Creating events or sessions that center around an exciting launch.
When an organization is launching an exciting new product or rolling out a key innovative update, they want to make sure the word gets out with a bang. Not only are they looking to build awareness and anticipation for the new offering, but they’re also letting people know why they should be excited about the new release. But how can organizations ensure that the launch of a new product gets the attention it deserves?
Enter the power of a product launch event! Whether it’s an entire event centered around this product, a dedicated session or segment that takes a deep dive into the offering, or a product expo that highlights several new products, it gives attendees an in-depth introduction to the featured product.
Product launches can be geared towards internal team members, such as sales reps who will be selling the products or shareholders who have a stake in its success, or external attendees, such as direct customers who are interested in purchasing the product.
With so much riding on these events, their success is vital. Read on to learn more about how to make your product launch exciting, unique, and (most of all) successful.
Types of Product Launches
Not every product launch features a physical product. In fact, it may not be an object at all! The type of product often impacts the most effective way to launch it, as well as who the audience will be. Here are the most common types of launch events we see:
Physical Product: Whether it’s a hotly anticipated new pair of Jordans, an innovative piece of technology, or even a new menu item at a restaurant, physical products give attendees the opportunity actually to interact with the featured product.
Groundbreaking Ceremony: The product launch may not be for a product but for an important initiative or project! Perhaps a large organization is unveiling plans for its new corporate headquarters. While these don’t feature physical products, they are important landmarks that are often best communicated with an event launch.
New Technology: How often are new video games purchased as hard copies, vs. sold as downloadable content? Do high-tech medical devices always need new physical parts for hotly anticipated updates, or can they be incorporated into existing products or machines? Perhaps the new software can be used across a wide variety of devices, rather than with one specific product. These launches feature new software, technology, or content that doesn’t necessarily include a physical product to go with it.
Top Five Tips for a Successful Product Launch
While the exact strategy for launching a product will differ based on the type of product, intended audience, and the product’s purpose, there are a few tips that will help you plan an effective and exciting launch.
- Tip 1: Define your goals and objectives. Are you looking to build anticipation before the product is actually released, or are you hoping to start making sales the moment the event concludes? Are you speaking directly to your consumers, giving them a thorough understanding of the experience you’re selling, or are you speaking to an internal team, helping them communicate the benefits of the product? Understanding what you’re hoping to achieve from the launch will allow you to focus on creating an experience that supports your goals.
- Tip 2: Choose the right venue. A small, intimate ceremony shouldn’t take place in a large ballroom, just as a launch for a high-tech product shouldn’t take place outside on a rainy day! Consider how many people will be at your event, what they’ll need to be able to see, and how you want them to interact with the product, each other, and your team – and then make sure you choose a venue that supports your goals.
- Tip 3: Create a great atmosphere. You don’t want people to just be wowed by your new product – you want them to be in awe the moment they walk into the room! Use dynamic lighting and sound design, as well as hard scenic pieces and branding, that immediately catch their attention. Use the atmosphere of the event space to make the product launch as immersive as possible.
- Tip 4: Develop content and activities. Exactly what the content and activities are will entirely depend on your product and goals. For example, if you’re releasing a brand new, high-tech virtual reality experience, consider setting up stations around the event venue where attendees can actually try it out. Alternatively, if you’re unveiling a new corporate HQ, offer tours of the space, with different activities, as well as food and drinks, in different locations.
- Tip 5: Plan for contingencies. We get it – nobody wants to believe something could go wrong before a product launch. But it happens! Product testing may have revealed complications that need to be ironed out, supply chain issues can slow production, construction delays can halt a grand opening or a last-minute organizational change may lead to a huge overhaul of a new initiative. It’s easy to panic in these situations – but you don’t have to! Instead, plan for contingencies.
Plan for some buffer room between the expected completion of the product and the date you’ll launch it. Come up with ways a prototype can be used if the final product won’t be available. Consider how you can use technology to simulate an experience if the actual experience isn’t available.
Most importantly, make sure you’re communicating openly and honestly about any complications that arise. The more lead time you (and your production partner!) have, the better the experience will be.
Product launches are highly anticipated events by attendees, the people producing them, and even the general public! And for good reason – they are a powerful way to give attention to an important initiative, project, or product, and allow your organization to build excitement while educating attendees.
At Encompass, we have unique backgrounds that situate us perfectly to produce high-end and complex offerings. We’ve worked in broadcast television, touring entertainment, live sporting events, and countless convention facilities across the country.
We have technical design experience and a disciplined process in place that allows us to easily scale events and shift from in-person to virtual without angst. There isn’t much beyond our scope and we love the intensity of putting on events!
If you’re a planner working to create an event, seeking help with virtual event technology, or simply want to learn more … we can help! Sign up below to receive our updates (we promise to keep your contact information secure and won’t “overshare”).