Hosting your first product launch or press event can be a daunting experience. There are many factors to consider such as budget, planning time, client expectations, brand values and goals.
Whilst there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to hosting a consumer launch as every product, brand and press have different requirements, key questions to consider are – what is the message of the product and how to turn that into an experience?
When planning a PR event consider the 5 P’s;
Product: Firstly, it’s essential that you get to know the product inside and out so you can plan a suitable event around it. It’s all too easy to get caught up in creative planning and lose sight of the main focus of the event. Familiarise yourself with all the features and make sure you’ve had time to see, try and test it beforehand so you can speak with confidence at the launch, remember you’re the expert!
Place: Location, Location, Location. The venue is crucial in setting the tone of your event and appealing to the respective invitees. The venue should suit the brand image, so if the product is modern and cutting edge or traditional and established this should be reflected in the environment. London offers some of the best venues in the world, whether it’s a fancy room in a posh hotel, a glass box at the top of a city tower or a trendy Shoreditch warehouse, so it’s worth putting in the time to research your options.
Presentation: You’ve invited all the relevant press and they’ve turned up, now what? It’s important to consider how best to display the product and how you want your guests to engage and interact with it. Depending on how formal/informal you want the event to be there are lots of options to think about such as having a catwalk, live demonstration, expert talk, digital presentation etc. One thing to keep in mind is that people are tactile by nature so the more they can touch the product, the more memorable their experience will be.
Photo-opps: In an age of ‘if the tree falls but no-one got a photo of it did it really happen’, visual evidence is everything. It’s no good just hiring a ‘good’ photographer and expecting them to take all the ‘right’ photos. It’s worth briefing your photographer who’s who and what are the key money shots you want to be captured i.e. any celebs or important media figures. These photos will (hopefully) be used in the media coverage and on social media so make them count! #dontforgetatagline
Post – Event: Finally, when the launch is over it’s important to follow up with those who attended (and those that didn’t!) to maintain the hype and secure good coverage. The launch is just the beginning of a bigger and broader campaign so there’s no time to sit back and put your feet up, the work has only just begun!