If you are a manufacturer or even a dealer of any goods, from time to time you will produce or be asked to market new products which will require a launch of some kind.
What better way to get your new product into the public eye than to hold a launch event with many invited guests and customers.
However, all too often you may have been to events or in particular launches where things have appeared amateurishly disorganized, with no flow or anyone guiding people. This leads to a feeling of being less than impressed. That thought where you think“if only they had…….”
The temptation here is that you probably have someone on your sales force who you think can present the new product and run your event for you, but actually, can they? More often than not, they cannot.
In most cases, they can “sort of get by”. However, you are launching your new product and so you need this to be as impressive as possible, not some kind of a “get by” event. Therefore, not only do you want your event to have the most impact, but to capitalise on this you also want all your sales staff networking with your clients and concentrating on getting in those advance orders required to drive your business forward, after all, that is why you chose them in the first place and it is what you have employed them to do. However, they can’t be concentrating on that, if they are trying to run and front your launch event for you.
That is where a professional moderator/facilitator comes in. You see, that member of staff you had in mind might be your lead salesperson and they may have the gift of the gab around the office and when dealing with people on a one to one basis. However, now you have a showroom or auditorium full of people and suddenly their environment has changed, one that to them has a higher level of anxiety and as such, seems potentially hostile. At very least it is distracting them from their day job.
This environment is the natural habitat for the professional moderator. It is almost as if they are most at home here, and it is their regular job to convey important messages and guide your guests throughout proceedings and do so to your planned schedule. In most cases they should be flexible enough to even do a full product presentation as part of their moderation of the event.
Likewise, when it comes to awards ceremonies, if you use someone in-house, then invariably whilst many will be impressed by the boss being present, it never has the same impact as if you get a professional moderator in to keep things running smoothly to time and introduce each category with warmth and efficiency.
Now for either type of event, you may choose to have a personality fronting things for you, and that can be great, but beware of who you get. Comedians, in particular, may seem like a good idea as everybody likes a laugh, but equally, they can potentially alienate a sector of your audience who don’t appreciate their sense of humor. Additionally, as I have found, quite often the personality, or as some think they are“celebrity”, need facilitating themselves. This means you still have to employ or use someone to mollycoddle them.
So by using a moderator who is not considered, a “celebrity”, this normally means they are self-controlling, are more fixated on doing the job, rather than worrying about their public appearance, and require little or no assistance as to running the event, which is what they are engaged to do in the first place. They also often know how to guide or work with “celebrities”, should you choose to still use them.
There is no doubt that using a professional rather than a member of staff will cost additionally. However, look at both the long and short-term benefits of using one. You should get more impact at your event and potentially more long-term rewards from it as a result, which in the case of a launch should more than cover that additional outlay – assuming your product is up to the job in the first place. In respect to an awards ceremony, you can be sure that it will be run efficiently with the maximum impact and most importantly to time, assuming the schedule is achievable – this is covered in another blog post titled, “What’s the biggest secret to a great event”.
So, don’t leave anything to chance. Use a professional moderator/facilitator and be assured of a great event.
James Hasler is a professional moderator & facilitator working across the UK and Europe. Additionally, he is a professional toastmaster and master of ceremonies, with vast experience in a variety of different types of events.
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