By Rachael Ziccone
Conference & Events Manager, Corporate Challenge Events
Has your company developed a new product or service that is now ready for launch?
Our team has delivered many launches over the years across many different industries. All of these launches have been unique in their own way, but have featured some consistent ingredients which have aided in their success.
We have compiled these into 12 important tips to consider when planning your next launch.
1. Objectives: Identify some measurable goals that you wish to achieve with a launch. It may be number of attendees, amount of media coverage, or expressions of interest in the product. Setting objectives at the start will keep you focused during the rest of your launch planning.
2. Target market: Who is your target market for the product or service and who are your key stakeholders involved? This will help you compile your guest list and start working to achieve your objectives. Your target market includes those whom you wish to consume your product; and stakeholders can include representatives from your board, staff, suppliers, sponsors, government, industry and media.
3. Venue: Ensure the venue is relevant to your product or service. For example, if you are launching a prestige car, you should consider a prestige venue. We also believe it is important to find a unique venue that will help you create a memorable experience for your guests and provide photo opportunities for the media.
4. Date: Consider setting a date just prior to or at the time your product goes to market. Check that the date and time do not clash with any other significant events in the city that may dilute media coverage. When choosing the date, make sure you have given yourself enough lead time to create a quality event.
5. Invitations: Firstly, develop your invitation list to include key representatives in your industry as well as others associated with your product and company. Secondly, create an ‘eye catching’ invitation for your guests that features all the important details including where, when, what the event is, the dress code and an rsvp date. Don’t forget to invite the media along as well!
6. Production: Ask yourself, how do I want to first unveil my new product or service to the world? Should it be a visual unveiling? What will be the ‘Wow Factor’? Ultimately, what experience do you want your guests to have? A great idea is to incorporate your new product or service into the event on a few levels. For example, if your product is a new range of candles, then make them a feature in your event styling and even give them to your guests as a take home gift. Guests not only want to see the product, they want to experience it as well.
7. Catering: You want your guests to have a great overall experience and the food and beverages can leave a lasting memory, particularly if they are of poor quality or if there is a minimal amount served. When planning your menu consider any dietary requirements, the time of day for the launch, and the ease for your guests to eat the food, especially if it is a standing cocktail function. It is also important to incorporate your product into the catering. For example, choose a range of cocktails to serve on the evening that represent your brand perhaps through the use of your corporate colours!
8. Run Sheet: Develop a minute-by-minute run sheet that outlines exactly who does what and when. This will be vital for not just the event organiser but for all suppliers and stakeholders who are part of the event. The event should flow well, be successful in capturing guest’s attention and, ultimately, should leave them wanting more!
9. Branding: Branding is a key element to consider before, during and after the event. It is vital in attracting the attention of your target market, stakeholders and importantly, the media. The branding and event is a representation of your product or service and therefore needs to be visually appealing, memorable and unique.
10. Media & Social Media: Invite key journalists and editors from your target media. Develop a media kit for them to take away with all the key information on your product and company, including images and visuals (potentially on a branded USB). Issue a media release in conjunction with the launch and ensure you have a social media plan in place so you can get the information out to a wider audience. Also consider using a unique hashtag for your launch, which is a great way to engage guests at the launch.
11. Gift/Memory: After ‘wowing’ your guests at the launch, why not consider leaving a lasting impression by giving them a take home gift? Why not supply your new product or service as this gift? This way they have another positive memory and an ongoing reminder about the launch and your product or service.
12. The Basics: Don’t underestimate the power of the simple things – staff dressed professionally, an accessible venue, no-cost or low-cost parking close by, quality audio visuals and friendly staff.
Keep these 12 tips as a checklist and you will be well on your way to staging a launch that achieves all your objectives.
Rachael Ziccone is the Conference & Events Manager of Corporate Challenge Events – a leader in the delivery of corporate events and team building programs in New Zealand and Australia for the past 21 years. Contact us today to find out how we can help you develop a memorable and effective product or service launch for your business.