Planning A Grand Opening Event: Promotion, Gift Cards, And More

The grand opening of you new office, retail store, or any other business venture should be an exciting, busy day that brings you new customers and helps you reconnect with current clients. Whether the grand opening is for a new office building, a third retail store, or your first bakery, planning a great grand opening event can immediately boost your sales figures. There are several key elements to a kickoff event that will ensure its success.

Promotion

A public event doesn’t take place in a vacuum. You need to create anticipation for the opening and reach as many people as possible so that they’ll know when and where your grand opening will take place and what they can expect from the opening. There will need to be activities and special offers that are valuable enough for people to be willing to take the time to visit your business on the day of the event.

A multi-pronged approach is the best way to advertise your event. Television, radio, and newspaper ads are all excellent ways to reach people. At the same time, don’t neglect the newer venues of social media. Post an announcement on your website (if you don’t yet have one, get one!), tweet to your customers, friends, and associates so that they’ll help get the word out, and lure them in with the promise of good food and prizes.

Food And Drink

Once people arrive at your business, you want to keep them there long enough to really get to know the advantages of your new location and do some browsing or talk to you about their needs. Always serve some food and drinks. Finger foods, including appetizers and cookies, are easy for visitors to eat while mingling. Depending on your company policy, you can offer alcoholic drinks or a simple fruit punch.

Giveaways

Prizes are always big hits at kickoff celebrations. You can offer door prizes, have a raffle, or host a Chinese auction for gift baskets that contain anything from jewelry or accessories to a nice bottle of wine. When putting together these baskets, be sure the prizes complement whatever products or services your business offers. For instance, a car dealership might give away gift certificates for the local car wash or car accessories such as a portable navigation system, new car mats, or products for cleaning a car’s interior. A hair salon might give away gift certificates for a line of hair care products, hair dryers, flat irons, or make-up and hair accessories.

Buy gift cards online for several different stores or several gift cards from the same store and present them to the first 50 or 100 people to arrive at the grand opening. Be sure to prominently mention this incentive in all your advertising literature. You might say something like, ‘Today Only! Grand Opening Specials and Gift Cards for Our First Hundred Guests! Doors Open at 10:00 AM.’ This also encourages people to arrive earlier on the day in hopes of winning one of the cards.

Various contests can also be incorporated into your celebration. Trivia tests, spinning a raffle wheel, or simply drawing tickets handed out to guests lets you give away more prizes. If you buy gift cards online, be sure to select an assortment. Local restaurant cards are always nice, but sporting goods stores, shoe stores, and bookstores also offer great gift cards. They are nicer to give than cash prizes, because the winners are more likely to treat themselves than if they simply pocket some cash. The cards can be tucked into attractive note cards that mention the grand opening and thank the guests for coming. It’s a subtle reminder that your grand opening was where they won the prize, giving you an added bit of advertising.

Discounts

Be sure to let potential guests know that your grand opening event is about more than simply introducing your new location or building. Your advertising should also highlight discounts available only on the event day. This will encourage guests to purchase your products or sign up for your services while they are at the celebration, getting your business off to a strong start. Once they’ve tried your product or service at a discount, they will likely become repeat customers.

Discounts can also be handed out in the way of gift cards. If you don’t have your own company gift cards, consider a free ‘gift card with purchase’ promotion. For every $ 50 customers spend, they will receive a $ 5 or $ 10 gift card to one of several stores. Simply order a stack of gift cards online in advance of the grand opening and have them ready to slip into shoppers’ bags as they are leaving.

Chris Harmen is a writer for eBillme, a service that allows you to buy gift cards and other products while earning cash back rewards. eBillme’s gift cards online include restaurants, chain stores, and specialty shops.