We’re no strangers to planning grand openings for venues, buildings, shopping centers, and retailers. But, maybe you’re planning your FIRST grand opening for a new business, store, or property, and you’re looking for tips to make it a smashing success! Here are J. Leigh Event’s red-ribbon planning tips for grand opening events.
The purpose of a grand opening is to announce that you’re open for business, but it’s unlikely anyone will show up unless they know about it! Create an advertising and marketing plan to share information about your grand opening with the press, customers, and anyone else who should know about your opening event. Your public relations team will help you develop a plan to help the media spread the word.
You’ll invite employees, staff, and customers - but don’t forget to ask investors or potential partners to come to your grand opening. Let them see what you’ve got going on and use the opportunity to generate interest. Also, invite other companies or brands you want as partners. It will be the perfect opportunity to network with them and build strong connections.
Groundbreaking events occur before a business or property opens - typically early in the construction phase (hence, “groundbreaking”). But, actually shoveling dirt from the construction site is an old way of doing things (also, most construction sites won’t allow it). We recommend building a trench and filling it with dirt so the groundbreakers can get better photos. And, you’ll keep everyone in one spot versus moving them back and forth. Also, get a tent! You need shelter if the site is not complete.
Finally, take safety precautions. Plan a meeting with the construction site and property manager to understand how everyone can safely access the area and enjoy your event. You might have to have construction hats or other safety measures in place for everyone attending the event.
It’s most appropriate to use your company or organization’s colors for the theme. Get banners and signage made, and choose florals and décor in your color scheme. Grand openings should be all about your business. You want the guests to leave thinking about your new venture, your business, and your brand.
Grand openings can be short or long events. But, consider a reception after your ribbon-cutting where people can learn more about you. If the event is in the morning, then a breakfast reception with coffee, bagels, and fruit. If the event is in the afternoon or evening, a cocktail reception with refreshments and appetizers would be suitable.
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