You’ve spent countless hours planning for this moment when you’re almost ready to launch your new business — but suddenly, you aren’t sure how to set things off with a bang.
Firstly, congratulations — thinking of a grand opening means that you’ve pretty nearly executed your entrepreneurial vision, and that’s a big deal. Now, you need to get your business off to a grand start with a grand opening.
As a successful business owner and consultant, I know all about the anxiety that can build in the final days of launching a business.
But really, a grand opening is a cause for celebration.
On that note, here are my favorite success-oriented grand opening ideas for your business!
What is a Grand Opening?
A grand opening is an important event for establishing your business within your community.
A “grand opening” isn’t necessarily the first day of your business is open to the public — that would just be an “opening!”
Grand openings are meant to attract attention to your business, spark curiosity, and bring in traffic. They can be an excellent vehicle for building brand identity and integrating into your community or niche.
As such, grand openings are usually widely publicized and often include interactive events or promotions to engage potential customers.
Businesses of all sizes can benefit from grand openings. Even if you’re opening a second location rather than a brand-new business, a grand opening is a practically surefire way to attract more positive attention to your business. At the very least, you’ll get on people’s radars!
What is a Reopening?
A reopening is an effective device for drawing attention to a business that’s temporarily shut down or changed its brand identity in some way.
A reopening can be an excellent cause for celebration, just like a grand opening.
The primary difference between the two is that a reopening is for businesses and storefronts that were previously open, shut down (for any number of reasons), and have since reopened.
Reopening events can also include the following:
- Other grand opening ideas
In a sense, you’re still kickstarting your business with a reopening — an old business coming to new light.
Importance of Focusing on Your Grand Opening
Now, let’s go through what you can accomplish with your grand opening.
Build an Email List
A hearty email list is a sign of a thriving business.
Consistently sending out emails to previous and potential customers can help keep your clientele engaged and aware of your business’s evolution and promotions.
A grand opening event is a perfect place to begin building an email list.
The guests are people who are already interested in your new business and are, therefore, likely to continue that interest by signing up for emails.
One great method for collecting emails is to publicize the goal of collecting a certain number of email sign-ups. The promise of a promotion or sale after meeting this goal may give guests an incentive to sign-up and become a part of your business’s growth.
Establish (or Re-Establish) Your Brand
Grand opening events are a wonderful opportunity to give visitors a glimpse into your brand identity.
You want potential customers to remember and recognize your business easily. This is the goal of brand consistency, which can be built over time.
A grand opening is a perfect place to start since it’s technically an introduction to your business.
It is likely the first time that the public will be exposed to the following aspects of your brand:
- Visual branding
It’s also an opportunity to emphasize your personality and the values you had in mind when creating your business.
A brand identity reflects “how the owner wants the consumer to perceive the brand.” A grand opening is an excellent opportunity to start planting these seeds.
Connect With Your Target Customers
Grand openings are also a stellar way to start connecting with your target customers since they often come with much publicity and fanfare.
The nature of connecting with target customers is twofold: it applies both to people who show up of their own accord and people you invite.
The people who show up freely to a grand opening are likely people who’ve seen pre-opening publicity and are already interested in your products and services.
These expressions of organic interest are important to nurture, as they can turn into loyal customers and vehicles for word-of-mouth advertising.
It’s extremely important to express appreciation and gratitude towards people who attend your grand opening event, even if they don’t know about your business. Even if they don’t become lifelong customers, they made time for your business, and that’s worth a thousand thanks.
Furthermore, you can invite influencers or social media personalities in your niche to your grand opening event. At the very least, you’ll have more attendees, but this could also lead to a major boost in publicity if they were to post about your event.
Inviting people to your grand opening event is sure to excite them and make them feel valued while also boosting the number of potential customers you may draw in with their attendance.
We highly recommend posting your grand opening on a grand opening directory like Openings24 to gain more potential customers. Many people browse directories like these, actively searching for events to attend — it could attract more traffic than you expect.
Grand opening events get your business name out there before you are even technically open.
Contact local press if you’re opening a small business or websites in your niche if you’re launching a new site, and let them know about your grand opening. They may promote it to their following, gaining you visitors and potential customers.
You can also create a press release about your grand opening, which is available to the public. This will help spread the word and ensure that potential customers know about your event.
Plus, if the event is a real blast, news outlets may write follow-up articles or posts about the success of the grand opening.
Start Relationships with Neighboring Businesses
One of the best things to do at a grand opening is reach out to neighboring businesses.
Grand openings are a great place to network and start relationships with other business owners in your area.
These kinds of relationships can be beneficial for both parties, as you can promote each other’s brands, cross-promote products and services, and leverage each other’s resources. You can also collaborate on marketing campaigns or team up to provide discounts and sales for customers of both businesses.
Grand openings tend to bring the local community together, making it easier than ever to make meaningful connections with your neighbors.
Grow Your Social Following
Grand openings provide the perfect opportunity to invite people to follow you on social media.
Encourage attendees to join your networks by offering incentives such as discounts and exclusive offers. You can also offer giveaways or run competitions so that fans are more likely to interact with you on social media platforms.
Not only does this bring in more followers, but it also provides an opportunity to engage with existing customers and start conversations.
At the very least, make sure your social media usernames are on display somewhere during your grand opening so that attendees can look you up on their own accord.
Top Grand Opening and Reopening Ideas
So, we’ve covered the importance of grand opening events — but what features does your grand opening need? What makes an outstanding grand opening?
Do a Soft Launch
Before the day of the actual opening, consider giving your business a “soft launch.”
The “soft launch” approach gives your business a hint of exclusivity, and who doesn’t love being a part of that?
Limit access to only friends, family, and members of the community prior to officially launching your business.
By doing this, you will create an atmosphere that makes people feel as if they are part of something special — making them even more eager to experience what you have created.
Host a Grand Opening Event
Community events are never a bad idea, and a grand opening event is a great reason to bring the community together.
Many businesses simply hold sales or offer other in-store incentives for their grand opening, but we recommend hosting an in-person grand opening event.
Now, time to start considering which features to have at your grand opening event. It’s important to remember not to skimp out on catering!
Furthermore, if at all possible, we recommend serving your guests free food rather than making them pay.
You can accomplish this with careful budgeting or even potentially with a collaboration with a local restaurant — a little mutual publicity.
Don’t Forget Live Music
There are few experiences that can so quickly connect a room full of people as live entertainment.
The same applies to live events like comedy and magic shows. However, with live music, guests can still interact and mingle with your new business without being too worried about missing a key part of the performance.
If you have the resources to do so, book a popular local performer or group from your community or a nearby one. This way, more people will be drawn to your event when they hear about it through promotional efforts.
However, if you don’t have much of a marketing budget for this purpose, then playing your own music from your device is also a great option.
Consider crafting an exclusive playlist for the event! That way, guests can listen even after the event ends.
Countdown on Social
Conducting a social media countdown will both attract attention to your business’s social media presence and foster excitement about the upcoming event.
Plus, it simply brings people’s attention to the event’s existence.
I recommend conducting the countdown on Instagram Stories. That way, each day is an opportunity for a new post, which is another reminder to new and old followers alike.
There are countless ways to use social media to benefit your business.
Host the Event Live Online
If possible, stream the event online so that guests who can’t attend physically can still witness the festivities.
There are plenty of people who can’t make it to large-scale events for any number of reasons, and you want to cater to them as well.
Trust me, there are plenty of potential customers who will appreciate the consideration that goes into offering both in-person and online options for event attendance.
Do a Giveaway
Offer a giveaway to attract visitors and attention to your grand opening!
This can include any of the following:
- A raffle with gift cards to your business
- A coveted product
- An exciting grand prize like concert tickets or a vacation
Regardless, try to make sure that you don’t overcrowd the giveaway with too many prizes. This can be a turn-off to some, as it may seem like a cheap and desperate attempt at grabbing attention.
Furthermore, you’d want to promote your Grand Opening Giveaway on social media and other platforms through creative visuals and engaging copywriting.
The more people who hear about it, the better!
By taking the time to carefully plan and execute a Grand Opening Giveaway, you’ll make sure that people remember your business fondly and associate it with fun and excitement.
Do a Virtual Business Tour
Consider hosting the event online by offering a virtual business tour. That way, you can give guests the chance to explore your facility without having to be there physically.
This can be done through video recordings or simply with pictures of the space.
You can also invite viewers to virtually explore any part of your facility that may not be accessible during in-person Grand Openings.
This way, viewers get a more detailed understanding of your business and its offerings. Plus, it gives them something to explore even after the Grand Opening is over!
Another stellar way to celebrate your business opening is by working with a local charity.
I really couldn’t recommend this option enough and would venture to suggest that charity collaboration should be a part of any community event, including grand openings.
By working with a local charity, you can work towards a positive impact on the community, a good lasting impression of the event, and demonstrate what your business stands for.
Plus, offering to donate a percentage of proceeds to a local charity may incentivize more people to come to your event.
With the addition of charity fundraising, your event benefits local businesses as well as those in need.
Don’t forget the huge advantages of inviting influencers to your grand opening. Influencer marketing is an increasingly popular tool for growing small businesses, so why not use it to your advantage? Check out this guide on how to generate sales with influencer marketing to help get you started.
Influencers are the perfect way to do the following:
- Broadcast your event
- Attract potential customers
- Build an audience
The more popular they are, the more likely people will want to attend your event.
Moreover, inviting influencers to your grand opening means you can make more connections and increase your visibility in the market.
It’s important to pick influencers who are appropriate for your target audience so that their followers will be interested in your business.
Collaborate with Other Brands
Reach out to other local businesses and brands for collaboration and networking opportunities.
You can create joint discounts, giveaways, or even cross-promotions that will be beneficial to both parties involved. This means more potential customers for both you and your partner business.
Plus, this is also a great way to show that you are active in the business community and take pride in partnering up with other local brands.
Break a World Record
Talk about a way to attract public attention!
Breaking a world record is sure to make your grand opening an unforgettable experience for everyone.
It’s great for marketing, as it will bring in huge publicity and provide you with the opportunity to showcase what makes your business unique. It also shows that you are open to trying new things and willing to take risks.
Breaking a record can range from anything like the biggest cake, most people in one place, or the longest conga line. Don’t be afraid to get silly with it!
Have Exclusive Sales
Whether your grand opening is in-person or online, consider offering exclusive sales for the event. This will incentivize people to come and check out what you have to offer.
It could be discounts on certain products, free gifts, or special VIP packages that can only be acquired during the grand opening.
These exclusive sales will create a sense of urgency for people to come and check out your event, as they won’t be able to gain access to the same deals afterward.
These deals can also be a fun way to show off brand identity with unique day-of offers.
Invite a Keynote Speaker
The presence of a keynote speaker is a really compelling reason for people to attend a grand opening event.
Having an experienced professional speak at your event provides unique insights and encourages interaction between you and the audience. This is especially true if the speaker has had success in your industry or can provide helpful advice that’s valuable for attendees.
If you’re collaborating with a charity, consider inviting someone to speak about the reason such charities are necessary for the community.
Lectures from public speakers with insightful things to say can be enriching for the community.
Guests will be grateful that you, as a business owner, value their experience enough to invite one.
Give a Demo
If you offer a unique or never-before-seen product, definitely offer a demo at your grand opening.
This will spark people’s attention and build up excitement to finally see how your product actually works.
Plus, it will give people the opportunity to try out the product and make sure it works for them.
Demos can also be offered virtually over Zoom or other streaming platforms along with your in-person event.
Be sure to include a thorough Q&A session so that people can ask questions and receive direct answers from a real person.
Ultimately, offering a demo is a great way to showcase the value of your product and give people a reason to want to attend your event.
Cut a Ribbon to Kick Things Off
What’s a grand opening without a ribbon-cutting ceremony?
This is the perfect ritual to say to the world, “My business is officially open!”
The ribbon cutting symbolizes the opening of new doors for yourself and your community and can inspire more excitement in people than you may expect.
You can easily purchase some affordable ribbons from a nearby store to effectively conduct this ceremony. From there, just string it up in front of your store and watch everyone gather around to witness it being cut.
If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably got a grand opening to plan. And how exciting is that?!
I know that there can be a lot of stress around these events, but I hope this article gave you some insight into how to turn your grand opening from a source of anxiety into a cause for celebration.
If you come up with a relevant concept for your occasion, select the right date, promote it vigorously, organize adequately, and take the necessary steps to be an attentive host – success will certainly follow. Just wait until you see how many attendees you receive.
You’ve likely done everything possible to ensure that nothing will go wrong. As such, people will love coming to your new business or new location, having fun, and forming robust connections with your brand. How amazing is that?!!
Last thing: remember to take time to celebrate and congratulate yourself for making this happen. Seriously, it’s a big deal.
Good luck with your grand opening and with the future of your business. Until next time!
Frequently Asked Questions
Grand opening marketing is a marketing tool to increase buzz and publicity around the opening of a new store or business.
Some popular ways to promote a grand opening include social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook), and Email marketing.
Announce your grand opening with signs throughout your community, as well as social media posts on an account dedicated to your new business.
A grand opening informs the community about the existence of a new business, and also attracts potential customers to the business.
Other words for grand opening include opening, ribbon-cutting, opening ceremony, or in some cases, reopening.
The most important thing to say in a grand opening would be an expression of gratitude for your community coming out and supporting you. You can never have enough gratitude!
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