Your grand opening event must be memorable and exciting for your guests, who could very well turn into regular customers. The best events will give your customers an idea of how you do business and the quality of products and services that you offer. Put your best foot forward, and don’t be afraid to make an investment in the best products and services to make your event superb. You only have one chance for a grand opening.
Take-Home Trial Kits: If your business sells a product, prepare take-home bags, similar to the”swag bags” that are given to celebrities at awards shows. For instance, if you are opening an electronics store, offer your visitors small electronic items that could make their lives easier for free, such as ear buds or cord organizers. Include a magnet that contains your store information, a business card listing your store address and phone number, and a catalog or flier that lists all of your upcoming and current specials. Also, insert coupons into the take-home bags to further encourage the visitor to come back to the store at a later date. Also, give these “swag bags” to any local media representatives who attend your grand opening.
Freebies at the Event: In addition to offering free stuff in take-home bags, give the visitors free products and services at the grand opening event. Set the offering up as a contest. Ask all visitors to write in their names, phone numbers, and email addresses on a card (or drop a business card) to enter and then give the winner a free session or product. This will give you a chance to demonstrate and display your best products (while making them seem coveted) and gather information about your customers to add them to an email newsletter or local mailing list.
Music: Pick a music list to play in the background during your grand opening event that goes with the vibe of your store. For instance, if you sell ethnic art, play music that reflects that culture. Choose music that your target customers will enjoy—it could make them feel more relaxed, at home and comfortable with your store.
Keep Your Guests Entertained: A Grand Opening is a festive celebration so coordinate that with some festive entertainment. Nothing says festive like some hopping music. Depending upon the type of venue you’re opening, match the genre of music with the type of opening you’re celebrating. A band is a perfect option if you are opening up a performance venue, like a club, theatre, or performance hall. Most performance venues have a stage which leaves you with a lot of entertainment options for your grand opening. You could also hire on a magician, comedian, or comedy improve show. Any of these entertainers would be great options for entertaining your guests on the opening night of your venue.
Entertainment and Decor If you want some more versatile entertainment, an interactive, intriguing option is circus entertainment. These performers can be the center of attention or interact as strolling entertainers. You could have sideshow and variety entertainers like contortionists, aerialists, or fire eaters headline the event on the stage or if the venue is a restaurant you could set up a performance area. Other options would be to have stilt walkers, jugglers, or close-up magicians strolling throughout the crowd. You can’t have wonderful entertainment without having proper decor to set the mood for your guests. Proper lighting and and other decor will make your event. A fun way to showcase the entrance or stage at your opening is to adorn it with balloon decor in the form of columns, archways, etc. You can also feature items from your venue with the decor. If you’re opening an art gallery, you can showcase some of your top pieces at the opening. For a business or retail store, display some of your items to the future patrons. You could hire an interior decorator as well; this is their speciality, and they know the best places to rent items from. Depending on the venue that is opening you could decorate the space with large, cushy couches for guests to lounge on. If the venue already has seating, then this isn’t an issue.
Your Grand Opening: You will need to be sure to have proper food and beverage for your guests. If the opening is for a restaurant, then this part is easy. Feature some of your signature items in a buffet line or have waitstaff butler items to your guests. For other venues, hire a caterer to set up a buffet or create hors d’ouvres for your guests. When it comes to drinks, hire a aerial bartender to mix up cocktails for your guests. You can theme the drinks around the type of venue that you’re opening. If you’re opening an art gallery, you could have the bartender mix up classy martinis; There are many different types of grand opening celebrations. The main concept to hold onto when planning the event is to be sure the theme of the party revolves around the type of venue or business you are opening. If you want to be sure everything goes the way you’d like it to, hire an event planner to do the coordinating for you.
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