How to Make Your Grand Opening Event a Hit

December 16, 2015


Do your 2016 business plans involve opening a new location? Or maybe you are moving to a new commercial space? Either way, congratulations! Are you planning a grand opening event to celebrate the occasion? You definitely should, because it’s a great opportunity to get the word out about your move or your expansion and introduce yourself to the neighborhood. As professional Maryland entertainers, we’ve been to quite a few grand openings and saw what worked and what didn’t. Here are a few ideas on how to make your grand opening a success.

Put Some Thought Into Promotion

You obviously want people to show up for your event, but your second goal is to simply let people know that you have moved or opened a new location. Even if people don’t attend the grand opening, they will hear about you and might stop by at a later date. Explore every possible opportunity to promote your event, including but not limited to:

  • Posting it to your social media channels
  • Placing an announcement on your website
  • Sending a newsletter to your email list
  • Advertising in a local newspaper or radio station
  • Partnering up with your food or entertainment vendors to promote you
  • Inviting local officials
  • Asking your friends, family and employees to spread the word
  • Researching opportunities with your Chamber of Commerce or other organizations you belong to

If you have limited space or your event is more of an open house than a grand opening, see if you can get people to RSVP. Create an event on your Facebook page or on Eventbrite and give everyone the link to sign up, so that you can get a head count.

Brainstorm Food and Entertainment

You want to get people to talk about your event even after it’s over. You probably won’t get an article written up about you, but if one person goes back to their family and friends and says how much fun they had and what awesome deals they found, that’s all you need. If it’s appropriate for your type of business, consider having free food at the event. And always have some sort of entertainment—after all, this is supposed to be a special occasion. Here are a few thoughts:

  • Invite a local celebrity for a meet and greet
  • Rent a mechanical bull – it’s always a hit with both kids and adults!
  • Have a raffle or a giveaway – a great way to collect people’s emails and grow your list!
  • Offer free samples
  • Have a professional photographer
  • Run an exclusive sale with great discounts
  • Give tours of your facility
  • Partner up with a charity to raise money for a cause

One other consideration is to look for vendors that are local. This is a great opportunity to build relationships with other local businesses, maybe even partner up with them in the future for a referral program.

Keep the Momentum Going

So, you got people to come and gave them something to talk about—now the hardest part is to actually get them talking. They may need a little nudge, a gentle reminder, and maybe an additional incentive to tell everyone about your grand opening.

  • At the event, encourage people to take photos and post to their social media with your hashtag. As an incentive, you could give a prize for the best photo or to a randomly selected person.
  • Hopefully you collected business cards or at least emails of your attendees. Follow up with them and ask them to follow you on social media and review you if they made a purchase that day.
  • Thank people for coming by offering a generous coupon (or 2 so that they can share with their friends).

Hopefully, you’ve got a few ideas from this post on how to make your grand opening event a hit. And if you decide to go with a mechanical bull rental for entertainment, give us a call or contact online for an estimate.

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