How to Plan a Launch Event (That's Not Like All the Others) // Editorial

  • Michele Ham
Allow us to propose a theory; that the best events are the ones you don’t remember as an “event” at all. You probably just remember feeling like you were having a pretty great time (or maybe a really great time, if an open bar was involved).
As a brand, a launch event can be the perfect means to get your product in the hands and minds of the right people. But there’s a knack to making sure your guests leave feeling all warm and fuzzy instead of feeling like, well, they’ve just left another product launch.
A pair of entrepreneurs that has well and truly proven to have that elusive knack are partners Saasha Burns and Sam Leetham. Their recent launch event for their brain-child BEAR in Byron Bay was virtually a lesson in immaculate event execution, so, naturally, we had to ask them how they made it happen.
But first, what’s BEAR?
“BEAR was born from a lack of confidence in the vitamin landscape,” explains Saasha. “Standing in a chemist a number of years ago, we were overwhelmed by choice and couldn’t make a confident decision.”
Feeling positive they’d stumbled upon a gap in the market, the pair started research and development into a range of vitamins that focuses on simplicity, aesthetics and a stripped-down ingredients list.
“Our brand identity has been developed over the past year by Melbourne-based graphic designer Dylan McDonough,” says Sam. “Our portfolio of products challenge every facet of the supplement category.”
The end result is a range of daily vitamins so beautiful you’d sooner use them as a coffee table centrepiece than tuck them away in your bathroom cupboard. Think thick amber glass bottles, matte black lids, and minimal labels printed on natural, uncoated stock.
With their product refined, the pair started crafting BEAR’s launch event, which recently kicked off at Byron Bay’s Halcyon House. Having attended the launch (and vouch for its hit factor), we followed up with Saasha and Sam and asked for their best advice when it comes to planning a seamless event.
Challenges are inevitable.
There are always things outside of your control in events, especially with coordinating guests’ flights and accommodation, but looking back we wouldn’t change anything. Each challenge helped us to think differently and quickly.
Decide on your vision, then reverse-engineer it.
It all starts with an idea! Have a picture in your mind about what you want to achieve, and break down the steps to get there. There are so many stages to planning and executing an event, it’s important to have a clear vision in place. There are so many decisions that need to be made, it helps to know what is really important to you as a brand or business.
Don’t forget the details
We wanted to create a relaxing environment where guests could celebrate and enjoy a little escape. Everything from our venue, to our food and drinks, to our version of a media wall – a McTavish BEAR surfboard leaning against a vintage VW beetle – was carefully curated. Restraint is just as important as noise, sometimes the small details make all the difference and it’s what people truly remember.
…but don’t overthink it
Don’t try too hard! People just want a beautiful venue to catch-up over a few drinks with their friends. The best launch events are relaxing and have an element of surprise. Create a memorable and lasting experience and share a little insight into your brand and your story.
Collaboration is key
Our favourite part has been working with so many incredible local creatives. It’s been so humbling to work with such talented people, who share a similar vision to us and are genuinely excited for the future of our brand. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and we aren’t afraid to push the boundaries and do things a little differently. We surrounded ourselves with people who believed in our wild ideas and helped us gain momentum. It’s important to trust other people and work together as a team, to experience the journey together.