How to Host a Better Grand Opening (or Reopening)

Success Strategies
How to Host a Better Grand Opening (or Reopening)

Starting a business is an arduous process. You need to go through several stages of research, prepare a full business plan, resolve potential problems, and secure all the licenses and permits necessary to run your operation. Naturally, after all that work, you want your grand opening to be a massive success.

In a perfect world, a good product or a good service would be plenty to attract people to your place of business. But if you’re trying to drum up interest from nothing, or revitalize interest in a business on the decline, you’ll need to put more time and energy into planning a proper opening event.

The Impact of a Successful Grand Opening

A grand opening, or reopening, has the power to introduce your business to hundreds or even thousands of new people. If you make a good impression with these newcomers, they could become customers for life. Even if they don’t, they could spread the word to others and help you establish that all-too-important initial seed audience.

The question is, how do you host a better grand opening? How do you achieve these goals?

How to Host a Better Grand Opening

These are some of the most important strategies for hosting a better grand opening or reopening:

Know your target audience.

One of the most vital secrets to success is knowing who your target audience is. Instead of making your grand opening as appealing to the general public as possible, focus on a narrow niche you know you can dominate. Figure out who your audience is, how they think, and what’s going to bring them to your event – and then give them everything they want. It’s easier said than done, but you’ll be much more successful promoting to a narrowly defined target audience than you will by chasing broad appeal.

Start promoting early.

Start promoting your grand opening as early as possible, preferably weeks or even months in advance. The more time you spend promoting, the more people you’ll reach, and the more time people will have to plan around your event.

Invest in visuals.

Visuals are important both for promoting the upcoming grand opening and celebrating it once it arrives. Large banners, signs, and billboards can bring more attention to your business, especially in the weeks leading up to your grand opening, and build excitement (and brand awareness) for attendees when they attend. Develop something unique, eye-catching, and true to the spirit of your brand.

Advertise great deals and giveaways.

One of the easiest ways to draw people to an opening event is to make it monetarily worth their while. Advertise great deals, including discounted products and giveaways, provided you can afford them. Even people only marginally interested in your business may attend if they know they can win something valuable by doing so.

Schedule events throughout the day.

Try to schedule events throughout the day to maximize attendance and cater to different types of people. There are many events worth considering, though the “best ones” will likely depend on your budget and target audience. Simple events, like a raffle drawing, and more complicated events, like a full outdoor concert, are worth considering.

Prepare your staff members.

Your staff members will be responsible for executing your grand opening plans without a hitch, so prepare them adequately. Help them understand exactly how you want this event to go, and give them the tools and resources necessary to put your plans into action.

Get your licenses in order.

Nothing kills a grand reopening faster than finding out you’re not legally able to operate your business yet. Get all your licenses and permits in order long before the opening event.

Hold some surprises.

Make sure to reserve a few surprises for your attendees. Promoting the event is extremely helpful, but nothing cements your brand in a person’s memory like a fun surprise they didn’t expect.

Stream and/or post on social media.

Social media is free to use, so it might as well be part of your marketing and advertising approach. Consider streaming the entire opening event on social media. If you don’t, consider posting about it and encouraging attendees to do the same. The bigger the conversation about your event is on social media, the more of a lasting impact it’s going to have.

Collect information.

Customer data is incredibly useful for your business, so collect as much of it as possible during your grand opening. One easy way to do this is to collect email addresses when organizing a free drawing or giveaway.

Anticipate potential problems.

Finally, make sure you anticipate potential problems that could ruin or compromise your event – and get ahead of them. Otherwise, you’ll end up scrambling to put out fires throughout the opening event, or worse, you’ll make a poor impression on your new prospects and customers. Try to have a backup plan in place for everything that matters in your event; this way, if all else fails, you can always resort to Plan B.

There’s plenty of room for creativity and experimentation in your grand opening, as there’s no one right way to run or promote a business. What’s important is that you follow strategies that are perfectly suited to your business environment as well as your target demographics, so you can generate as much appeal as possible.