PLANNING YOUR GRAND OPENING CEREMONY

Not every occasion is appropriate for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. You need to have something new and BIG to show off: a brand new business, new digs, a big remodel to accommodate growth or an example of the new services you'll be offering. When you want to draw attention in a big way, a ribbon-cutting ceremony makes a big splash without having to spend a huge amount of money

Choose Your Date and Time

Give yourself a month to plan the ceremony and to get on the calendars of the people you want to attend. If your new space is still being finished, wait until you're certain when the new space really will be finished before you plan your ribbon cutting.

Check with the Chamber of Commerce and with any Borough officials you want to attend before finalizing the date. Having them in attendance makes your business and your news look more important. 

Spread the Word

Make a list of everyone you would like to attend.  Contact the Mayor and/or other Borough Council members to get on their calendars, and also ask family, friends and close business associates.

Call the local media with your information, and ask them to cover your ceremony.

             Eric Englund  ericenglund@thesandpaper.net

             Linda Reddington (Beach Haven Times)  lreddington@gannettnj.com

Post the event on social media, and, as the event draws closer, keep updating the page. Change your posts to make them interesting and to keep people coming back.

Have signage at your place of business letting people know about the Grand Opening (note date and time)

Plan the Ceremony

Make a checklist of what you want to happen at your ceremony:

*          Ribbon Cutter/Holders - Should be owners, partner, etc., flanked by chamber of commerce other VIPs, perhaps              family.  The Chamber will have scissors and ribbon

*          Entertainment/Guides - Music, employees showing the new shop, greeting guests

*          Food - Choose and book a caterer (if desired). Food should be simple and easy to eat.

*          Photographer - Hire your own photographer so that you're not dependent on the media.

Have your scheduled speakers deliver their speeches before the ribbon cutting, as the crowd usually dissolves right after. Planning details in advance also reduces confusion at the event. Plan to keep the entire event to between one and two hours long.

Send reminder emails one week before the ceremony. Then, the day before, contact the chamber and the local media to make sure someone will attend.