There’s no textbook method for putting on a product launch event, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t an effective way to budget for them. Exactly what your launch event needs will depend on what the product is, who you want the attendees to be and what you want it to ultimately achieve. But since each launch can be wildly different, it can be tricky to come up with a budget from scratch.
From capacities to canapes, your launch event should be tailored to suit your product and each element of the event should reflect it. Budgeting is about giving yourself a clear view of how much is allocated to these different event elements, with the cost of each being a reflection of how much value it should add to the event.
We’ve hosted plenty of product launch events and have a lot of insight on what to consider when you put on your own. So to give you a hand, here are our top tips on how to budget for a successful product launch event.
Set out your objectives
The best place to start when coming up with an event budget is by considering exactly what you want your launch event to achieve. Are you looking for leads? New sponsors for your concept? Brand awareness?
Knowing what you want makes it much easier to work out what budget should be allocated where. If your main goal is product adoption then spending extra on that fancy catering or event décor might not add anything to that; whereas if your goal is creating a social media buzz, those same things can be great at encouraging attendees to get sharing and help you reach those targets!
Make sure you have enough budget to work with
As with most types of event, your launch will probably end up costing more than you expect. There will be things you won’t foresee until the approach of the launch and won’t think to take into account as you plan your initial budget.
When you do divvy up how much you have to spend on what, make sure you set aside around 10 -15% of your total budget as a contingency for surprise costs. That way you’ll be much less likely to overspend and will be able to take care of any emergencies that might pop-up.
Take a look back in time
If this isn’t the first product launch you’ve organised then look back at how previous ones went! Remind yourself of any costs you encountered last time that you didn’t expected so you can be prepared for them this time around. Check if there were any areas you overspent or underspent on in particular too.
Taking a looking back can also be handy for helping you find suppliers you already know and trust from previous events you’ve worked on together. You should have them on file already so you can save yourself the hassle of doing the research all over again.
If you clearly define what categories your budget should include from the beginning, it allows you to better prioritise your spending and gives you an unfussy structure before getting complicated with specifics.
Does the extra in-house AV equipment your venue lets you hire count as ‘Venue’ or ‘AV’ costs? Both categories will have a limited amount of budget allocated so it’s important to think about how and where different expenses get attributed. Otherwise, you could be left scratching your head post-launch as to how your venue ended up costing 50% of the budget and almost nothing going towards the AV.
Check the value in everything
Making the decision on whether a particular element is worth including or not depends on your event goals and what your guests will respond best to.
If you want your product launch event to convince them your product or concept is one worth investing in or buying, you probably want it to be nothing short of impressive. Allocating budget towards luxuries like bespoke cocktails, tray service and unique entertainment can be justified in this case.
However, if your attendees aren’t the type to be impressed by flash or frivolity, then keeping the décor and entertainment minimalist whilst offering good quality food and drink might be the best way to go.
Remember your budget isn’t infinite so there needs to be compromises somewhere! As a rule of thumb, if the cost of an element will ultimately be made back from its inclusion the event then almost any cost can be justified. But that also means if something is not going to add value then we’d recommend reconsidering if it really should be included.
Overall, we’d recommend that you stay clear on your goals throughout the event planning process and being prepared for things not to turn out exactly as planned – people change their minds and surprises (emergencies) happen!
We hope this has helped you to get started planning your product launch budget. If you’re yet to pick a venue for your upcoming product launch event then Noho Venues offers two blank canvas spaces ideal for launches. Check out more about Noho Showrooms and Noho Studios, or to get in touch with your event needs then drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call on +44 207 637 5657.