Launch Party in Vegas? Wine Not!

Readz, a startup based in LA, was launching a tablet content management system at New Media Expo (NMX), a conference in Las Vegas billed as the world’s largest event for bloggers, podcasters and content creators. Knowing how “noisy” that event gets, Readz wanted to do something to make a splash, while accomplishing their primary goals:

  • Driving awareness of the Readz platform
  • Acquiring new connections and sales leads

Readz tapped Geben to develop and execute a launch event in conjunction with NMX. The challenge? As a new company, Readz had low brand recognition – limiting their ability to persuade high-profile influencers and potential customers to choose this event over the scores of other activities in Vegas.

To provide additional credibility and open doors to potential attendees, Geben recommended that Readz partner with a well-connected individual who would serve as a “brand ambassador” during the conference. This person would not only attend the party, but also spend a few hours at the tradeshow booth on Readz’ behalf. We researched and conducted interviews with a variety of potential partners until we found someone who aligned with the Readz brand and goals, ultimately facilitating an agreement with Aaron Strout (@aaronstrout). The author of a book about location-based marketing and a respected expert in all things mobile, Aaron’s expertise aligned nicely with Readz’ focus on tablets and mobile content. In addition to coordinating party invites with Aaron, we also worked with him to confirm a few time slots where he’d be at the booth to drive extra foot traffic.

Next up, we scouted locations and settled on the Wine Cellar and Tasting Room, a wine-tasting restaurant in the Rio Hotel (the same hotel as the conference). Offering a slightly different take on the standard “happy hour,” the ambiance worked well for networking, and the menu – wine and appetizers – fit within our client’s budget. We prepared invitations for a “who’s who” list of technology and content marketers, our client’s niche audience, while also working with Aaron to tap into his personal connections.

The event exceeded expectations, especially when Robert Scoble and Peter Shankman showed up for the party. Additionally, due to the partnership with Aaron, 50+ PR/marketing/digital agency representatives attended, which helped generate highly valuable connections and leads for Readz. The launch party was deemed a success, thanks in large part to our ability to identify potential challenges ahead of time and build a plan that overcame those issues.