go. Some venues hold smaller events prior to the big launch, often with friends and family. These test runs are a good way to polish your services and iron out any teething problems before your official opening.
- Throughout the event, talk to guests and share your hashtags or social media handles so they can talk about it online and you can interact with their posts during and after. Make sure your branding is clearly displayed and there are well-lit, attractive places to take photographs. To make sure your launch leaves a lasting impression and encourages people to come back, you could hand out goody bags with branded items, details on how to book in the future and ‘bounce-back’ offers for the guest's next visit.
Louise Stewart is account director at Tank, an award-winning digital PR agency based in Nottingham. She has six years’ experience in journalism and extensive knowledge of consumer PR, having helped to launch bars, restaurants and salons across the country.