How to plan a product launch event

7 February 2018


Product launch events are always exciting to plan and watch unfold. They are a prime opportunity to communicate a message about a new product in a way that you can tightly control. As such, it’s important that you get them right. Here are three questions to consider when planning a product launch event.

What’s your style?

Think about your product and the context in which you want it to be positioned. In the modern media landscape, many of the reports that come from people at your event will be heavily influenced by the event itself, and how you display and unveil the product.

The style of your presentation should be in line with the branding of the product itself.The style of your presentation should be in line with the branding of the product itself.

For example, whenever Apple used to unveil new products, Steve Jobs would leave the most exciting ones for last. Keeping the event attendees on their toes through the whole show, the product that people were most looking forward to seeing announced would never seem to come up. Finally, once all else had been announced – the audience’s attention held tightly throughout – Steve would say through a wry smile “But there is one more thing”, and go on to announce something like a new iPhone or tablet.

Or perhaps your style will be more analytical, like Elon Musk, the billionaire technologist behind Tesla. He peppers his presentations with facts and figures, designed to convince you in a reasoned way why the product is good for the environment or the best in its class. For example, when he unveiled the Powerwall 2 (a battery for home energy) and the solar roof (tiles that are also solar panels), he began his presentation with an explanation of global CO2 levels and why Tesla’s products are a necessary step in trying to bring them lower.

While much of the style will be conveyed in what the presenter says, it can still be augmented with lighting, sound, and explanatory videos – all things the team at CMS can help you design and implement.

What’s your purpose?

Who are the main people you’re trying to communicate to with your launch event? Are you talking to other members of the industry with a trade event, or trying to influence key players and editors of trade publications? Are you talking to journalists and other media members, to try and get your product featured on their websites or in their magazines? Consider supplying them with highlights and soundbites directly from your launch so they can use it immediately. Or are you talking straight to the consumers themselves, the people that will be buying and using the product? Asking these questions is incredibly important, as it will influence the kind of event you decide to run and how you choose to manage your technical requirements.

What’s the attendee experience like?

While you should always livestream your product launch event, you need to give your in-person attendees a solid reason to go too – an experience they otherwise would have missed out on by merely watching the livestream.

Man signs AFL ballsGiving event attendees exclusive experiences is a great way to boost turnout

The best example of this is interactive product demonstrations. It’s easy to learn a lot about a product through a livestream but some things you still need to do in person, like, for example, learning how a product feels or actually functions. How many TV ads have you seen where the product looks amazing but then when you buy it and bring it home, it turns out to be a dud? Product demonstrations allow your attendees to judge quality for themselves (and then hopefully spread the word through media outlets and social media posts).

How will you make the attendee experience different to those viewing at home?VR and AR present opportunities for interesting exclusive content at your events.

Another possibility could be exclusive AR or VR content – we expect this to be a trend over the next year, with the technology falling in price and rising in ubiquity. A virtual reality experience that walks you through a product development documentary, or aforementioned product demonstrations combined with facts and figures delivered through augmented reality are just two of the many possibilities this technology brings.

For more information on how CMS Australasia can help you run your event, request a proposal today.