Give your products the launch they deserve. Discover product launch event examples from leading brands like Google, Moz, Apple, and more.
New product on the way? Congratulations! All your hard work is about to pay off, and it’s an exciting time for your company. Do you have a strategy in place for your launch event? Don’t worry. Product launch events don’t have to be overwhelming or give you the scaries.
Whether you’re planning an in-person, virtual, or hybrid event, you can take inspiration from 14 product launches and how you can use them as inspiration for your very own launch event.
What is a product launch event?
A product launch is when a company brings a new product or service to market. A successful product launch starts well before the actual release date, and the effects of one will be felt long afterward. It will build anticipation, facilitate an initial influx of sales, and establish momentum that a company can expand upon.
One of the best ways to launch a new product is through an event, and some of the largest companies in the world have been doing it for years. These product launch ideas and user conference tips will help your company host a fantastic event. Some are traditional product launch events. Others are user conferences with a product launch element. But each has been highly successful, and there’s a lot to be learned. Let’s dive in.
1. Build Anticipation: Apple Worldwide Developers Conference
We’ll start with the biggest company in the world: Apple. What can we learn from their conferences and events? A lot, actually. Take Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference.
Before the conference takes place, nobody (outside of Apple, of course) knows precisely what will be announced. This is typical for all Apple events and is an excellent example of building anticipation. The media and the general public go crazy speculating what the tech giant has up its sleeve.
Ask yourself: What about your company? You may not work for the largest brand in the universe, but your customers hopefully are enthusiastic and curious about your brand. This tactic works because Apple has such a long history of satisfying customers. The company earned the right to be mysterious and build anticipation in this way.
2. Get Creative: Moschino at Milan Fashion Week
One of the most beloved in-person product launch experiences is the fashion show. Crowds gather to experience the newest and wildest in fashion at Paris Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week, and endless other fashion extravaganzas. But in September 2020, Moschino Creative Director Jeremy Scott tapped Jim Henson’s Creature Shop to take his Spring-Summer 2021 fashion show in a miniature-scale set made up entirely of puppets.
Known for its kitschy luxury looks, Moschino even made lookalikes of fashion royalty, including Anna Wintour in her signature shades. With a scaled-down, hand-crafted version of 40 pieces from his collection, Scott created a truly memorable and much-discussed fashion product launch experience.
Ask yourself: How can you bring your product launch to life in a new and exciting way? Whether your event is virtual or hybrid, get creative in presenting your product to the masses.
3. Go Virtual: Launch Night In with Google
Unlike past Made by Google launch events, the 2020 event went virtual with its first “Launch Night In” — a livestream announcement of all of the tech giant’s newest hardware. Google kept its product launch short and sweet at just 30 minutes, but it packed a ton into the livestream. Then, the company broke up the launch event video into product-based snippets and uploaded them to its Made by Google YouTube channel.
Ask yourself: Are you reaching as many people as possible? If not, you might want to explore hosting a hybrid product launch so you not only reach more people but also reach those who can’t attend in person because of a disability, responsibilities as a caregiver, or because they’re immunocompromised. Also, consider ways to repurpose your product launch content to maximize its shelf life.
4. Find the Difference: MozCon
Moz is synonymous with marketing expertise, so it’s no surprise that MozCon is consistently one of the top-rated marketing conferences of the year. What’s its secret sauce?
Besides being incredibly knowledgeable and generous with that knowledge, Moz has a distinct style all its own. From co-founder Rand Fishkin’s legendary Whiteboard Friday segments to company mascot Roger the friendly robot, Moz is unique. MozCon also champions diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) in a way that many events only seem to dream about, which helps attendees feel seen, heard, and represented in its diverse speaker lineup.
Ask yourself: What makes your company different? Are there any fun, unique aspects you can promote? Are we doing enough to champion DE&I? Doing so will help your product launch event stand out and endear your brand to its customers.
5. Personalize the Attendee Experience: HR Redefined by Namely
When hosting your product launch, event engagement is critical. HR software leader Namely nails this element with its HR Redefined conference, which brings together HR professionals to learn from industry experts and empowers attendees to make data-informed decisions to build a better workplace.
For example, at 2017’s HR Redefined conference, attendees received a customized nameplate from Brooklyn-based design firm Dirty bandits, specializing in typography. Small details like this may seem trivial in the grand scheme of event planning, but personalization goes a long way in showing attendees how much your brand values them.
Ask yourself: How can your company personalize the attendee experience at your product launch event?
6. Create a Branded Hashtag: Dreamforce by SalesforceDreamforce is a massive annual event boasting more than 2,000 sessions on various topics. How was Salesforce able to grow this conference to such a large scale? One of the keys to its success is its strategic use of social media.
Event organizers do a fantastic job using hashtags to create an extensive collection of user-generated content (UGC) and comments. Something as simple as the hashtag “#DF22” can go viral if every event-goer is encouraged to use it.
Ask yourself: Are you putting hashtags to work? Your product launch event can use social media strategically by creating a branded hashtag to help drum up excitement — both before and during the event.
7. Provide a Hands-on Experience: IKON
IKON is the largest gathering of Infusionsoft and Keap users in the world. Attendees learn from world-class experts and improve their craft over this multi-day conference. Guests get hands-on experience with the company’s software. Not only does this provide event-goers with enhanced skill sets, but it also helps new, possibly on-the-fence users become die-hard fans.
Let guests try out your company’s new offering at your product launch event. Put it in their hands and allow them to experiment. They’ll love it.
Ask yourself: Are you letting attendees get hands-on experience with your new product or service? If your event is virtual or hybrid, try to work your at-home crowd into the experience, so they don’t miss out on the in-person tactile aspects of your launch.
8. Put Technology To Work: MAX by Adobe
MAX, a creativity conference for Adobe’s Creative Cloud users, is quite the spectacle. Not only do event-goers get front row seats to the latest Adobe product and update announcements, but they’re also treated to an impressive array of visuals and technology.
Speaking of tech, let’s talk about one of the most significant MAX benefits: archived content. Recordings of every keynote and many individual sessions are posted online right after the conference has concluded. This allows attendees to “relive” their experience.
Ask yourself: How can your product launch event better utilize technology? Whether you decide to record the whole shebang and post it online or use event software to ensure your launch runs smoothly, tech can significantly improve your release.
9. Add Exclusivity: Eureka! By Sisense
How do you make a conference about a mundane topic like business analytics and complex data sound exciting? Do what Sisense does and make it exclusive and invite-only.
Growing up, were you ever not invited to a friend’s birthday party? For whatever reason, everyone else got an invitation except for you. Remember how badly you wanted to go? On the flip side, being one of only a few people invited to a special event is something to be cherished. Why? Because exclusivity can be a strong driver of awareness and attendance for events.
Ask yourself: How can you add an exclusive element to your product launch event? Maybe you only invite your best customers. Perhaps you invite anyone willing to buy a ticket but reserve a particular lounge area for honored guests. There are many options to explore.
10. Put Networking Front and Center: Social Media Marketing World
Social Media Marketing World (SMMW) is the world’s top social media conference. Attendees hear from industry experts about the best social tactics and cutting-edge strategies. But most event-goers would agree that the real value is in networking. SMMW is designed to facilitate relationships by offering Slack groups, table talks, and networking exercise classes. They even have dedicated staff ready to help attendees make connections.
Ask yourself: How can we facilitate networking opportunities at your product launch event? Even a simple email invitation notifying your tribe about confirmed expert guests may be enough to convince people to attend. The networking opportunity will be too good to pass up.
11. Get Competitive: TechCrunch Disrupt
TechCrunch Disrupt is an annual conference for startups hosted by TechCrunch. In the past, the event has played host to next-level speakers such as Marc Benioff (Salesforce), Jessica Livingston (Y Combinator), and Steph Curry (NBA Superstar).
One of the conference’s biggest draws is the Startup Battlefield. In this competition, early-stage startups compete to receive advice, coaching, and the chance to pitch a panel of top-tier investors, as well as a prize of $100,000 and media coverage. Past winners include Dropbox, Zenefits, and FitBit.
Ask yourself: Could your event benefit from gamification or competition? It doesn’t have to be in-depth; a quick trivia game with the winner earning your company’s new product for free would work just fine.
12. Feature Star Power: The ASCAP Experience
Founded in 1914, ASCAP, a performance rights organization, features 800,000 members, including Beyonce, Justin Bieber, and Meghan Trainor, among thousands of others. Every year the organization hosts a conference called the “I Create Music” Expo to inspire and train songwriters.
In 2020, ASCAP rebranded as “ASCAP Experience” and released exciting details about its new event. But then, because of the pandemic, ASCAP canceled its flagship event. Luckily, the music experience returned in 2022 with a new approach to partnering with well-known artists and industry titans. Today, the ASCAP Experience is a series of events with a magazine and more to reach as many musicians as possible while giving aspiring songwriters the opportunity to learn from and even meet their heroes.
Although your company may not be able to bring in world-famous celebrities, you may be able to partner with local experts (inside or outside your company) to share valuable insights with your event guests.
Ask yourself: Times have changed, but has your event? If you’re launching a product the same way you always have, consider mixing it up. Can you change the format? Can you lean on star power like the ASCAP Experience?
13. Inspire: Next Gen HQ Summit
Earlier, we said that your product launch event has a better chance of succeeding if it caters to a specific group of people. That’s precisely what Next Gen HQ Summit does. But they don’t just cater to youth — they inspire them.
Next Gen HQ event speakers include founders, star athletes, and corporate game-changers. Attendees learn a lot, but more importantly, they’re inspired to create their own dream business. This is powerful. Inspire your product launch event guests by showing them the fantastic potential of your company’s new offering.
Ask yourself: Are your speakers reflective of your audience? The more you can mirror your attendees, the more impactful and long-lasting your event will be in your attendees’ minds.
14. Feature a Live Performance: 3686 by Launch Tennessee
Launch Tennessee is on a mission to make Tennessee the most startup-friendly state in the Union. Its annual event, 3686 (the map coordinates of Nashville), accomplishes this by educating and inspiring business owners. But no Nashville event would be complete without live music. 3686 hosts numerous after-parties and brings nationally touring acts to entertain conference attendees.
Your product launch event might benefit from some sweet jams as well. You don’t need to go all out — a talented local artist may be all your gathering needs to set the mood.
Ask yourself: Are you polling attendees to find out what kind of music and entertainment they’d like to see at your event? If not, reach out after your next event so you can start planning for the next big event.
Key Takeaways To Deliver a Next-Level Product Launch Event
That’s it, top product launch event ideas you can use to improve your next launch. Let’s quickly recap the key takeaways:
- Build up anticipation before your event. Exclusivity, well-time press releases, and competitions can help build buzz.
- Create an intriguing atmosphere. Your event brand is what people will think of when they think of your product launch event. The venue, the speakers, the design, and the speakers will all contribute to the wow-power of your event.
- Know your target market. Whether your company is B2B or B2C will influence the tone of your event and how you personalize the attendee experience.
- Personalize the attendee experience. Through event technology, hands-on sessions, and one-on-one access to product experts at your company, product launch events have the potential to create a meaningful experience for attendees.
You won’t be able to use every single one of these tips. The good news is, you don’t have to. Even just a few of these tactics can improve your event. So please choose a product launch example that works best for your company and go for it. When putting together a product launch event, it helps to have the right event software features on your side. Demo the world’s most loved event software and see if it’s the right fit for your needs.
Editor’s Note: This blog article was published in 2018 and has been updated for excellence and relevance.