The Parrot DISCO was one of the most anticipated products announced at CES 2016. So when it came time to release the unique, fixed-wing drone to the world, we knew we had to create an amazing experience. For the global launch of the Parrot DISCO, Airfoil worked with our clients to host media from around the world for three hot days in Palm Springs, California for a one-of-a-kind flight experience. But we didn’t stop there – we sought to exceed expectations of our guests while treating them to an immersive brand experience to bring the Parrot vision to life.

A signature, stand-alone event can be a powerful tool when used correctly. If you are considering a stand-alone event for your brand or product launch, here are five key considerations to keep in mind.

1. Why should people come?

There is nothing worse than throwing a party and having no one show up. Reporters are swamped, budgets are tight and traveling is just plain awful, so you better have a really good reason to coax a busy reporter away from their desk. What can they get by attending your event that they couldn’t get from a press release or a phone call?  An advance on a newsworthy announcement, access to an executive or subject matter expert, a first look or hands on demonstration, opportunities to create unique visual assets . . . these are all an excellent start.

2. Does the value of the predicted outcome warrant the investment?

If your success measure is simply media impressions – run! There are less expensive (and less exhausting) ways to earn digital ink these days. Think critically about what you want to achieve through the event and ensure everyone on your team is on board. For example, our goals for the Parrot DISCO event were to develop and cultivate relationships with key influencers and media while creating an impactful, lasting experience with the brand.

3. How can you make your guests job easier?

Of course you want to make sure that your guests have a nice time, but at the end of the day they are not there to hang out with you, they are there to produce a story. Consider everything you can do to make their job easier – embargo times, available connectivity, compelling visuals, access to subject matter experts, pre-prepared digital assets, etc.  At the DISCO launch, we brought our own photography & video crew and made these services available to our guests to capture and include compelling and personalized video into their stories. These visuals were incredibly impactful and helped to tell the Parrot story.

4. Have you thought of every, little detail?

Surprises are an unwelcome guarantee at every event, but by being well organized and highly prepared you will be well equipped to deal with anything that comes your way. Site visits and pre-event walk throughs are Airfoil best practices that help us catch things early and identify possible sources for surprises. During these routine exercises, we involve all the vendors, clients and team members as possible to ensure everyone knows their role and is on the same page. Questions are expected and encouraged.

5. How did it go? What will you do differently next time?

One of the most overlooked steps is the team debrief – but it’s also one of the most important. Sit down with your team post-event to review what worked well and what could have been improved. What can you learn from this event to improve on future experiences? Be sure to document everything and revisit your event debriefs at the onset of future projects.

Even in the August desert where it is 105 degrees in the shade, the atmosphere and energy lifted the DISCO to new heights.Overwhelmingly positive coverage, featuring desired key messages and striking visuals started rolling in immediately from the likes of CNET, IEEE Spectrum, TechRadar, DigitalTrends, PCMag, TechCrunch, Tom’s Guide, and Ubergizmo. Furthermore, the team developed lasting relationships with influencers and media, and even sparked some interest from retailers – just in time for the pivotal holiday sales cycle.

If you’re interested in discussing your own event, we would love to help you!  Our experienced team can create something special to support your sales goals.