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Let's Party!

How throwing a first-rate shindig for your start-up can help bring in the business

By Nichole L. Torres

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're cordially have a bit of fun with yourstart-up. That's right-amid all the funding and businessplans and zoning laws, there can be an oasis. It's called the"Getting to Know You Party," and it's your way ofintroducing yourself to the neighborhood. "A grand openingparty is great because it's a nonthreatening way to get peopleto come to your business," says Phyllis Cambria, co-founder, an event planning company inCoconut Creek, Florida.

There are a few ground rules, though. First of all,"party" doesn't equal "pitch." Yes,you're throwing the shindig to advance your business and makeconnections-but it's also a social event. "If youwere to invite a client over for dinner at your house, and it turnsinto a sales pitch, that's bad manners...and badbusiness," says Cambria. To keep the event feeling festive,refrain from giving people your business spiel the moment they walkin the door. Say "Hi, I'm Joan Entrepreneur. Welcome toour soiree-food is this way; drinks are this way. Makeyourself comfortable."

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