A launch event is an excellent way to showcase your latest product, build hype around it, and even acquire some sales right at the event. The more you can get people talking about the product, both at the event and via social media, the better it’s going to do. Here are a few tips to better your product launch event planning.
1. Choosing a Venue
Obviously, you want the emphasis to be on the product and not the venue. Nevertheless, an awesome venue for your corporate event certainly helps with the marketing. If possible, try to associate the product with the venue.
If you’re releasing a new software, for example, then choose a venue that has on multiple occasions been rented out for tech and IT shows. The venue should also be fairly close to your business site if you cater purely to a local demographic. Don’t make your guests commute way out to get to the location.
2. Choosing the Theme
The theme, of course, should be related to the product, or at least to your industry in general. If you’re releasing some sort of digital marketing software, then online marketing is the theme, and the event can include activities like SEO workshops, social media marketing lectures, and so on.
Essentially, those workshops and seminars should contain informative and useful content but also show guests how the new product can benefit them. The activities practically serve as a lead-in for the product.
The event swag can also be incorporated into the theme. Promotional products, in this case, can be of items like thumb drives, pens, and other office products that those in the industry may find useful throughout product launch event planning,
While the event should be informative first and foremost, you should also incorporate an entertainment element to it to make it more fun and memorable. You have multiple choices in the way of entertainment.
You should take advantage of some of the venue’s amenities. If there’s a dance floor, for example, then cap off the event with a dance. Likewise, you can hire a standup comedian who hopefully can incorporate the product or the industry in some way or another into his routine.
Entertainment can even be an activity that engages attendees directly while also promoting your product and brand. A contest held at the event is one good way. This can be a simple contest where contestants send out tweets using the event hashtag right as the event starts.
Before it ends, announce the winner, which is determined by the person whose tweets garnered the most shares or likes. The prize can be the product itself or last year’s product if it’s still useful.
4. Event Timing
When should you hold the event? Product launches can be held on the day the product is released or as a teaser several days before the release. If the latter, don’t hold it too early; you want the anticipation to be at its peak when the product is released. While there’s no set rule, try to hold the event no more than two weeks before the release date.
Product launches as a whole should also be timed according to the time of year. Perhaps the product makes for an excellent Christmas gift. If so, then make the product launch event planning conference a holiday event. You can also explore industry-specific holidays or explore times of the year when the industry sees a peak in activity. These are the optimal times for hosting your event.
5. Social Media Activity Before the Event
You are marketing the product at the product launch event. The event itself, though, has to be marketed as well. In the weeks leading up to the big day, put together an online marketing strategy that involves a combination of social media, email newsletters, and perhaps even offline methods.
Create a blog or vlog posts that provide informative content while mentioning the product in passing. Don’t overtly promote the product. The same goes for all social media posts. You can even hold a social media contest with the winner winning a free event ticket, or even the product itself, which will be presented to the winner at the event.
6. Plan the Follow-Up
Eventually, the hype will die down several days after the product’s official release. The day after the event, though, presents a small window of opportunity to keep the hype going just a bit longer. This should help you acquire a few more sales from guests who opted not to purchase the product at the event. Use the same strategies you did for the pre-event marketing. This includes lots of social media activity, continuing use of the event hashtag, and sending out newsletters.
If sales of the product did not meet expectation, then offer some sort of incentive, perhaps a trial offer, a rebate incentive, or complimentary add-ons. The whole idea is to keep discussion of the product going weeks after its release.
Product launch event planning provides guests a firsthand look of the newly released product or service. This is your opportunity to show attendees what it is, how it works, and how it benefits them in their personal or professional life.
Dan McCarthy is an Event Manager at Venueseeker, an event management company based in the UK. Dan has 6 years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently, he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog. Follow him on Twitter @DanCarthy2.