When introducing a new brand or opening a new storefront location in a local community, promoting and hosting a grand opening event can help you make a great first impression. Rather than just opening your doors and hoping customers enter on your first day, why not open with an approach that generates buzz? Grand opening event ideas with community involvement tend to attract the most publicity, helping you maximize brand awareness in your local place of business.
Here are some of the top businesses grand opening ideas to consider before you open your doors to customers:
1. Start with a Soft Opening
Having a soft opening before your grand opening is a good idea because it allows you to test and fine-tune your operations, service or product before fully opening your doors to the public. This is more common for restaurants, who often want to test the performance of their chefs and menu dishes for a week or more before they officially open. A restaurant soft opening can help you build confidence for your grand opening. It reduces a lot of the stress and risk involved because your staff can make mistakes before publicists and customers are present, ensuring you make a good first impression once they do arrive.
2. Partner with a Local Charity
Partnering with a local charity for your grand opening gets the local community involved, maximizing the media attention you get when you open for business. Plus, supporting a charity can target your precise customer group by appealing to a value they care about. For example, Trees for the Future is an organization enabling businesses to calculate their carbon footprint and offset it by planting the correct number of trees. If you choose to do a fundraising event for your grand opening, do something that engages your guests. If you choose to partner with Trees for the Future, for example, you could have each attendee who donates place their handprint and sign it on a wall inside your venue.
3. Put Up a Sign to Advertise Your Grand Opening Event
Whether you’re hosting an event, a grand opening special offer or both, you need promotional signs outside your location to lure people in. High-quality signs not only deliver information from a distance, but also promote brand awareness and help create a first impression about what’s to come. Accurate Signs also makes durable, highly customizable outdoor store signs at an affordable rate. If you need a quote for either promotional signs or a permanent store sign, please fill out the form found at get a quote online.
4. Have a Social Media Campaign with a Hashtag
Promotion of your grand opening should include both online and offline efforts, and there’s no better place than social media for generating online buzz. Create a Facebook event and invite your followers, or if you don’t have any, leverage Facebook ads to target your ideal customer. Come up with a hashtag for your event you can use to promote it on Twitter or Instagram. Get in touch with local social media influencers who would be interested in attending and can share the event with their followers. Grand opening ideas involving giveaways or freebies do really well when promoted on social media with local hashtags.
5. Offer a Grand Opening Special
A grand opening special offer or deal for those who attend the grand opening can attract customers on your first day or first week in business. Rather than just promoting the opening of your business, promoting an offer or special discount is a way of incentivizing more interest. If you’re opening a restaurant, you could offer a steep discount or all-you-can-eat buffet to celebrate the event. At a retail store, you can give customers a percentage discount off their entire purchase. If you resell products from existing brands, offering an exclusive discount for a limited time can drive business to you.
6. Hire a Local Band
Bands are always looking for venues and events to play at, and your business’s grand opening could be one of them. Bringing a professional music group to your venue helps get the media’s attention and bring more locals into your venue. Local artists have local followers on their social media accounts, and leveraging their audiences can help drive business. You also get the benefit of raising brand awareness and getting local celebrity endorsement, which serves as social proof both online and offline.
Grand Opening Ideas for Small Businesses
Whatever you choose to do for your grand opening, it should be an event that attracts your target customer group by speaking to their interests or values. Do your research on what incentivizes your target customer group, whether it’s saving money, contributing to a good cause or discovering local culture. Taking the time and effort to organize a grand opening event they’ll come to goes a long way in setting the tone for your business’s success.