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3 Ways the Pandemic Could Change Product Launch Events

Wakefield Research forecasts a shift in schedules and budgets, and increased regionalism.

The coronavirus pandemic has pushed all types of meetings and events to re-evaluate how business gets done. In a new report from Wakefield Research, changes for corporate product launches are in the spotlight, as canceled trade shows force organizations to consider when and how to unveil their newest offerings to customers and the media.

The Arlington, Va.-based market intelligence firm predicts three changes to product launches if health concerns continue to affect the business travelers’ appetite for large gatherings.

Varied release schedules. While companies have often timed product releases around major trade shows, the increase in virtual launches and “showcase webinars” may lead brands to create their own timelines based on when a product “is most needed, or at a time when the brand doesn’t have to compete with industry heavyweights for media share,” the report says.

Sustained marketing initiatives. Trade-show product launches require a significant financial commitment to make an impact. Going forward, expect to see brands spread their marketing budgets more widely. “This could include scaled-down, smaller customer and partner events that target interest among particular groups,” according to Wakefield’s forecast.

Increased regionalism. According to Wakefield, brands that follow international trade-show schedules for their product launches tend to have business happening in locations around the globe all at once. It predicts a surge of more regional marketing, “possibly even on varying release dates.”

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