How to Plan a Product Launch Event
Planning an event to launch a new product can be a smart marketing move. Even if, as a small business owner, you’ve never organised an event, it’s possible to host one successfully. Use these tips to plan a memorable product launch event and put your product on track for increased sales.
What is the goal of your product launch?
Clue: It's most likely to be to bring a big boost in sales and customer awareness - and a successful product launch event will help you achieve this by entertaining and engaging your potential customers.
This goal should be in your mind at the very start of planning an direct the rest of your planning: it might sound simple, but you would be surprised how easy it is to lose sight your main goals when caught up in the creativity and general busyness of planning a product launch event.
Who is your target audience?
If market research shows that, for example, young millenial women are your target audience, everything you do should be tailored around reaching and engaging with them.
- What general 'style' of event would suit and engage this demographic?
- Does your have regional or ethnic ties to the people that you are targeting?
- What time and day of the week are they most likely to be free and willing to attend a product launch?
The kind of event that your target audience would attend and enjoy should drive the rest of your planning.
Where will you host the launch?
At your location or an off-site venue? Large or small? Branded or not branded? It's vital to pick a venue that suits your style.
- Make sure that you have the space needed to contain your guests and staff as well as any displays, branding materials and presentations.
- Ask yourself if your company's physical location is part of your branding/important to lock into your customer's mind (e.g. a new massage service should take place at the spa), or otherwise pick a venue that suits the style.
What entertainment should you provide?
Should you provide a speaker, or comedic or musical entertainment?
Examples: if you’re hosting a large, public product launch event at your retail location, you may decide to use recorded music that appeals to your target audience. On the other hand, if you’re hosting an after work cocktail party for attorneys, you may decide to hire musicians to provide background music.
Should you give your guests food and drink?
A casual setting allows you to serve unfussy, easy to eat snacks, while a more formal party atmosphere should prompt you to serve something a little more upscale. If your product has a regional or ethnic connection (products from South America, wines from Italy, hand-woven fabrics from India, etc.) you may want to tie that in to what you serve. If you’re hiring a caterer to bring in and serve food and beverages, ask them to provide you with several menu choices. They are typically on top of new trends in party fare and can steer you away from inappropriate food and beverage choices.
What is your product launch event sales strategy?
This goes back to the goals.
Your time and money investing in planning your product launch event would be entirely wasted should you guests leave without understanding how to purchase your product or service, or perhaps even understand it.
It is vital, then, to know how you will be physically showcasing your product or service at your event.
Will you provide guests with samples or test drives? Will there be videos or live demonstrations given by your staff? Are you going to be explaining your product in printed materials? These are just some sales strategies that you can adopt to explain how your customers can access, use and benefit from your product or service after the event.
Use these tips to plan the details, and if you find you don’t have the time, seek the help of a professional event planner and then start working on your event sales strategy.
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