Running a successful product launch at a trade show can be daunting, but with the proper preparation, you can make it a success. In this article, we’ll outline the steps you need to take to make your product launch go smoothly and give you tips on how to keep everything under control.
What is a product launch?
A product launch is a marketing event that precedes the release of a new product. It’s an opportunity to introduce the new product to potential customers and promote it to industry influencers and consumers.
The product doesn’t have to be new to justify a launch. You can launch an old product to a new audience or different market segment. For example, Red Bull started out selling energy drinks but soon expanded its market reach with the Red Bull Media Company—complete with TV Shows, movies and books. These are not simply marketing materials but media that stand by themselves and appeal to audiences who don’t consume energy drinks.
Why launch new products at trade shows?
Trade shows offer great testing grounds for launching new products. The number one reason people attend trade shows is to discover new products and learn about industry trends. Other benefits of launching new products at trade shows include:
- Attracting new and current customers at the same time
- A set deadline that helps motivate work on the project to reach completion
- Raising awareness of company and industry news
- Creating excitement among the target market
- Generating leads and building relationships
Trade shows also offer the opportunity to test products in new markets. There’s a trade show for literally everything and every demographic. One of the fastest ways to test if a product will resonate with a new audience is to go to a show that attracts that segment.
For example, when Rolls Royce began exhibiting at jet shows instead of traditional car shows, they saw a greater return on investment. Why? Partly because their high-end product appealed more to the ultra-wealthy market segment than the regular car enthusiast.
How do you run a successful product launch at trade shows?
There are a few things to keep in mind when planning your product launch. First, make sure your product is ready for prime time. Second, make sure you have a solid marketing plan. And finally, be prepared to invest in advertising and PR.
Legendary ad man, David Ogilvy, says that marketing and advertising costs are best considered as manufacturing costs. Any product launch that fails to get the word out is doomed to fail. So long as there is a good return on investment, marketing and advertising are essential.
So, here are some tips on how to go about each of these steps:
1. Make sure your product is ready for launch. Before hitting the trade show floor, ensure your product is polished and ready to go. By this, we mean the product works, is user friendly and can be mass-produced. It also usually involves testing and screening by people who make up the target audience.
2. Start planning your trade show launch early. As the saying goes: Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Before the event, be sure to establish how much promotional material you will need (fliers, posters, videos, etc.), as well as any special events or activities you will be hosting during the show.
3. Have a solid digital marketing plan. A well-planned product launch will involve investment in digital marketing. Ensure you have a clear strategy for reaching your target market and generating media attention. You’ll also need to budget for advertising and promotional materials (like social posts, blogs, press releases, email campaigns, landing pages and online ads).
4. Be prepared for advertising and PR. Creating a buzz around your product is essential, but it won’t happen overnight. Expect to invest in paid advertising and PR campaigns throughout the launch period. Make sure you have an accurate estimate of what this will cost upfront.
5. Make your presentation engaging and interesting. When it comes time to present your product, ensure you are engaging the audience. Use exciting visuals, anecdotes, and statistics to keep them interested. Consider partnering with an influencer or minor celebrity to work at the trade show booth.
Need help strategizing for your product launch? The Trade Group helps companies wanting to enter new markets and develop a stronger presence in their industry by designing award-winning exhibits. We also consult on marketing strategies and best practices related to trade shows. Talk with one of our experts by contacting us below.
The Trade Group is a full-service trade show and event marketing company. We will work with you to create an exhibit or an event that brings in leads and helps you achieve your business goals. Contact us here or give us a call at 972-734-8585.