Grand openings are about making a statement. They should set the tone for your brand, make an impact within your community, build interest in your products and services and garner media coverage. Needless to say, a cookie-cutter ribbon cutting isn’t going to…well, cut it.
Check out these 10 tangible ideas for how to plan a great grand opening event.
Develop custom, branded invitations
Set the tone for your business by creating or commissioning unique grand opening invitations that highlight your brand. Incorporate your business’s colors, logos and other design elements customers will find in your storefront and online. Consistency is key for developing customer loyalty.
These don’t necessarily have to be printed, either. Consider a video or fun GIF that gets your idea across as well.
Get your neighbors on board
Make sure businesses in your neighborhood personally receive invitations to the grand opening and are on board to attend. The support of the local community will be priceless.
You can also get your neighbors involved. Maybe they cater the event or provide swag for the gift bags to show anyone who attends you’re already a part of the community.
Host an influencer preview event
Throwing an exclusive preview event just for influencers is a cost-effective way to secure coverage for your grand opening on social media. Just remember that influencers get invited to lots of events. If you want to impress, your theme and offerings will need to be on point.
Invite the press
Don’t keep this party to yourself—invite the press to join in on the fun! Designate the first hour or two for press to attend and speak with members of your business’s leadership team. Make them feel welcome by sending personalized invitations with detailed information about your business and the event, and make sure someone from your team is ready to greet them as they arrive.
Put up a creative photobooth
Make sure there are some interactive elements at your grand opening to keep guests entertained. A photobooth is an easy place to start.
Step & repeats are great for making sure your new business’s branding will be in the background of every photo, but you can also find cheap backdrop alternatives at party stores. For example, string up twinkle lights or retro beads for a colorful photo backdrop.
It’s also fun to provide your guests with photo props like oversized glasses, flowers or hats. Make sure you set up the photo booth in an area with great natural light.
Brand your food and beverages
Your brand messaging can be shared in a variety of places, from your invitations to your dessert spread. Branded cookies are often a big hit. You might also consider using branded plates, napkins or cups, or perhaps putting out a snack spread that features food in your brand colors.
Host a giveaway supporting the local community
Work with your new neighbors to round up a gift basket that you can raffle off at the event. Either purchase items or request donations from nearby local businesses. Don’t forget to include a gift card to your own business!
Give back to the local community
Cause marketing is a great way to engrain yourself in your new community. Select a local non-profit that aligns with your brand values and invite representatives to set up a booth at your grand opening. Consider also collecting monetary donations or hosting a giving drive to encourage more community members to attend your event and give back in the process.
Learn how to launch a cause marketing campaign here.
Make it a party!
Grand opening events should be fun, not stuffy! Set up a station with signature cocktails, hire live entertainment or whip up an epic playlist and rent a good set of speakers. Think of the best parties you’ve attended, then include elements from those events throughout your big day.
Don’t be afraid to theme it out, either. ‘80s and ‘90s parties are always crowd-pleasers. You can also throw a color party—choose one prominent color from your brand and ask everyone to dress up in outfits featuring this color.
Goodie bags never go out of style
Give your guests a way to remember the party with branded goodie bags. Koozies and coasters are classic, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Reusable water bottles, tote bags and branded hand sanitizer are popular options today. Even better, brainstorm some items that are related to your business and add your logo to personalize the products.
For more examples of how to throw a stand-out grand opening event, read about our work with Gibson Garage, ATH|BNB and OrangeTheory Fitness.
Need more support? Contact us today and let us know how we can help you plan your perfect grand opening event.