You don’t have to hold an official grand opening event to introduce your store to prospective customers. You could simply hoist the obligatory “Grand Opening!” banner and hope people will take the hint. But what a waste; you won’t stand out from the competition that way! Why not turn your opening into an event that makes an indelible impression and draws new business right from the start?
Here are some grand opening ideas that will help you make a splash — establishing your brand and getting people in the door so they can see first-hand just what you’re all about:
- Ask the chamber of commerce to perform a ribbon cutting to kick off your event.
- Offer giveaways — door prizes, merchandise, bounce-back coupons, or branded promotional items — to the first X number of customers. Better yet, raffle off items throughout the event. That way you can collect shoppers’ names and email addresses as they sign up. After all, the point is to generate leads you can convert into customers, on the spot or later on.
- Offer a one-day special, good only during the grand opening event.
- Provide samples or space to play around with the merchandise.
- Schedule carefully. Wait until your store has been open at least a couple of weeks, so you can iron out any logistical or customer service kinks before officially presenting yourself to the public. And make sure the date you pick doesn’t compete with some other local or televised event that might keep people away.
- Target your marketing. You want everyone to be aware of your new store, but you want grand opening attendees who are truly interested in your product line, not people who are just there for the giveaways.
- Hire a photographer. Take shots of customers and all the action during the event and tweet them live, if you already have a following. Or use the photos later for website, email, and social media marketing.
A grand opening event is like a blind date — will they want to see you again? That depends on their experience during their first encounter with you. If you’ve never organized a grand opening, this guide will help you transform your ideas into an event that leaves nothing to chance. You’ll be able to attract a crowd and establish your store as a must-shop destination.
The details don’t really matter
Got your attention, didn’t we? While your grand opening should be fun, the goal is to get people in the door and impress them with your store so they keep coming back. That requires an appealing storefront, a welcoming and easy-to-shop layout, and an in-store “vibe” that sells your brand. With custom-designed fixtures, you’ll have the foundation to accomplish all of that.
Show them a grand time at your grand opening. And give everyone a chance to register for your email list, so you can stay in touch. You can’t get that second date without getting their number.