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10 Tips on how to plan the perfect grand opening

Ottawa Event planner

Photo credit: Phillipa Maitland

Congratulations on starting your business. Whether the business is small or big, new or rebranded we believe you need to show your target market what you are all about.  This is achieved by planning a Grand Opening Event or a company launch! A well planned grand opening event can help any company get the clients that you are targeting.  Planning a grand opening ceremony is very important for any company and it advised to seek the help of a professional.  Like planning any event, a grand opening ceremony can be stressful.

1)        Find the perfect location:  Having the event at your company location is always recommended, for example a restaurant owner can throw the event at the restaurant. If you do not have a physical address for your company you can opt to rent a venue. If this is the case, planning ahead should be your priority to ensure the venue is available.

2)        Date and Time: Like any event, the date and time should be considered. Your target market should be considered when choosing a date for your event. Who are you targeting? When do your target market usually work? What sort of events do they attend? Do they prefer going out in the middle of the week or the weekend? Keep all of this in mind when deciding the perfect time and date for your event.  

3)         Guest List- This is where you should really focus on inviting your target market. Take a look at your business plan, who are you targeting? How can you get them to attend your event? Other people you should consider inviting should be the press, your city mayor, vendors that you have worked with and those that you wish to work with in the future, current employees, current customers, neighboring companies if you have one, any former colleagues you worked with and most importantly friends and Family, they will recommend you.

4)        Invitations- this should be done in a timely manner. We recommend sending out an actual invite. Not too early, as guests may forget and not too late as they might already have other plans. E-invites are also acceptable if you are trying to save. Your invitation should have all the necessary information about your company, who you are, what you offer, date and time of the event, address of the venue, dress code if applicable, and how the guests should RSVP. Don’t forget your Logo; keep your branding consistent in everything you send out. Keep track of all your RSVPs, and make sure to send out Thank you cards or emails to all guests that attended.

5)        Food & Beverage- Will you be serving food at the event? This will depend on the type of event you will be throwing, time of day and type of business.  We recommend at least having some food for your guests, a drink and some Champagne to toast to your new business. If your business is related to a restaurant, have some samples from your menu to pass. All food and beverage should be free of charge.

6)        Parking- Make sure the venue you choose has sufficient parking for the number of attendees that you have invited to your event. If you can afford it, get valet parking for your guests. This is a nice touch.

7)        Ribbon Cutting- This is traditionally done at most grand openings. Speeches are done by the owners of the company and are followed by a ribbon ceremony. The city’s mayor if in attendance should stand next to you. This ceremony should be at least 15 minute long.

8)        Entertainment- Depending on your business and event, entertainment should be hired for your event. Some typical types of entertainment are DJs, a band or a soloist, an MC to work the crowd, a musician or a guest speaker, must be well known; this person can sometimes draw more people to attend the event. If they can MC the event, this will be a bonus.

9)        Door prizes/ Freebies- this is great to have and can be given as a thank you for attending. Don’t forgot to add your business cards. Include something that the guests can use towards your services or a product. A good example can be a 10% off on your next purchase, make sure to include an expiration date and any terms and conditions.

10)     Follow up- Don’t forget to follow up with everyone that attended the event. Getting feedback is a great way to see where you stand in your business. You could have guests fill out a survey in an exchange for a coupon. Collecting email addresses is also vital to starting your contact list.

It takes a lot of time to plan a grand opening. You have one chance to show your future clients what you are about. You do not want anything to go wrong. If you require any help or assistance on planning your Grand opening, please give us a call for an initial consultation.

Contact us today to plan your next event!

Photo source: Love & Laughter Photography

Cheers!
RSVP Events | Ottawa Corporate Event Planners
c: (613) 807-7787

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