Letting people know that you are open for business is the purpose of a grand opening. That is why it is crucial to do it in a way that attracts the attention of media and the public – your target market. Do not worry about making your grand opening the talk of the town for days to come, what matters is that you make the day of your event something that people will want to check out. Besides, if you have a great product to sell, people will patronize it, rest assured about that.
Meantime, here’s how to plan a grand opening.
- Pick a day and time. Depending on where your business is located, you must pick a day that will yield the most number of attendance and media coverage. Pick any day from Tuesday to Friday between the hours of 10:00AM-12:00NN as the highlight of your grand opening which will in turn attract the media coverage that you want. This affords the media enough time to file this report in time for the 6:00PM news. Now the time being suggested here is not written in stone. Again, you have to discern which day and time will give your grand opening the best exposure.
- Brief your employees especially the marketing department. It doesn’t matter if you only have five people working for you, brief them on what’s going to happen on grand opening day. The marketing department especially since this department will be tasked to market the opening of your business. Delegate tasks, conduct regular updates, and plan this event as a team making it clear to everyone that their cooperation is expected 100%.
- Hire talents and entertainers. The kind of entertainment that is connected with your business. Tailor fit the talents and entertainers so that the attention won’t stray from your business. For example, mascots, clowns, and magicians = fast food business; models and a runway show = clothes, shoes, bags, and accessories; and up & coming bands = music and musical instruments store.
- Provide food and drink. This is for the first 50 or so people who will be at the store on your grand opening. You may keep the number down to a conservative figure so you won’t burn a hole in your budget but you really need to provide an incentive for people to come by on opening day. Provide a separate catered meal for VIP guests and the media.
- Give incentives. What’s in it for the people if they come by on opening day? Incentives, of course, like a chance to win attractive prizes during the raffle when they register at the door, claim a special grand opening day gift upon a minimum purchase, and huge discounts on all items on the grand opening.
- Hire a team of part-time students. If you have a lean staff working round the clock to prepare for the grand opening, hire students who can take charge of the guest list. Their task will be to make a list of possible guests making up your VIPs and the media. The list will contain names, designation, level of importance, and contact details. Doing this will save you a lot of money that you would otherwise spend on PR firms. Look at partnering with the local community college and university for this task. Be specific and hire students from the Communications Department or similar discipline.
- Campaign and promote your grand opening day. Make the rounds of the neighborhood and schools. Write to the local radio/TV station and request for an interview and a press release. Distribute flyers. Hang banners in front of your business establishment.
If you begin planning this event as early as possible, you will have a successful grand opening day.