Ready. Set. Launch!
Its go time! There is No looking back now!
This is one of the most exciting and nerve racking part of any entrepreneur’s career – launching something new and putting it out there for the world to see. And even more exciting, now it’s time to throw a killer launch event and make those dreams reality. As nerve wrecking as it can be there are a few things you want to make sure you pay special attention to and ensure that you’re impact is not only BIG but creative and deserving of all of the hype.
A great launch event goes as follows: 1 part Engagement 1 part Vision 1 part Creativity 2 parts Retention
Let’s start by saying this flat out – If your launch event isn’t doing these 5 things pack it up & go home you’re wasting your time
- Giving your attendees hands on experience using or engaging with you new product
- Creating a buzz
- Giving your company a face, image & brand
- Quantifying leads
- Creating & developing your fan base
But how exactly do you create an event that does this? Its simple….
Be a Tease – But don’t play “hard to get”
Put teasers out far FAR in advance. Start putting teasers and a bug in the ears of your audience months in advance to get them excited for what is soon to come, even if they had no idea what it was. (That’s almost more intriguing) Make them feel like whatever you have up your sleeve they’re going to want a piece of it.
Start with social media, sprinkle your pages with teaser images, and let your current audience know that something new is coming!
Trick of the Trade: Branded countdown graphics work awesome. Throw some blurred out pictures of what’s to come with an X amount of days sign on it. If they even get a glimpse of something they like they’re hooked! And you can do this countdown twice even, once leading up to the announcement of your product, and another leading up to the event.
Be the BRAND you are THE BRAND
Never Ever JUST focus on launching a “business” you are launching a BRAND. Businesses don’t need launch events, they have openings – not the same thing. Make the look and feel of this event seamlessly cohesive to your brand. This should be taken in consideration from choosing vital details like a location, to the décor you choose and even the food you serve. Take these things into account; where do the people who use your product go? What do they eat? What’s their style? Then create that environment and integrate your product into it making it a part of the landscape. Also, if they like it “put your name on it” – give them as many things to look at or take home that has your brand on it (within the limits of tastefulness of course)
Trick if the Trade: Gobos – What are those?! Gobos are stencils or templates that you put over a lighting source to project certain images. These can be easily created with company logos to project onto the wall, dance floor, pretty much any flat surface. Awesome Branding!
Show them what you’ve got
Put your product on display. Find a way to make what you do interactive and set up ways where people can use it LIVE. Your guests are there to learn more about your new venture and people learn best through action. Map out the problem your product solves and create that problem live, then have them feel the relief right then and there. This allows everyone in attendance to become not only believers of your product but walking ambassadors. Imagine if the day after your event your guest starts encountering the same problem and yearning for the solution you offer. Now imagine if each of those people tells a friend about how they wished they had your products in that moment?
Trick of the Trade: When launching anything technology based have technology on hand! Spend the money to get Ipads and make your website, App, or blog come to life. Then implement social walls – this is when you take plasma screen TVs or projectors and live broadcast live anything from the interactive use of your product or live feed of people posting about it on social media. There are even companies that can create these for you as touch screens! Adds a real WOW Factor
Be Authentic.Be genuine. Be Human
Very Simple, if you love what you’ve created it will shine through especially in person. Invest in your relationships through the process of building this new product and when you do invite them to see you flourish. Send personal invites and make them feel exclusive, ( because hopefully each guest is) give them something for free for attending as a sign of gratitude, and then follow up with creative thank you cards. Lastly there is no better asset to an event than simply being someone others want to be around and genuinely support.
Trick of the trade: Create & Recruit Brand Cheerleaders. These are your friends, business partners and overall followers of your brand that love you and what you do. Graciously ask them to help you spread the word come launch day. Ask them to share, like, comment and participate in any marketing and promotion effort you put out there. But don’t just take from them, host a private giveaway of your product or any other incentive you think they will enjoy. If you can get upwards of 50 people committed to this effort (the more the merrier of course) consider yourself on the road to a successful event.
Here’s the biggest tip of all, HAVE FUN! If you decide to take all of these tips or maybe just one either way the core goal is to add excitement. The bigger splash you make the better. You’ve created something and that in itself is an accomplishment so engage followers, expand your audience, and increase your sales right out of the gate – Launch Big or Go Home!