Guide: How to Plan a Successful Product Launch Event
Whether you have a physical product or an online one, you want to make sure you create enough buzz to generate interest and increase your sales. Taking advantage of event marketing is one of the winning ways to achieve this - ask Tim Cook and he'll tell you how Apple is able to generate so much anticipation and excitement for each new product release - followed by a boom in sales and sold out products. But you don't need to be Apple to rip the benefits of product launch events.
In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know to plan a successful product launch event, with ideas of events, what to do before and after the event, how to sell your product during launch, and more.
Product launch event types to consider
You decided to launch your product during a live event: now what? The first thing you should consider is what type of event would make your launch more successful. This is one of the most important steps, so make sure to evaluate the best option to hit your goals with the event. The type of event you choose will be dependent on your budget, number of attendees you expect, and your audience. Here are some event formats you can consider for your product launch:
An invitation-only cocktail party to select guests can be a great way to celebrate the launch and generate some buzz. People love exclusive events. Use a private cocktail party as a way to announce your launch to important figures and influencers in your industry so they can help hype up your new launch.
Keynote event in an auditorium
If you have a large local presence, consider booking an auditorium to announce the launch. You can invite your employees, friends, influencers and media to help cover the launch and generate more buzz.
Pop up shop at strategic locations
If you sell physical products, consider using a pop up shop in a few select locations so customers can see your new products in person, talk to a sales rep, and purchase on site.
Industry Trade show
Launch your product at an industry trade show and piggyback on someone else's event. This is a great opportunity to reach a large audience and cause impact. To maximize opportunities, consider sponsoring the trade show to guarantee a speaking opportunity and to generate larger brand exposure. You can also have an exhibitor booth so attendees can learn more about your new product.
Create a competitive event to find the most talented individuals using your products: Competitions are exciting, and people love collecting accolades. This is a great fit for video games and software, where you may have a die-hard fan of your products and who wants to show off their skills using it.
Product Launch Event Planning
We all know how stressful event planning can be, so having a powerful tool to help you with it can be crucial to event success. All-in-one event management platforms like Attendease can help you put together a white-labeled event website, built-in registration/ RSVP system, receive payments, send email communication, and more.
Here's how the pre-event planning roadmap would look like:
- Setup your event details, including date, time, location, passes available, promo codes, speakers, sessions, etc.
- Build your event website
- Start promoting the event through email, social media, and more.
Now that you know the format of your event, it’s time to get in action to plan all the details and logistics to bring it into fruition.
Promoting your product launch event is almost as important as having the event itself. That’s because the whole purpose of the event is to spread the word about your product -- so you should start doing so even before the event happens. Creating a teaser campaign is a great way to generate awareness and interest. This should be done at least 20 - 30 days before the event, so you have enough time to reach a large enough audience. The goal here is to make people curious and generate conversations around your product and brand.
Make sure you make good use of your social media channels. You may share a series of short videos teasing specific features of your new product, without actually revealing what it is. Or you can create a storytelling narrative broken down into episodes leading up to the product launch reveal. You can also design a social game to get the audience participating. The options are limitless.
Another way to generate buzz is by making use of your mailing list. You should let your contacts know there’s a new product launch coming up and create interest ahead of time. You can even build a landing page so that each email segment can get an exclusive offer when the product is launched.
Product Launch Event Strategies
The main goal of a product launch is to have a big reveal of your newest product(s), get exposure, and boost sales. With that in mind, here are some ideas to help you reach more people:
Make sure to invite the media to cover the launch of the event: If you have contacts in the media, invite them to cover the event with a dedicated press section. Allow them to interview your product team and provide them with a media kit prior to the event.
Invite influencers and celebrities to gain exposure with specific groups of people and increase social buzz: just like the media, influencers can increase awareness of your new launch.
Livestream the event to gain extra exposure: Stream the event on Facebook Live, Instagram Live, YouTube Live, or Twitch (or all of them) so consumers can be part of the product launch, even if they can not attend the event in person.
Have product demo stations with staff to explain the product and for prospects to try it. Having staff on-site to explain some of the most exciting features which may not be readily apparent is a great way to increase adoption of your new products.
The event and product launch promotion gets the consumers with their feet on the door, but they haven't accomplished the next step yet: to purchase. It's important to plan not only so you can sell, but also so you have products available and don't sell out. Here are some sales strategies that can help you sell your product during your launch event:
- Sell the product during the event: Have mobile devices ready so you can accept cashless payments for a smoother shopping experience.
- Allow people to pre-order the product online: Once a product is pre-ordered, you can begin the shipping (or pick-up) process to prevent stock outs.
- Launch the product on retail stores simultaneously: Don’t limit where a product is launched. Try to make it available in as many locations as possible.
- Distribute samples at the event (and after): Everyone loves free samples. Have samples ready and let customers know where they can purchase the items.
Don't let the energy die after the event. The event is over, but your product's story is just starting. Keep the conversation alive with these strategies:
- Partner with influencers in your industry and have them write and publish reviews about your product: Take advantage of social media to amplify the reach of your content.
- Take advantage of user generated content (content that your audience shares and tag you)
- Make sure to reply to all comments on your social channels and invite dialogue
- Host contests or giveaways: Giving away a few free products is a good way to generate excitement and increase goodwill with your customers.
- Training sessions at specific retail locations
- Write a press release to tell about the event (if no one knows about it, it never happened!)
Launching a new product is as exciting as it is labour intensive. Having a solid foundation to manage your event will guarantee you have the necessary structure to successfully share your product with the world, promote it, and sell it. If you currently don't have a smooth process to plan and launch your events, we may be able to help! Book a free consultation to learn how Attendease can help!