Whether you’re launching a new company, initiative, or product, planning an event to introduce it to the public, including existing or potential customers, takes a lot of time and effort. From the initial planning stages to the event coordination and execution, there’s a reason event planning is a booming business.
The keys to a successful product launch event include a focused and strategic plan along with a trustworthy team that can deliver on time. Unfortunately, event planners know that it’s nearly impossible to avoid every bump in the road before and during an event. Unexpected hiccups are bound to arise even when you have a carefully crafted and organized plan.
However, if you’re gearing up for a launch event, considering the following recommendations will go a long way in smoothing out any potential wrinkles.
This may seem like an obvious and simple first step, but it can make or break your launch event. Understanding every aspect of the company, initiative or product you’re introducing determines who will attend the launch event and how to cater to that specific audience. No one wants to host the next Fyre Festival, so make sure you have a firm understanding of what you’re selling, who will be interested, and what attendees can expect to learn.
Picking the date of your launch event will be one of the most important decisions you make. Double-check your calendars to make sure there isn’t a competing event taking place on the same day. If there’s an upcoming industry-related conference, consider hosting it at the same time and partnering with the conference to increase attendance. Make sure to choose a venue that’s easy to access and has plenty of space for attendees. If possible, choose a unique and memorable venue that will impress guests.
Do you want this launch event to result in new leads and sales? Are you hoping to build strong brand recognition? With your goals and objectives clearly outlined, you can more easily determine the most important details of the event, including how to structure it, who to invite, which speakers or visual aids to feature, and more.
Well before your event takes place, start building anticipation by creating promotional content for your social media channels and use a unique hashtag for the event. If it aligns with your audience, create a Facebook Event page or consider using a more formal and custom save the date with an electronic invitation, such as Paperless Post. Get people excited to attend by sharing key information leading up to the event through the use of e-newsletters.
No matter the industry or location, reaching out to relevant media contacts ahead of time can help you secure coverage leading up to, during and following the event. For instance, if you’re launching an app, you can engage with journalists, bloggers and other influencers who cover tech news and invite them to the event. If they’re unable to attend in person, perhaps they can join a live stream of the event or can watch it after the fact.
Even the most organized event planners know that unexpected challenges will arise as the event date nears. Although there’s no way to foresee the unexpected, you can be prepared with back–up options. For example, if your event venue is outdoors, have a nearby indoor venue in mind as plan B. It’s always recommended to test any audiovisual elements in advance as well.
Don’t forget that you’re not just launching something new – you’re entertaining prospects, customers, and industry colleagues. Personalize the experience by delegating a portion of the event to network or other engaging activities. Create an atmosphere that’s not only inviting but exciting. From inspirational keynote speakers to giveaways, there are many different ways to make your event one to remember.
Once your event is over, your work hasn’t ended just yet. Don’t forget to follow up with attendees to keep them up to date on company news and upcoming projects. After all, once you’ve hosted one successful event, it’s time to plan for the next.
Event planning can be a challenge, especially if you’re new to it. There are many decisions that you have to make and deadlines to adhere to. Not only do you have to secure a good turnout, but you also have to make sure that attendees enjoy the experience. This puts a lot of pressure on event planners. However, you can’t put a price tag on a successful event. Thankfully, by reviewing and implementing the above best practices, you can avoid many of the obstacles that inexperienced event planners encounter.
Interested in how to launch a product successfully? We have experience with event planning and management. Contact us to learn more today.
Alex Weiss is a Senior Account Executive at Mulberry Marketing Communications, an award-winning full-service B2B communications agency based in Chicago, London, and Australia. She combines her creative writing background and B2B experience to bring client campaigns to life.