Epic introduces product launch service for members

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Carlos Lee from the European Photonics Industry Consortium (EPIC) details a new service to make up for the lack of exhibitions this year

In recent months, we have been increasingly exploiting the opportunities for online meetings, online company presentations, and have even attempted online networking. At EPIC, we will be further extending our online offering by helping members launch their new products and technologies online.

Traditionally, new products are released in conjunction with a major exhibition. This has been done because that’s when, in the traditional way, you could reach out to a large audience, issue a press release and encourage media editors to come by your booth to view the new product. But there are several drawbacks to this model. The product launch timing needs to coincide with the exhibition dates. But technology development has its own timeline. If your product is ready before the show, you lose valuable time to release your product on the market and introduce it to potential clients. If your product is not ready, you may be pressured to cut corners to meet the exhibition deadline. And in case your timing is right, companies with less PR power may struggle to get the desired attention. Why then not exploit the potential of announcing your new product online instead? I can envision several advantages.

Because people can watch the product release online, you can reach out to individuals who are based anywhere in the world, and who would otherwise not attend a photonics-related exhibition. For instance, if you release a new laser for medical application, EPIC will reach out to journalists who cover medical technologies. Because the event is online, you can have a more dynamic and interactive format of the product launch – for example a video demonstration, a Q&A session with a user of the product, or a panel discussion. 

The EPIC product launch will involve an online meeting with qualified attendees and will stream live on YouTube. This format has already been successfully tested by EPIC through the 40 online meetings it has organised during lockdown. The recordings, which remain online, have already been watched hundreds – and up to several thousands – of times. Video links of product launches can also be used for future marketing follow-ups such as on social media, newsletters, or simply to send to potential clients. 

I am convinced that online product launches can spread our members’ message in an attractive and engaging format, achieving overall higher impact at a lower cost.