If you’re looking for a unique, never-before-done type of summer marketing idea, here’s one you probably haven’t considered: host a pool party. A pool party might sound a bit too casual for a local marketing campaign, but if you plan it right you’ll end up with a few highly qualified leads and tons of grateful customers after a few hours of splashing in the water. Before you dismiss the idea, read on to learn why a pool party can be a powerful summer marketing tool.

pool party

Why a pool party?

You’re probably wondering why I suggest a pool party, rather than a cookout. The answer: swimsuits. They’re basically glorified underwear. We’re often told that, when speaking in public, we should envision our audience in their underwear. It makes us feel more comfortable as speakers; however, in a social setting donning only one’s swimsuit can make them feel decidedly uncomfortable. Thus, not everyone you invite will attend your pool party – and those who do are the type of people who are more comfortable taking risks, and therefore, theoretically, more open to your sales pitch.

That being said, your pool party shouldn’t be about landing a sale that night. Rather, it should be an event in which guests can get to better know each other, to network, to form friendships. Those who are willing to attend will also be more likely to be outgoing people, the kind of people who will strike up and carry conversations, and therefore will help make your event a success. At the end of the night, new professional connections will be made, everyone will have fun, and everyone will have you to personally thank.

How to plan your pool party

Your pool party needs five essential elements: a pool, people, food, drinks and music. Here’s how to get each.


If you don’t have a pool at your home, investigate options in your area. Your community pool might be available for rent, or perhaps a local gym offers nighttime pool rentals. I suggest hosting your party at night, when professionals are more likely to be available.


Invite your local clients as well as business owners, sales professionals, and other local professionals you would like to do business with and who would complement your other guests. Use direct-mail invitation cards, social media and networking activities to spread the invitation. Tell your guests that you’ll have free food, drinks, and music – and plenty of opportunities to meet potentially new networking contacts. Sell your pool party as a premier and exclusive event that’s also a ton of fun, and you’ll attract guests.


Hire a catering company to supply hors d’oeuvres during the pool party. If you can get servers to go from table to table – and even poolside – all the better.


You’ll need beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Make sure alcoholic beverages are OK with your pool. Your catering company might be able to handle the drinks as well as the food. Again, get servers if possible.


Make sure ambient music plays from speakers to help set a party atmosphere. Your best bet is to hire an experienced DJ – just make sure they keep the volume low enough to hear one another speak.

Once you have all of these elements in place, you can consider adding fun games (such as a “diving” contest) and networking games to foster conversation. But don’t fill the entire party with activities; you want your guests to have the opportunity to get to know one another, exchange business cards and make the personal connections needed to generate new business.

A pool party might seem an odd marketing and networking event, and your guests might feel a little uncomfortable at first, but after a little bit of time you’ll find a pool party actually makes people feel more comfortable due to its casual atmosphere. Ultimately, everyone will have a better time than they’ve ever had a networking or marketing event, and everyone will walk away with new business connections – and friends. And so will you.

Have you ever hosted a pool party for marketing or networking purposes? How did it go? Let us know in the comments!