Why Brands Are Spending Millions on Events to Launch New Products and Services

Apple's iPad 3 event in 2012. Photo by Blake Patterson via Creative Commons
Apple’s iPad 3 event in 2012. Photo by Blake Patterson via Creative Commons

Events have become more important to brands for launching new products, according to the third-annual EventTrack study. A product launch is now the third most common goal for brands, after increasing sales and brand awareness.

Apple has set the standard since its iPod launch in 2001. Its events are famous for attracting reams of pre- and post-event buzz and helping to sell millions of products in the first three days. Apple’s recent launch of two new iPhones, a smart watch and payments system was no exception. A simple Google search shows over 4,000 news stories worldwide about the event during the month of September.

It’s pretty easy to get people excited about Apple and its new products, so let’s take a look at how American Express and on-demand transportation startup Uber successfully launched a program that lets card members use or earn loyalty reward points via Uber.

Their joint garage party in New York this spring was packed with pop-up bars in the back of Uber car trunks, plus breakdancers and a performance by electronic music duo Chromeo. The event attracted hundreds of tech industry professionals and members of the press. The event was also incredibly shareable, as events should be. It got the attention of Elle and celebrity fashion blogs, the latter thanks to actress Emmy Rossum.

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 1.35.36 PMFrom L to R: Chromeo. Photo by Megan Rose Dickey; American Express President Ed Gilligan and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick toast to their new partnership. Photo via American Express; A pop-up bar in the trunk of an Uber car. Photo via Uber; Branded Amex & Uber DJ booth. Photo by Bizbash via Instagram.

So it’s no wonder brands are spending more on events. This year, event and experimental budgets are expected to increase by over 5%. The money is coming mainly from other parts of the marketing mix (65%), with the rest directly from corporate.


Top Event Management Startups

Here are the five most popular event management startups on the KITE app, as selected by brands and advertising agencies.  spangle

Spangle helps you plan the events in your day. It also helps you discover activities and events around you that are trending.

Brands using Spangle: You could be the first!

Good for: Event discovery, event planning, social planning

seatgeekSeatGeek is a web-based ticket search engine for live sports events, concerts and theater shows. Through its data-focused platform, SeatGeek helps people find the best ticket deals.

Brands using SeatGeek: Yahoo! Sports, USA Today and Daily News

Good for: Event discovery, ticketing

attendifyAttendify offers tools for creating and managing branded events apps. Social tools like profiles, messaging and photos help to increase attendee, sponsor and exhibitor engagement. Attendify submits your app to the Apple and Google Play Store on your behalf.

Brands using Attendify: AOL, Disney, Google, Philips

Good for: Events, conferences, event marketing

Free pilot offer: $25k

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 2.19.43 PMTomorrowish offers tools for recording, curating, syncing and replaying conversations happening on social media around TV shows, live sporting events, conferences and political speeches.

Brands using Tomorrowish: Hulu, Social TV Summit, truTV and UserInsight

Good for: Digital publishing, content, marketing, social content, aggregation


Eventable connects brands and customers through calendars. Its personalized event recommendations helps keep brands on customers’ radar.

Brands using Eventable: Retailers

Good for: Event marketing, digital marketing

To learn more about Attendify’s pilot offer (and $28MM in other pilots) or how you can access 400k+ startups on our platform, connect with KITE today.

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