Your grand opening party will set the tone for the entire life of your business, so it's important to plan it carefully and consider even the tiniest detail. Determine what activities, entertainment and refreshments you want to offer well in advance. Hire the necessary workers and oversee everything with an eagle eye to ensure that your grand opening party -- and your business -- is a success.
Lay the Groundwork
Don't let your desire to throw an unforgettable bash outgrow your funds. Set your budget immediately and stick to it. Determine two or three possible dates for your party well in advance. Choose one as soon as possible. Decide what kind of party you want to have -- elegant, casual or kid-friendly. Evaluate your venue and determine what kind of activities and entertainment are possible for your party. Brainstorm sources of entertainment, themes and decorative touches. Consult a professional party planner to check your budget and desires against reality.
Get the Word Out
Don't wait too late to advertise your grand opening party. Start at least two months in advance to maximize your use of all available mediums, even local newsletters, newspaper inserts and yard signs. Check with local government to determine regulations regarding outdoor advertising. Issue personal invitations to local government officials, such as the mayor or city councilmen. Set up a company website featuring the grand opening party. Include a countdown clock. Hire a marketing firm to hone your company's image and get the word out to local professionals. Speak to the newspaper editor about your new business. Ask her to do a feature piece on your business or run a press release.
Give people a reason to come to your grand opening party. Visit local (non-competing) businesses and solicit donated goods to use for raffle items at your party. Offer a lifetime discount to customers who purchase at least X dollar amount of goods during the grand opening. Offer free consultations or samples to attendees so that they can better understand your product and get to know your staff before buying. Give away coupons or small prizes to people who "Like" your business on social media sites.
Plan the Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
The ribbon-cutting ceremony may be the most publicized part of your party. Invite everyone of note in your community to attend or help cut. Include the religious community, government officials, educators, volunteers, youth groups and law enforcement. Prepare a short speech on how you plan to use your business to improve the community. Hire a professional photographer to document the event and send copies to every notable attendee afterward.
Hire only local event staff, entertainers and caterers for your grand opening party. Save money by asking the local high school band or a teen cover band to provide live music. Give a fledgling comedian some exposure. Invite youth organizations, such as the Girl Scouts, to pass out information or sell cookies at your grand opening. Organize a committee of well-known local cooks to provide the refreshments. Hire local college students to provide security or work the cash registers.
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