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Tips for Organizing a Launch Event


Once your production instance is live, you may want to consider organizing a launch event. A few reasons for having a launch event are:

  • To inform researchers that the instance is live, what it does, and how it can be used
  • To inform other institutional staff (library, research office, grants office, etc) and ensure they’re aware of it if approached by researchers
  • To show buy-in from institutional leadership.


Launch events can happen as soon as your institution’s production instance is live or after some time has passed to build up awareness and a substantial portfolio of content and use cases ahead of the launch. Some institutions choose to do a soft launch shortly after going live and a hard launch once they’ve built up awareness. Here’s some things that might be worth considering before you decide which type of launch event is right for your institution:

  • The purpose of the launch event. If it’s to inform researchers and they value seeing examples and use cases, it might be worth waiting. If it’s to inform other institutional staff, it might be worth doing it shortly after go-live so they’re prepared when approached by researchers.
  • The best channels to reach your target audience. What’s the best way to reach researchers, institutional staff, leadership, or whoever your target audience is? Is it an event over lunch? Tagging onto a pre-existing meeting? An online event? What channels have worked well for other announcements?
  • How you’re going to follow up with attendees. Depending on the purpose of the launch event, think about how you’re going to follow up with attendees to provide further information about your instance of Figshare. It could be with links to guides for how to use it and best practices or to offer 1-to-1 sessions to walk them through how it could be used for their own research outputs.


Examples of how others institutions have organised launch events

Cranfield University: Cranfield held their launch event shortly after going live. They did some marketing for the event ahead of time including handing out flyers in pigeonholes and announcing it on the intranet and in newsletters. The event itself was held in public spaces on both their campuses to try to encourage people to join on the day. They also had food and drink at each event to entice people to stay to hear more about research data management and their instance of Figshare.

>> Read more

Parsons, Georgina (2017): figsharefest Europe presentation "Gettin figgy with it: a year's success with figshare". Cranfield Online Research Data (CORD). Presentation. https://doi.org/10.17862/cranfield.rd.5144026



University of Sheffield: Sheffield held their launch event about two years after going live with their Figshare instance. This allowed them the opportunity to build a portfolio of use cases and word-of-mouth awareness (soft launch) before doing a hard launch. The event took place for a few hours over lunch to allow people to learn about the service and discuss it further over lunch. Waiting to launch also allowed them to build a custom front end for their instance.

>> Read more


4TU.ResearchData: To coincide with their 10 year anniversary, 4TU’s research data service — 4TU.ResearchData — launched their new Figshare portal during a day-long online event attended not just by 4TU staff and researchers but by members of the research data management community, as well. They had thought leaders give keynote speeches, case studies from researchers who had used the service, and lightning talks by members of the 4TU.ResearchData team on topics like FAIR data and review services.

>> Read more


For assistance organizing your launch event, please email megan@figshare.com.


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