Are you heading into a new product launch and want to ensure it’s one guest will remember? A launch event can be the springboard for your new product’s marketing campaign, helping it make a splash in those early days that are so important for ensuring it gains momentum.
Today’s launch events are often hybrid - taking place online and off, which poses special challenges when it comes to wowing everyone involved. Allowing someone to be hands-on with your product is the easiest way to show them the benefits, but what about those attending or watching remotely?
Before we get into some creative product launch ideas you can use to get people talking, let’s take a look at what a product launch event is and why it can be so important for a brand’s future success.
What is a Product Launch?
A product launch event is an event that marks the introduction of a new product or service to the market. A good product launch event creates excitement for the upcoming product and companies often invest considerable money into events like these.
A company typically invites investors, media personnel, favored customers, and social media influencers so that the word about the product is spread more effectively, helping to create buzz about the upcoming launch.
If an event like this goes well, it can bring a flood of customer interest to the product. This interest may be drummed up through new prospective investors, product reviews, blogs, product pre-orders, and interest from qualified leads.
In other words, a great product launch event can bring your product into the spotlight, generate an early sales influx, and establish momentum that your brand can lean on long after the product release.
18 Creative Product Launch Ideas for Your Next Event
Now that we know what a product launch event is and why it’s so important, use these 13 creative product launch ideas to inspire you for your next product launch event:
1. Launch Teasers on Social Media
According to a variety of thought leadership discussions, launching teasers on all of your company’s social media channels builds the suspense and anticipation. Much like in the case of Brooklinen’s vague yet exciting teasers, social media followers want to be engaged. By grabbing the attention of consumers and attendees, planners are building up a repertoire of people who will be interested in attending an event for a product launch. Cloaking an event in mystery plays to every attendees’ FOMO, and may just cause them to reach out of their comfort zone and register for an event.
2. Lean Into the Mystery
Speaking of mystery—if you’re an event planner for an established name-brand, you have the advantage of a tuned-in audience. If your audience wants to be the first to know about something new, you already have a leg up. Going into your product launch, be sure to keep everything top secret, hush-hush, confidential to foster the allure of the unknown. The more exclusive your product launch seems, the more your consumers will want to know, and the more invested they’ll be in the new product—not to mention any coinciding events.
3. Create a Countdown
On top of creating teasers and an air of mystery, utilize all of your social media channels—as well as all of your employees—to create a grand sense of excitement surrounding the product launch. Think about it; you probably only personally use a countdown for an exciting moment, whether it be a graduation, a vacation or some grandiose moment. For a company or corporation, a product launch is the equivalent. It emphasizes the urgency and excitement of the personal made larger.
4. Choose an Exciting Venue
There are no better product launches to look to in terms of venue than fashion shows - fashion brands know how to select just the right location to set the tone for their new products and create excitement for the event. Try to think of your event as another piece of the excitement-building puzzle, rather than just somewhere to host it.
5. Tell a Story
Storytelling in marketing has grown more and more popular over the years, according to leadership in the industry. If you can create a story surrounding your product launch, you’ll simultaneously grab your audience’s attention, get them engaged in the lore of the brand and product, and increase the positive image surrounding the brand.
6. Incorporate Video
Not only do you want teaser videos, but as you move into the product launch, promote educational product videos as well. One brand who did this well was Flowater, which launched its product by educating consumers without condescending to them or ostracizing them.
7. Choose Your Guest List Carefully
We don’t mean you have to limit your guest list here; instead, think about what is most appropriate for your product. Is it a product designed to bring everyone together? If so, a hybrid launch event with people online and off will make sure it builds a sense of community and togetherness, which are feelings you want people to associate with your product. Alternatively, if it's more exclusive, a private event with named invitations that allow attendees to feel special and “spill” the details to outsiders, will be more appropriate.
8. Give Awesome Swag
Influencers and celebrities love their event gift baskets, but so does everyone else! Give your product launch attendees something awesome to take away with them that encourages them to talk to their friends and colleagues about the event. If you can, go beyond the “normal” gifts and find something more creative and valuable - note value doesn’t have to be monetary. Access to a free online private talk by your founder or similar may be incredibly valuable.
9. Get Everyone Sharing Under One Hashtag
Champion your product launch hashtag to get the most out of what your attendees share. If one person shares #yourbrandnameevent and the next shares #brandname22, people can’t follow the event in one place. Repetition helps to build buzz so use one hashtag in all your materials and give in-person and at-home attendees a chance to take pictures with your hashtag included.
For in-person attendees create photo backgrounds and place them around the event, and consider getting filters made so at-home attendees can take photos with event theming automatically added. Alternatively, send out a t-shirt or hat to all remote attendees.
10. Balance Blogging and Guest Posts
Not only is it important to promote your new product on your own internal blog, but also be sure to get your new product featured on other popular industry feeds. Whether this means contributing a guest post or backlinking, thought leadership encourages driving traffic toward your site and increasing conversations--with positive sentiment--surrounding your new product.
11. Let People Get in the Driving Seat
If your launch events usually involve people just looking at your new product, why not give them an opportunity to get hands-on? This can really wow attendees if it’s not something they normally get to do. For example, imagine you’re a car manufacturer unveiling your new model at a large car conference. Normally, you’d do a big reveal, put the car on a pedestal, and let people look in through the open door. But what if you let people get in the car, or better yet, drive it? (We’re not talking journalists here, we’re talking customers and fans.) See how far you can push the envelope. This can work just as well for online and hybrid events if you’re launching software.
12. Facilitate Networking
People attending a B2B event always welcome opportunities to network, but people attending product launches and conferences for pleasure also benefit from opportunities to meet others and make new contacts. Adults are often starved for new-friend-making opportunities, and people will value and remember the connections they make at an exciting event forever.
13. Give Sneak Peeks Behind the Scenes
Tell your audience a story through your advertising before the launch. Invite prospective customers to take a peek behind the scenes; take a quick video of your event planning process and photograph your team getting ready for the event. By making your customers feel like they’ve been involved from the start of the project, you’re including them in the process so that they feel like they’ve earned an invitation to the launch event. Do whatever you can to make the product launch feel special for your readers.
14. Ask Your Top Customers What They Want
Your top customers (AKA raving fans) are your #1 resource - so are you tapping them? If you always go away into hiding to prepare the next thing for them, consider bringing them into the decision-making process and ask them what they’d like to see and experience from your product launch event, and then try to bring those ideas to life.
You may think that takes away some of the excitement but it won’t - they’ll adore being a part of the process and you’ll be showing your very best clients just how much you value them. Best of all, their enthusiasm will be infectious and will trickle down to more casual customers.
15. Run A Pre-Event Competition
Why not invite a little competition? A competition leading up to your product launch will create buzz well in advance and get people sharing. Why not start a competition to be the very first person who receives the brand new product? Better yet, what if they got to go on stage at the event to receive it? If you give away knowledge, consider how you could give away an hour or day of high-level mentoring with one of your senior staff members - get creative here, and don’t be afraid to go big to build buzz.
16. Get a Celebrity Attendee
Why not invite a celebrity to introduce your new product to the world? Inviting a big name is a fast way to make your brand known, but you need to make sure the person you choose is brand-appropriate, not just the biggest name you can afford.
17. Throw an After Party
If your event is in-person, be sure to host a fantastic after-party! This will be a great opportunity to celebrate your product launch with colleagues and guests. Whether you host a catered dinner, open up a games room for VIPs or provide a live band, you want people to continue discussing your product for as long as possible and have a good time while doing it.
18. Consider Brand Partnerships
Have you thought about teaming up with a complimentary brand? The right brand partnerships build plenty of hype and can help you reach another audience that may not be aware that they need what you do - or can get it best through you. Just make sure the brand partnership makes sense for your audience (not just the one you want). We talked about The Sims’ ability to do great teasers earlier, but they once made a big slip up by partnering with Moschino, a luxury fashion brand the majority of their customer base (teens and young adults) couldn’t afford. As a result, customers felt detached and confused.
19. Think Outside the Box
When Spotify began to draw attention to its data and analytics features, it took a clever approach by featuring playlist titles and user-generated content on billboards around the city. Rather than coming off as creepy or invasive, the data and analytics features instead were perceived as entertaining and amusing.
Creating a memorable product launch event has grown more challenging as the need to accommodate remote and hybrid events rises, but that doesn’t mean you have to stick to the same boring tried-and-true format that relies solely on your product to steal the show. The right buzz can elevate a great product and ensure it’s something everybody has on their wish list.
If your next product launch is going to be a hybrid event, make sure you check out what Aventri + MeetingPlay can do to elevate your event - from product launches to networking-focused conferences, our software will help you deliver an experience that wows.