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How Do I Make A Launch Event Work for Me?

I have been lucky enough to be involved in organising events over the last several years, and have learned the benefits and pitfalls of doing them.  Preparing and organising an event can be a very stressful and time-consuming thing, but once you’ve got it right the benefits can be astronomical.

For example, you may be a clinic who has just bought a revolutionary piece of equipment which is going to help 100% of your clients. How do you introduce it to your clients?  You can do many things, for example physical marketing, e-marketing, word of mouth, tv/radio, or what some clinics have been doing recently is holding VIP launch events.

Organised and executed properly these can be a great return on investment.  At some launch events people sell £1000’s of treatment packages which cover a major part of the cost of the machine at the outset.

How could you accomplish this?
  1. Gain support from the suppliers of the machine and any other major suppliers you use. The majority of the suppliers in our industry are willing to help support the launch of the product.  Two examples of this recently were where Hydrafacial and Inmode helped with a VIP launch in the Midlands and BTL did something similar in Scotland.  It doesn’t have to be just equipment suppliers, I’m sure skincare and injectable suppliers will assist if asked.
  2. Select the top 60% of your clients and put together an invitation that can be sent out, saying something like “Thank you for being a top customer at Danny’s AgeRefining Clinic. We are launching a brand new treatment at the clinic on 11.07.2015 at 7.00pm and would love to see you there”.  This invitation allows entry for you and a friend to see this revolutionary new treatment.  To attend rsvp by phone or email and please include the name of your friend.”  This should be accompanied by a letter with more details about the event.  You might be asking why only 60%.  You want to create a buzz about the event and by limiting numbers it makes it seem very high profile.  This doesn’t stop you inviting clients who might pop in every so often, or people who ask about it as well.
  3. Even though I suggested inviting 60% of your client base only, posters, leaflets on the reception desk and an advert on your website are important. These don’t have to be works of arts but as long as they look right and have the correct information on them they can become a powerful tool.  Anybody who you or a member of staff sees taking a leaflet make a note of them and send them an email or a letter.
  4. The cost of the event is usually the sticking point so it is vital you keep control of spending. I will tell you now though, you will always spend more than you thought, so allow for that.  To help with costs make sure everyone who RSVPs receives a confirmation email and phone call (email week before and phone call 2 days before).  You’re obviously going to have lay on some food and drinks – Prosecco, Champagne and Orange Juice being choice for drinks and canapés for food.  This doesn’t have to be as expensive as you may think.  If you speak to local catering companies you may be able to come to an agreement about a reduced cost for some cross-promotion.  The majority of clients attending will be local and may be looking for a caterer for a wedding or party in the future.
  5. Make sure you have a timetable, even if you use it as a guide. This will allow you to show all of the treatments you offer as well as the latest bit of equipment.  This is best approached by you speaking about the treatment and a therapist (if you have one) or the equipment supplier doing the treatment alongside. The reason for this is that you are there to promote the treatments to your clients and although you will be the one performing it, the majority of clients will want to hear your thoughts on the treatment and how you think it will benefit them.
  6. Now to what is probably the most important part of the event. I can’t stress enough how many people fall down on this.  Every person who attends should fill in a form with their up to date details and which of the treatments they have seen at the event interested them.  This will allow you to do targeted marketing to that client about the treatments they are interested in.  It also helps you check your records for contact information.  Also, if anyone is interested having the treatment there is nothing to stop you booking them in for a treatment and taking a deposit there and then.

To be honest I could write pages and pages on event organising covering such topics as decoration, models etc.  I would suggest getting a skilled photographer in to take photos of the evening.  Photographs can be used for marketing and are a great way to follow up the event by enhancing adverts or articles about the event and your clinic.  Try to invite a local journalist and put a local spin on it.  Promote the event as your bringing something brand new and never seen before to the people of the area you live in.

I hope this is beneficial to you, wish you success with your launch event and taking your business to the next level.