How to Host an iPhone App Launch Party

You’ve submitted your app to the App Store. Congratulations.

Umm, no, not yet.

Long gone are the days where you can simply submit your app to the App Store and sit back while you watch those download numbers climb. There are currently over 600,000 apps available for download in the App Store and over 700 apps uploaded each and every single day.

And while there are many ways to increase your app’s visibility (in fact, I’m currently working on a list of 100 ways to promote your app’s launch), nothing screams “our app has launched” than a good old party.

Celebrating launches in style is an age-old tradition. I mean, if cruise ships and space shuttles receive historical inaugural launch parties, then surely your app deserves one too. After all, it’s just as important.

Tips for organizing an iPhone app launch party:

  • Invite key influencers.Use your existing lists (top customers, media, brand ambassadors, etc.) and do some additional research. Invite bloggers and local tech celebrities that demonstrate interest in your industry (music, gardening, shopping, etc.) and use tools like Radian6 to find influencers that have expressed a want for your type of app. Make sure most of your guests are able to download your app. For example, it may not be wise to invite a hardcore BlackBerry fan if your app is for iPhone only.
  • Select the right venue. Pick a venue that is related to the theme of your app. MusicĀ  app? Deck out a concert hall or nightclub. Gardening app? Have a garden party. Shopping app? Rent out a section of the mall or a trendy local boutique. For example, for the PicTranslator app launch party, the team rented out an art gallery. Also, please make sure that Wi-Fi is available for all of your guests and offer phone re-charging stations because nothing kills a party buzz like weak drinks and low batteries.
  • Include call-to-actions (such as downloading the app, using the app, rating & reviewing the app, sharing the app, etc.) everywhere you can. Have download links in your party invitations, put QR codes up at the party venue and invite users to leave a 5 star rating in the App Store as they exit the party and in the Thank You notes. Again, be creative with the QR codes.

  • Personally showcase the app. Hire a product demonstration team to walk the floors and demo the app to guests. Make sure they are knowledgeable about the app and the technology to avoid any “hmm, I’m not sure what that thing does” mishaps. It also doesn’t hurt if they are cute.
  • Be engaging. Plan a series of fun activities related to the theme of the app and adapt classic party games to the mobile app era. Make the party as much of an interactive experience as you did the app.
  • Leverage the party to create marketing content. Take photos of all the guests holding their phone (with the app) against a promotional backdrop. Encourage the sharing of photos across social media during the event. Get testimonials from users and create a video of the event that can be used later.

  • Last but not least – thank your guests for coming and give them party favors such as branded iPhone cases and cleaning wipes.

Remember, you don’t necessarily need a huge budget to make an iPhone app launch party, just a little creativity and imagination. If the Georgia Historical Society is cool enough to have an iPhone app launch party, then so are you.

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