Why the value of the product launch must be completed in person, rather than just on the www

We’ve noticed a growing trend of product launches being undertaken digitally, rather than inviting guests, clients, prospects and other stakeholders to meet and see whatever it is you are telling the world in all its glory.

Launching to the world on Facebook or your dedicated YouTube TV channel might appear as highly effective and easy, but these digital methods should be used as part of your launching strategy, rather than the fulcrum of it.

In our experience, hosting an event which really stands out will give your product a lift and maintain positive fervour prior to launching to potential clients and customers. A recent example is of an air conditioning unit we were helping a client launch. It was held at a fine venue in the centre of London, but that on its own won’t sway the audience from coming to an event. There is after all, other things to do.

So, we suggested the following:

–        A key speaker to really give the evening a witty and interesting edge

–        Since this was an air conditioning launch, we had usherettes circling offering the finest ice cream to the guests

–        Cocktails were available complete with dry ice to give a frosty appearance, as well as Champagne to celebrate the launch of the product

–        A bar was commandeered post event to carry on the joviality and repartee
The upshot was that the client, and importantly, their guests took great pleasure from the event. Those who attended were sent digital information about the new product, as well as insight to the launch evening. There were comments a plenty from guests invited, but could not come – along the lines of “Gutted, if you do it again I’ll be there!”

Our advice is:

– Look at your plan for the year ahead, and decide what is worth inviting guests to see – tangible product or service
– Allocate a budget and stick to it; you can do a lot with a just a little today
– Make the event interesting and also informal
– Look at all locations; be creative with your selection
– Determine before the planning starts, what does return on investment look like for me?
– Answer the key question your guests will ask themselves when they get the invitation: “WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?”
– Have a digital plan for post launch that encompasses your website, your social media channels and your sales force.
Melanie Gibson-Walsh
Oliver Myles Events

Melanie Gibson-Walsh started in the hospitality and event industry in the 1980’s, in the days before the internet, selling tickets to West End shows in a 24 hour phone room, before going on to work for one of the top rock and pop promoters of the 1990’s. As Box Office Manager at one the nation’s favourite venues, The Royal Albert Hall, she could indulge in her passion for live performance arts.

Since leaving the Hall she has looked after both corporate and private clients in the UK, Europe and beyond.

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