Launching a New Product at a Trade Show
Ever wonder why so many brands decide to launch new products at trade shows? The answer’s easy – trade shows give companies like yours an unparalleled opportunity to get new products into the hands of live, captive audiences made up of their targeted demographics. Add to that the invaluable insight and immediate feedback you receive, and launching a new product at a trade show becomes not just a smart business decision, but an exciting experience.
Strategy for a Successful Trade Show Product Launch
Tradeshows are the ideal place to show potential buyers why your new product offers them a solution to their problem or need. A successful trade show debut requires developing a well-defined strategy. Follow these simple tips for maximum launch!
- Have an original, out-of-the-box plan that grabs the attention of your target audience – and prepare it well in advance of launch. This may be your only chance to make an impact. Whether you decide on a “big bang” or “teaser” approach (where you leak information incrementally), the goal should be to create a sense of excitement about your new product. For example, many companies find they can build a sense of anticipation if they at least keep product specs secret until launch day.
- Think about the physical logistics, including booth design, interactive displays, video walls, etc. It’s a given that you want to pick the right trade show to make your launch, usually one that your core group of likely clients regularly attend. After that, it comes down to picking the optimal booth location and the ideal booth design. Think about things like lighting and flow of foot traffic. What technology will you need to highlight your product? Don’t forget that your final booth design should complement your product, not take center stage.
- Market your product’s debut via social media and other interactive mediums. Use an integrated marketing approach that includes direct mail, emails, contest marketing, and social media. Think in terms of using different approaches on specific social media channels that your targeted audiences use. Remember, too, that the launch of your new product is not the end result – it’s the beginning of a sustained conversation. Update your customers and the media with new information in the weeks and months following the trade show.
- Be prepared with a Press Kit for the media and industry bloggers. Reaching out to the press is key to a successful trade show launch and should be one of your top priorities. Begin your press campaign at least six to eight weeks before your product launches by contacting trade show organizers to get their media list. Take your PR campaign online to other websites via guest blogs or articles for online trade and general public magazines.
Finally, when everything’s in place for your new product launch, make sure your entire organization is prepared for take-off. Support and sales teams should know the product inside and out, and employees should be able to answer any basic questions consumers or the press may have. If they don’t have the answer, make sure they know who to steer people to for more information.
One final thought: Remember that a launch doesn’t end when the trade show’s over. Have a plan in place before the show even begins for what will come after. Be sure to take lots of photographs and use videos to highlight both the debut and the audience reaction. Post them on your YouTube channel and other social media platforms. The goal is to keep the buzz going well after everything’s been packed up and the show has ended.