My Top Five Launches
I love launching new venues – getting to know the site as it’s built and then opening up to the public is such a thrill. We get to work really closely with our clients to get underneath the skin of the brand, their target audience and what will make them stand out against the competition.
The competition shouldn’t be underrated here in Manchester in particular. It will only take a few minutes searching on Google to show you how many new openings there have been in the past 12 months and naturally some have been more successful than others.
A number of factors make for a great launch – a clear understanding of the offering, great content and a really great launch party. Launch parties are less of a thing now I think than they were when I first started in the industry but they pack a lot more of a punch.
We work hard with clients to ensure that their launch party is fit for purpose. It’s not just about chucking out a load of cheap, warm white wine anymore; a PR launch should showcase the very best your bar, restaurant, hotel, event, shop or salon has to offer.
We create a bespoke guest list for every event – no more rent a crowd, genuine potential customers who match your brand, plus influencers (learn more about why you need them in our previous blog) and media.
Finally the event needs content. I don’t just mean a photographer, we create instagrammable moments throughout an event to drive that all important social buzz. You can’t have the whole city at your event but you can make sure that the whole city wishes they were there thanks to what they see online.
We have launched venues and brands across the UK but we top five launches are:
A beautiful venue created with love by the team behind some of Manchester’s favourite sites including Crazy Pedro’s. We were lucky enough to enjoy it all to ourselves for a few weeks before opening, I was actually a bit sad to let the public in, but when we did they queued round the block to be the first through the doors. A fashion shoot with Helen Flanagan helped drive excitement through coverage in every national newspaper the day before.
Our client wanted 800 people at the party on 25 November in the pouring rain! Not easy when you want the right people, not just anyone you can find. But what a party! A sax player, DJ, magician, buckets of Prosecco and red wine and plates and plates of pizza and pasta. I am proud to say that the launch was lauded as the best one in the newly reopened Corn Exchange.
I was so excited to meet Simon Wood when Dianne Bourne introduced us. What a brilliant opportunity to work with a brilliant chef and a great business team. We have now launched three venues for the Wood Restaurant Group – the flagship WOOD in Manchester, WOODKRAFT at the heart of Cheltenham’s cafe culture and Wood Chester @ Hotel Indigo. We launched both the hotel and the restaurant in the historic city. The citrus tutti frutti dessert is one of the greatest things I have ever tasted and Grace Dent (Guardian) and Michael Deacon (Telegraph) both agree!
If you like interior design then Whitworth Locke is a must. It’s a gorgeous mix of pink, green and foliage adorned wallpaper. Part of the Edyn group its ethos is to create a space for the local community to thrive. For the launch we turned it into a space the city could party – tequila in the sinks, espresso martinis, drag queens on the door. Since we have also opened the bar and two pop up residency restaurants El Camino and Peru Perdu. Try the Pisco Sours next time you are on that side of town.
The Lawrence Hotel
Looking for a boutique bolthole in the Lancashire countryside? This is it. Truly boutique, with a bespoke experience tailored to the guest, Michael Huckerby has created a something the whole region can be proud of. Together we have taken over the awards circuit and welcomes celebs galore – Faye and Gareth enjoyed a brief reunion in the suite!
What’s next? We have a brilliant event to launch this week bringing a top name chef to a beautiful setting in the region. Watch this space…