Hosting an unforgettable product launch event is crucial if you want your product to stand out from the competition. Even the greatest products won’t sell themselves. Your event needs to drive interest, create a buzz online and help you get your first sales in the bag.
Today, you have the option to run an in-person, hybrid, or virtual product launch. But how can you choose which type of launch event will leave a lasting impression on your audience and bring you the best results?
In this article, we explain the benefits of hosting a hybrid or virtual product launch, give you 11 virtual product launch event ideas that are sure to keep your audience engaged, and list 15 virtual product launch event examples that you can draw inspiration from to ensure your product launch events are a hit.
What is a product launch event?
A product launch event is an event that debuts a new product on the market. It builds hype around a product and usually features high-level production to impress the audience.
It’s a good idea to invite loyal customers, investors, bloggers, social media influencers, and the media to your in-person, hybrid, or virtual product launch event. This will push others to spread the word before, during, and after the launch. And it helps you reach your target audience more quickly and easily.
The ultimate launch event can bring an explosion of market interest. It could be in the form of blogs, product reviews, product pre-orders, qualified leads, or interest from investors.
An effective product launch event puts your product center stage, generates initial sales, and establishes momentum your company can build on in the long term.
So, it’s well worth reading on to discover some great virtual product launch event ideas and see for yourself the best virtual product launch event examples to help you make yours a success.
Keen to know the latest event trends that help your product launch events stand out from the crowd in 2024? Check out our article about the 13 corporate event trends you need to know.
In-person, hybrid, or virtual product launch?
The type of product launch event you choose should depend on your target audience, the nature of your product, and your launch event goals.
An in-person product launch is the traditional option and can be very effective in creating a sense of excitement and exclusivity around your product. It also allows for hands-on demonstrations and direct interaction with potential customers.
A virtual product launch event is a fantastic option if you want to reach a global audience. Anyone can tune in to your virtual product launch from anywhere in the world through a virtual event platform on their desktop or mobile.
A hybrid product launch event is a great option if you want the best of both worlds. By holding an in-person event and combining it with event technology, such as a mobile event app or a hybrid event platform, you can reach a wider audience while still providing some level of personal interaction.
In the end, the best type of launch event will depend on your specific goals and target audience. So, consider which will best showcase your product.
If you do choose to go for a hybrid or virtual product launch, here are 7 steps to organizing a successful one.
How to organize a successful hybrid or virtual product launch event
The following steps will help you successfully run a hybrid or virtual product launch. No matter the product you’re launching or the size of your event.
Step #1 Understand your audience and their needs
You know your product like the back of your hand. But your audience may be seeing it for the first time at your hybrid or virtual product launch event. Your objective is to sell your product to your audience. That means centering everything at your product launch event around them.
- Who are they?
- What’s their greatest challenge?
- Why are they attending?
- What are their expectations?
- How can you ensure they remember your virtual product launch event (and your product)?
It’s better to think about this now. Once you have the answers, unite them with your event objectives. That way you’ll deliver an unforgettable hybrid or virtual product launch event. And it’ll make the rest of your planning a breeze, and save you money and time.
For ideas on what to include in the emails you send to your product launch event participants, check out our post with the best 18 free event email templates you can use and for questions to boost guests’ excitement and increase the chances they’ll show up, check out our article on 45+ pre event survey questions to get more people at your events.
Step #2 Choose the right product launch event platform
If you’re hosting a hybrid product launch event, of course, the second step is to find a venue. However, virtual product launch events require a different tact.
By hosting virtually, you’re broadening your launch event’s reach. You’re allowing people from anywhere in the world to attend your event. And that’s a win-win for everyone involved.
But, you need to find a product launch event platform that meets your needs.
With a robust hybrid and virtual event platform like SpotMe, you can create a fully customizable, branded hybrid or virtual product launch for thousands of attendees. You can also collect tons of useful data that will benefit your sales and marketing team after your event.
SpotMe even has a ready-to-use template designed specifically for a virtual product launch. It gives you everything you need to set up a hybrid or virtual product launch event.
To find the right event platform for you, check out our guides to the best virtual event solutions and the best hybrid event platform and download our event RFP template to easily compare your options.
Step #3 Strategically schedule your hybrid or virtual product launch event
Your company doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It exists in the real world with real competition. Be mindful when scheduling your hybrid or virtual product launch. Make sure it won’t be overshadowed by a larger event. Imagine your company is presenting new tech products. You wouldn’t want to host your product launch event close to when Google or Apple are launching their products.
We recommend hosting a hybrid or virtual product launch event 2 weeks before your product is released. This creates anticipation and buzz around your product.
You could launch your product before it’s released. This hypes up your product more and encourages the audience to pre-order before it sells out.
Another benefit of this is collecting leads from your interested audience. Your marketing team can then start a drip campaign for prospective buyers.
To plan a successful product launch event, you should keep everything to do with your event in one centralized place that everyone can access. Download our event brief template now and start planning your next product launch event.
Step #4 Make your hybrid or virtual product launch an experience to remember
To make your hybrid or virtual product launch memorable, choose a theme that will tie everything together. Of course, it should be in line with your product. A noteworthy virtual product launch event example is Nike. The brand hosted an NBA-themed shoe launch to celebrate the tip-off of the NBA season.
Partner with the right guests and online influencers for your audience. Find people with a substantial following online. Invite them to participate in your hybrid or virtual product launch event through a mutually-beneficial partnership.
Research their social media pages to see what events they’ve recently attended and what they share online. Incorporate what interests them into your presentation. They will then share your event with their thousands, or millions of fans.
Add enough twists and turns to keep attendees engaged. Remember Steve Jobs always ended his Apple launches with: “One more thing…”. Then, he introduced the most exciting product at the end to wow the audience.
Want to know how to optimize your budget at your virtual product launch event? Discover 11 ways to make the most of your virtual event budget.
Step #5 Be extra active online (not just during the virtual product launch event)
You’re hosting a product launch event that’s hybrid or totally virtual. So, you need to ensure to get in front of your audience and actively engage with them online. The best way to do this is through social media, online communities, and press release sites.
Consider running a social media contest to encourage people to use your event hashtag. Or run a referral contest, giving away a free event ticket to people who can refer the most contacts.
Create highly shareable promotional content. For example, produce YouTube videos you can embed into emails, social media posts, and blogs.
Start conversations within online communities that contain people from your target market. Write a press release and send it to press release sites, so they publish it in time to create some buzz.
Step #6 Keep your hybrid or virtual product launch event interactive and entertaining
A hybrid or virtual product launch event must be interactive and entertaining to keep your audience spellbound. You’ll need to use different methods to understand how they’re engaging with an event. And, like your product launch event theme, your entertainment needs to align with your product and your brand.
Rely on a customizable virtual event platform that has numerous features to keep your audience engaged. You can use breakout rooms, live applause, chats, participant matching, polls, and Q&As. There’s also an activity challenge feature that allows your attendees to compete with each other to gain points.
Remember. The more you engage with your audience. The more interested they will be. And the more you will benefit from their attendance.
You’ll need to map out how to keep your participants engaged at your product launch. Download our ultimate event run of show template now and make sure your event and engagement activities run as smoothly as possible.
Step #7 Don’t forget to follow up after your hybrid or virtual product launch event!
Just because your hybrid or virtual product launch event is over doesn’t mean you’re finished promoting your product. Far from it!
Post-event engagement requires its own strategy to nurture relationships with those who participated in your event.
One of the most effective strategies is starting a drip campaign. That way your leads will receive automatic emails related to the event they participated in.
Also, be sure to send a “thank you” email to all who participated. And send a “sorry we missed you” email to those who registered but didn’t participate.
Gather helpful information from attendees by surveying them, and asking what they did and didn’t enjoy. Use this information to improve your next event.
Consider setting up a post-event page with highlights from your virtual product launch event and the praise it received. Include this in the emails you send to leads.
To assess your product launch event properly, it’s key to organize an event debrief session. Download our free event debrief template now and learn from your mistakes and successes to plan better launch events in the future.
11 hybrid and virtual product launch event ideas to keep your audience engaged
If you’re struggling for inspiration on how to keep engagement high at your hybrid or virtual product launch event, here are 7 virtual product launch event ideas that’ll boost attendees’ interest and potentially increase sales:
- Conduct a poll every 20 minutes to gauge the audience’s feedback and interest.
- Allow participants to ask questions using your event platform’s Q&A feature.
- Send your audience away into separate breakout rooms to play games, like a scavenger hunt.
- Create a leaderboard to create some healthy competition.
- Get participants to discuss a specific topic for 5 minutes, and then bring them back to the full presentation.
- Send some awesome swag before the event that participants can then use during the event.
- Give attendees the chance to try products hands-on (if feasible, of course).
- Set up participant matching so that attendees interact and network with like-minded people and experts.
- Organize 1:1 meet-the-expert sessions for audience members to talk directly to the masterminds behind the product and ask their questions.
- Create a virtual agenda and allow participants to sign up for different sessions.
- Choose a memorable theme and make sure it’s on every part of your virtual event platform.
To make sure your product launch runs as smoothly as possible, download our event brief template and our event run of show template. You can quickly and easily map out all your product launch details and keep everyone on the same page.
15 product launch event examples to inspire you
Now you know how to successfully organize a hybrid or virtual product launch and you have some ideas of how to increase engagement (and hopefully sales!). Let’s look at some stellar virtual product launch event examples to get your creative juices flowing.
#1 Google’s first virtual product launch event example
Google’s first virtual product launch event was Google Launch Night In.
It announced its latest products during a 30-minute virtual-only live stream event. Then, it separated the event into short product launch videos. Finally, it shared them on its Made by Google YouTube channel.
Google revealed the arrival of the new flagship series phone, the Pixel 5. It also presented new Chromecasts and Nest Audio smart speakers. All with a pre-recorded, high-production quality video.
One advantage of broadcasting a pre-recorded video for your virtual product launch is you can edit mistakes or glitches that happen with your products. This removes any chance of embarrassment when presenting a new product in front of a live audience.
Many tech companies use this tactic. It offers a seamless, high-production quality event, free from technical difficulties.
#2 Apple’s pre-recorded virtual product launch event, with a live presentation on stage
Apple is probably the most renowned brand when it comes to product launch event examples. Think of Steve Jobs’ famous reveals for the iPhone or iPod.
Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC20) in June 2020 was a virtual event. So when it came to the official product launch in October, Apple was confident the event would be a success.
The Apple Event debuted the new iPhone 12, HomePod mini smart speaker, and wireless chargers. All in a pre-recorded, hour-long segment live-streamed on its website and YouTube.
During part of the live stream, CEO Tim Cook presented on stage at the Steve Jobs Theater. In front of an empty audience. This segment was pre-recorded, but it still gave the live stream the excitement and feeling of in-person product launches. It also paid homage to Apple’s theatrical product launches of the past.
#3 HubSpot’s immersive virtual product launch example at INBOUND
HubSpot came up with a truly unique, fully virtual product launch event. It delivered an immersive online experience to its attendees. All through an entirely customized event platform.
The audience experience was undoubtedly the focus. HubSpot planned and scheduled handpicked content from leading experts. It then allowed attendees to create their own personalized agendas.
Its 250+ ultra-interactive sessions included webinars, virtual networking rooms, pre-recorded videos, live Q&As, chats, and breakout sessions. This life-like experience united attendees and left a lasting impression on them.
INBOUND takes a lot of time and effort. We’re not suggesting you imitate everything they do. But, it is a clear virtual product launch event example that shows that focusing on participant engagement does pay off.
#4 Dreamforce’s hashtag created by Salesforce
Dreamforce is a monumental annual event. Salesforce brings its community together to praise all trailblazers. Millions attend from worldwide to share success stories and get tips from one another.
It offers online live streaming so that attendees can treat the product launch event just as they would if they were there in person. On its event page, it gives instructions on how participants can make the most of the virtual experience.
Salesforce managed to grow its conference to include 2,000+ sessions thanks to its social media tactic. Its event planners use hashtags to encourage user-generated content (UCG) and comments. They incite the whole audience to use the hashtag. That’s millions of people tagging their event. No wonder this is a product launch event example that went viral.
#5 Adobe’s spectacular creativity conference
MAX is the world’s leading creative conference. Designers, video pros, and other content creators attend this hybrid product launch event. They use it to network, enhance their skills, and get inspired.
It’s a sensational product launch event example. It’s composed of 2 days of 200+ sessions. Virtual attendees can attend 100+ of them. Given that Adobe is all about creative tech, it presents a range of visuals that never fail to impress.
A bonus of MAX is that it creates a huge amount of archived content. Every keynote. Most individual sessions. Posted online straight after the conference. This way, attendees can go back and refresh their memories of how amazing the event was.
#6 Sony’s PS5 reveal, pre-order, and virtual product launch example
Sony revealed the PS5 online through its website and partners YouTube and Twitch.
Over 7 million people watched the hour-long presentation. Of those 7 million, a staggering 4 million watched the entire presentation.
Later, Sony encouraged existing PlayStation customers to enter their contact details and PlayStation ID on their website. This was for a chance to receive a limited invite-only chance to pre-order a PS5. The exclusivity of receiving a pre-order email gathered more buzz online while anxious fans waited until the official launch day.
A couple of months after, Sony was ready for the official product launch. To stop loyal fans from camping out in front of stores, it organized a virtual-only product launch. On the first day. It partnered with stores worldwide to ensure that no PS5s were sold in stores on the day of the virtual-only launch.
What a powerful product launch event example!
#7 Tesla’s Cybertruck unveiling event that “went wrong”
You likely heard about Tesla’s Cybertruck product launch event that went viral. Tesla CEO Elon Musk asked Tesla Chief Designer Franz Von Holzhausen to test how bulletproof the Cybertruck was. He ended up breaking the window. So, perhaps not quite as planned. Or perfectly on cue?
This may have been a guerrilla marketing tactic. Tesla might have used this surprise to promote their product. After all, it did go viral!
This is to say that a counterintuitive approach can be effective. Although we don’t recommend following Tesla’s product launch event example. Perhaps you could take some small inspiration from this.
#8 Volkswagen’s virtual product launch auto show
Volkswagen decided to adapt its auto show to a virtual event. It also made it free of charge to reach as many people as possible.
The creative minds at Volkswagen developed an interactive, 3D virtual event that allowed users to click around and explore the display space. This virtual product launch event example lasted 2 weeks. It was a fully immersive experience that attendees could interact with whenever they wanted.
Another benefit of hosting the virtual event? Users could easily swap out and try new colors on every car model. That wouldn’t have been possible if the product launch event had been in person.
#9 Nike MyPLAYER and NBA 2K20 launched a creative partnership
Nike worked with the makers of NBA 2K20 for the first-of-its-kind gaming and sneaker partnership. This was to celebrate the NBA season tip-off in October 2020.
NBA 2K20 players had the opportunity to complete minigames for a chance to win up to 10 pairs of limited edition Nike shoes. Throughout the season, NBA 2K20 and Nike announced when new minigames were available to compete in the game.
Nike encouraged its fans to like the video game’s Facebook profile and enter their email to get notifications about upcoming challenges. A great lead collection tactic.
It might be difficult to launch a new video game like in this product launch event example. But, you can still learn from Nike’s timing – working with the hype surrounding the NBA season to promote its product.
Consider running your virtual product launch before the start of an important season that is relevant to your audience.
#10 Ford F-150’s virtual product launch example with a famous host
Ford Motor Company found a new way to introduce its F-150, America’s best-selling vehicle.
Ford decided to recruit actor and spokesman Denis Leary as a host. He led a pre-recorded product reveal that was live-streamed on its Facebook and YouTube channels. The 40-minute show gathered an impressive 1.7 million views.
Take a page out of Ford’s book and find an actor or spokesperson who can host your product launch event. Sometimes an actor can be more engaging than a CEO, so consider this when looking for a host.
#11 Samsung Galaxy’s virtual product launch example with a theatrical touch
Samsung Unpacked is Samsung’s official product launch event for new electronics. For 2021 Unpacked, Samsung live streamed the arrival of its new Galaxy S21 and smart earbuds on its website and YouTube. The pre-recorded live stream featured several presenters on stage, with cut-scenes showing each new product.
Like other virtual product launch event examples, Samsung enhanced the performance and drama of the presentation by filming on a real stage. It evoked a live performance, even though it was pre-recorded.
#12 Moschino’s virtual product launch example with Marionette puppets
Many fashion brands now host virtual runway shows, either with limited or no audience. This helps them reach more people.
Italian luxury fashion house Moschino found a creative way to create buzz for its upcoming fashion line. It pre-recorded a catwalk with Marionette puppets wearing doll-sized copies of the collection.
Take a tip from Moschino. Plan a virtual product launch that will go viral out of the sheer novelty of your approach. Be creative in your presentation choice to stand out from your competition.
#13 Honda Civic’s virtual product launch on Twitch for gamers
When it was time to launch America’s top-selling car, the Honda Civic, Honda took a bold move aimed at specifically targeting its millennial and Gen Z fan base. It launched its new Civic exclusively on its Twitch channel.
Twitch is primarily known as an e-sports and music live stream site popular with users under 35. So, many brands now opt to live stream launches on YouTube and Twitch simultaneously, to reach a broader, and younger fan base.
This virtual product launch event idea serves as a reminder about the importance of your target audience. It is key to attract and communicate with your market on the channels they use the most.
#14 TULA Skincare partnered with Instagram influencers
TULA Skincare used the power of social media and influencers to market the arrival of its new primer.
This product launch event example used targeted social media ads and worked with key demographic influencers on Instagram. In this way, TULA was able to reach a whopping 75% of its consumers.
At your next product launch event, consider what influencers you can partner with to spread awareness to thousands, or millions, of followers.
#15 Social Media Marketing World’s conference
The world’s leading social media conference. Presenting the best practices strategies for social media to businesses around the globe.
Social Media Marketing World offers on-demand tickets and clearly lays out the benefits of watching playbacks online. Some product launch events only give partial access to virtual attendees. But Social Media Marketing World ensures to give on-demand ticket holders full access to the recordings of every single session.
Why not offer an on-demand ticket for your next product launch event?
Start planning your next hybrid or virtual product launch event today!
Now you know how the best companies host unforgettable hybrid and virtual product launch events and your creative juices are flowing, you’re ready to start planning your next product launch event.
To ensure your virtual product launches are a huge success, you’ll want to use a hybrid or virtual event platform. Look for an event platform that is fully customizable so that you can clearly display your brand. Make sure it has interactive features that’ll keep your audience engaged. The best engagement features include polls, Q&A, breakout rooms, networking, and gamification. And if you’re looking to reach a global audience, live captioning and translations are a must.
Consider a platform like SpotMe to host your next hybrid or virtual product launch event. Sit back and watch the leads and data roll in to fuel your marketing efforts.
Looking for more ideas to promote your products? Check out our guide 13 Examples of Event Marketing Done Right.
Ready to try SpotMe? Reach out today to request a free demo!