Event management of product launches is essential components of the marketing mix of large companies. When Nintendo launches its latest game console or Pepsi announces a new type of soft drink, the companies hold product launches. These launches give the public and the media a chance to hear everything about the product before any negative reviews are given.
The task of putting together these product launch events could fall to a company employee who organizes meetings or an outside company. Product launch events have several purposes:
WHY ARE PRODUCT LAUNCH EVENTS IMPORTANT?
To introduce the product to investors and other partners. Often new products are launched at the annual shareholder meetings. This gives the shareholders a chance to see and perhaps even test the product before it is introduced to the general public. However, if the product is huge the company may want to create a huge event and the shareholder may find out the same time as the media and the company’s customers.
To introduce the product to the old and new customers. Sometimes this is not a formal event. For example, a company announcing a new soft drink may set up a booth at a major sporting event or large fair. These events require just as much planning as setting up a major event at convention hall. Space has to be reserved, displays have to be set up and staff has to be hired.
To introduce the product to the media. Depending on the size of the company and the product, this could be in the form of a press conference. But many companies choose to have one big event and invite the media as well. Planning a product launch where the media is invited is a bit of extra work. You must make sure there is room for photographers—both still photographers and videographers. And they must have an excellent view so that they can capture the action. You should make sure to prepare a “press kit“ that will contain the information about the product and the company.
HOW TO PLAN A PRODUCT LAUNCH?
Whoever has the task handling the market introdcution of a new product, has a huge responsiblity. Some of the things to consider are:
Most product launch events happen in big cities or in cities where the company is located. Sometimes these launches are held at big convention halls so that there is room for the shareholders and the media. However, some product launches are held in the board rooms of the corporate offices. The venue depends on how big the company is, how big the product is and how much money the company wants to invest in the market introduction.
When Nintendo and Sony launch a new video game console, the companies will usually release it in different places at different times. Sometimes a product will be a big hit in Europe or Asia before it is released in North America and vice versa. Usually the introduction of a new product, such as new toy or game console, coincides with the holiday season. New soft drinks may be launched during a big sporting event like the Super Bowl or the World Series. Millions of people watch these events and announcing the new product and airing commercials during these events will create a buzz.
If the president of the company wants food at the event, the planner has a lot of decisions to make. Will it be finger foods or a full-course meal. What time of day with the new product launch event be held? What kind of food will be best for the attendees? How much food should be ordered? Will wait staff be needed?
The small details
These may not seem like a big deal, but they could make or break an event. Can you imagine Microsoft launching a new product and half the attendees having to stand because there are not enough chairs? Most product launches include an information packet that is given to the guests. These packages need to be ready to go and there need to be enough for everyone. The convention or meeting planner is responsible for making sure the small details are handled.
Product launches are some of the most exciting events for any meeting planner. Could you imagine putting together the product launch event for the Nintendo Wii? But these events are also the most stressful. The key, as it is for any event, is in proper planning.