A successful grand opening is one that gets people curious, drives incredible foot traffic, satisfies the prospects and leaves them wanting more. Anything less and your grand opening will be less than satisfactory. You want people to come into your store/visit your website and then go back to tell others.
If your grand opening is amazing, you can be sure that word of mouth will spread real fast and all you’ll have to deal with would be keeping the new customers and repeat customers satisfied so they keep spreading the word about your business to other people. The key to a successful grand opening therefore lies in its planning.
Some people often assume that a grand opening is something you can put together in a very short while. Well, while that might be possible, odds are that doing so will result in a waste of time, energy, and resources. The best and most successful grand openings usually take months of planning and execution to get them to work.
Therefore, if you’re thinking of doing a grand opening sometime in the near future, it’s never too early to start planning. The following are some pointers on the essentials you’ll need to successfully execute your grand opening.
Have an End Goal in Mind
This may be a cliché advice, but it is important because it works all the time. A grand opening is only as successful as the initiator’s ideas, goals, plans, and dreams.
So, create a framework or a blueprint of how you’d like yours to be. If you have no ideas, do a quick search online for some events and see what they looked like. Youtube can also provide you with a few ideas to start with.
Have a Budget
Dreams without a budget are just wishes. You need to ensure that you have a budget that will cover the event. So, even if you have big ideas, you may want to trim the plans if your budget isn’t that huge. It’s almost impossible to have a grand opening like Sears would if you are a small mom and pop store.
Consider Engaging the Services of a Wedding/Event Planner
If you can afford it, think about engaging these specialists. Before you say that wedding/event planners have nothing to do with grand openings, remember that they are experts at managing the logistics of any event.
Even better is the fact that they often have a list of service providers like caterers and rental equipment. When you hire them, you’re essentially taking a load off your neck as they would end up doing a lot of the grunt work.
Predetermine Your Ideal Prospect
This is very important for your advertising and marketing campaign. If you’ve done this before, this shouldn’t be difficult to do at all. But if it’s your first time, then you need to ensure that your marketing and advertising will appeal to them.
For instance, if you were opening a children’s toy store, your PR campaigns, ads and promotional materials should be targeted at children and their parents. So, go do some pre qualification and have a clear picture or idea of who your target audience is.
Have an Effective Marketing and PR Plan
Doing the previous step often makes it incredibly easy to come up with an even more effective marketing and PR plan. Your advertising strategies should include those that will stop people in their tracks and get them to notice your upcoming event.
Use flags, posters, banners, and flyers. Designing custom flags for your business can be a real attention getter and can be an excellent option if you’re on a budget. There are many designs to choose from including horizontal, kahuna, tail feather and feather dancer flags.
When strategically positioned, they can be very easy to spot. Just make sure that they have excellent, catchy designs and are deployed way before the event.
Ensure You Have Adequate Security at the Venue
Grand openings can get very rowdy very quickly if there are lots of people around. So, even though you want lots of people at the event, you must also make provisions for their security.
Most of the time, simply informing your local law enforcement agency means that they can have a few uniformed guys at the event. Otherwise, you may need to hire private security guys who will keep the crowd organized.
Photographers and Videographers are a Must
Your grand opening event is also great for a press release and other future marketing. Pictures and videos of the event can be used for this. So, get professional photographers and videographers to record the event. After the event you can easily convert those pictures and use them in many ways.
Plan for Contests and Raffle Draws
Give away promotional items, hold raffle draws and contests, and provide people with enough incentive to get them to participate. Most business owners are often reluctant to do this because they feel nothing should be free.
Remember: the idea is to give the people a good enough time so they have positive association with your brand. Think of whatever gifts and items you give away as advertising costs, because they go on to spread the word about your new business