VACON DRIVES UK – The World’s First Virtual Company Launch Event, 1999
Overview : Vacon is the brand name of a wide range of variable speed drives and inverters manufactured in Finland with sales offices across the world. Vacon wanted to launch a UK sales office managed by 3 senior ex-ABB directors. The Vacon Managing Director contacted me requiring a UK launch strategy for the company, brand, business and product range.
Rationale : The Vacon launch strategy was a potential customer database of potential customers – hire a hotel in Hinkley (Leics) – distribute invitations to the customer database inviting them to a one-day Vacon launch event – on the day Vacon management would present the product range and company to generate sales leads. I advised the MD this strategy was costly with a high risk of failure for Vacon as senior technical managers in the UK did not have the time to be away from their work to travel across the country to attend such hospitality events. Another launch strategy was advised.
Solution : My launch strategy was to launch the Vacon into the UK using the internet – the world’s first company virtual launch event – I named my launch strategy ‘The V-Event’ – The Vacon Event. By launching Vacon on the internet in a virtual B2B multimedia website -type presentation allowed the customer database of potential customers the luxury of attending whenever they could over 7 days (not one day) – 27×7 to suit their calendar and timetable – attending the V-Event from their PC/laptop without any travel required – can invite colleagues – can revisit – can forward link to colleagues – can download information sheets/brochure/datasheets – live chat and interaction with Vacon managers – V-Event launch strategy, graphics and multimedia can be reused for other Vacon worldwide launches – AND when the event concludes after 7 days the V-Event website is modular designed to allow just changing the V-Event frontend and backend to provide the Vacon UK website making this a very viable strategy.
Communication : The V-Event was promoted circulating a wide range of Vacon press bulletins to UK trade publications together with support display advertisements in key page positions – postal V-Event VIP invitations sent to the Vacon UK customer database.
Result : Over 300 people attended the V-Event Vacon virtual launch event on the internet from across the UK (with some from abroad) – establishing Vacon rapidly into the highly competitive UK drives/inverters market – This innovative strategy was seen by customers as an innovative technology company using innovative technology and internet launch strategy – generating significant new business leads – building brand awareness – attracting many more customer leads than the initial strategy would have – delivering excellent ROI for the client – awarded ‘Macromedia Website of the Month’ for innovation and for ‘pushing the website/internet envelope’.