On March 11th, Apple launched the iPad 2 and sold over 300,000 of these units which equated to roughly $150 million in sales for 1 day! In addition, according to a survey conducted by research firm PiperJaffray, 70% of those buying the iPad 2 were new to the device. The photo above is a view of customers waiting in line at the Apple store to preview and probably buy the iPad 2 — how great is that? So as meeting and event planners, what can we learn from Apple when planning a product launch? In one word: Plenty. Here are some tips to help with product launch event planning:

Tip #1: Create some mystery about the product.  When Apple announced the date and time of the iPad 2 launch, they did not tell the world about every feature. Instead, they alluded to some of the features, creating buzz and speculation in the market place. As most iPad users will tell you how awesome their unit is, many were left wondering how could Apple top an already great product? People had to come for themselves and see.

This is what we need to do with product launching events. Create some mystery and buzz. Just tell the participants enough to get them there, but not enough for them to say "I’ll just wait for the press release." This is a delicate balance, and event planners need to get better at it.

Tip #2: Stay one step ahead of the competition. Apple had a hit with the iPad and was well ahead of the other tablet competitors. There are more applications written for the iPad than any other Tablet PC, 3 to 1. But Apple didn’t sit on their laurels. They saw what was going on in the market place – an onslot of new Tablet PC announcements- and looked at the features the iPad didn’t have, and came up with a better, thinner, and faster tablet to compete.

Event planners need to do the same thing. So you had a great conference or meeting. It needs to be better next year. Study the competition, listen to your attendees, and continue to wow your audience.

Tip #3: Brand your product like a club membership. Have you ever walked into a training room where someone is working on an iPad and the rest of people there sit in wonderment? Or better yet, they crowd around the person with the iPad to see what it is all about? I have, and it is astounding how the conversation revolves around how great the iPad is and what it can do.

The same can be said for a product launching event. Does your meeting have a brand that appeals to the audience like a "hard-to-get-into" club membership? How are you making the product launch event special? Determine how you can brand your meeting, make it special, and get people to buzz about, so others will wish they were there.

ipad 2
Want to rent iPad 2 for your next event or meeting? AV Event Solutions, a California meeting equipment company, now has iPad 2s available for rent. Give them a call to learn more about the ways the iPad 2 can work wonders at your next product launching event.