I recently planned an event for the official launch of a nation-wide curriculum for junior high and high school students. The success of any launch hangs on a number of key components coming together. For starters, clear objectives. In our case, goals were centered on generating public awareness of the product and promoting its use.

The look and feel of the event must strengthen the brand and underscore the theme. To this end, we used black and red throughout our event and event collateral in keeping with the product branding. We also touched on the schoolhouse theme. Floral centerpieces included mini chalkboards each with a different call-to-action such as “Homework: Write to your state’s Department of Education about this project” and “Extra Credit: Like us on Facebook”. The menu included gourmet versions of cafeteria favorites, such as quesadillas, burgers and chicken tenders.

Encouraging attendee interaction with the product is key. For the curriculum, we used 6-foot banners to highlight select student projects from across the county, which featured how the curriculum was used in different classrooms. The banners served as a natural conversation starter for guests and student exhibitors, and as a focal point for photos and video. Additionally, each banner was branded with a logo and hash tag to encourage social media engagement.

A clear message and a short program add value to the evening. Remarks should advocate for the product and highlight its importance or unique qualities. You can achieve this in part through endorsements by noteworthy or celebrity speakers. In our case, we had number of key U.S. Senators and Representatives speak on behalf of education and the role of this curriculum in inspiring the next generation.

Other components to consider include timing, the venue and the use of strategic social media pre and post event.

Good luck with your next launch!

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