If you currently run a business, you can probably remember back to when you first opened shop. It was a good feeling to see those hordes of people waiting to sample your ice cream or to get a free printed t-shirt as part of your opening event. Perhaps you held a grand opening celebration where you served food and used some ribbon cutting scissors to tear through a massive ribbon, officially designating the establishment open for business. You may have chosen to keep the event personal, inviting some friends and family members to check out your new establishment. Regardless, today it is more important than ever to make a grand impression on prospective customers when opening any sort of business. Most markets have become extremely competitive and you need to take a lead over your competitors right from the get-go. An effective grand opening celebration can you do just that. There are a number of facets to organizing such an event that most of us wouldn’t consider. If you don’t have a thorough plan in place that establishes coordination between the caterers, entertainment personnel, etc., the event can turn into a hastily planned mess.
As alluded to earlier, the most time should be spent on planning out the event. The first task at hand is to establish a budget. There is no fixed dollar figure to determine whether you are on the right track, as it will vary from market to market. What you should budget for is the cost of food, entertainment, security, and some free giveaways (don’t be stingy here, give people an incentive to come to your event). You then need to find competent providers to fulfill each of these functions (some internet hunting is your best bet here). You might consider hiring a party planner to delegate the administrative tasks to.
Choosing a day when to host the event is of extreme importance. You need to consider your target demographic to do this. When will they be able to come check out your business? If you’re starting a frozen yogurt establishment, you might be able to get away with an opening ceremony during the week, as a large part of your demographic is teens and young adults. If on the other hand you were starting a fine dining establishment, it would be wise to postpone the event until the end of the week into the weekend so you have a better chance of attracting prospective patrons.
Without sufficient marketing, you may as well toss out the idea of a grand opening ceremony scissors, a band, fancy h’orderves, etc. all together. There are numerous ways you can go about generating some buzz, including posting flyers in your neighborhood or even staring an online advertising campaign (many advertising companies allow you to geo-target your ads). Get in touch with some local businesses and ask about doing some window advertising. Contact a local news station to have them cover the event to bring in even more people once it gets under way. If you effectively market the event through all the available mediums, you can guarantee that you will have lines of people waiting outside your establishment coming opening day.
Grand Opening Celebration Considerations by Steve