What does a chamber of commerce do?
Is the Chamber connected to local or state government?
As a tourist visiting the area, what can the Chamber offer me?
How can the Chamber help me find employment?
How can the Chamber help me with my grand opening celebration or ribbon cutting ceremony?
Make your grand opening celebration or ribbon cutting ceremony an event with impact! Roanoke Regional Chamber offers assistance during your planning process, ceremonial scissors and ribbon for you ribbon cutting. In addition, we can provide you with a media and dignitary mailing list for your invitations and press releases. Assistance with a grand opening or ribbon cutting is an exclusive benefit for Chamber members.
Below are tips and tricks for planning a successful grand opening celebration. If you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss your grand opening or ribbon cutting, please contact Andrea Mason at 540.983.0700 x104 or AMason@RoanokeChamber.org.
Types of Events
- Ground Breaking – If you’re building a new location and want to kick start promotion early, plan a ground breaking ceremony. It’s best to already have some ground broken so that the ceremonial shoveling runs smoothly.
- Grand Opening – Your first showcase to the public as a business. Your business should be up and running at least 2 weeks prior to your grand opening. This will give you time to polish your business and to work out any unforeseen problems.
- Grand Re-Opening – If you have reconstructed, expanded, or opened a new location, now is your chance to reintroduce yourself to the public. Be sure all construction is completed ahead of time so attendees can see the finished product.
Set the date and time
Set a date that is convenient to your customers, suppliers and others. If you are having a special guest or dignitary as part of the festivities, you need to determine that person’s availability. In addition, you need to allow sufficient time to secure and deliver invitations as well as obtain other items and supplies necessary for the event. *QUICK TIP* In our experience, a ribbon cutting mid-week around lunch time is ideal for attendees. They aren’t traveling for business and will be hungry enough to stick around and enjoy refreshments and tour your location.
Timing is everything
Your grand opening should not compete with any other events. Check with civic, organizational and governmental calendars.
Consider the invitations
We suggest print or e-invitations to be sent out a month prior to the event. Include details like date, time, location, agenda. *QUICK TIP* Consider the following invitation platforms:
- Roanoke Regional Chamber Community Calendar – www.RoanokeChamber.org
- Constant Contact – www.ConstantContact.com
- Evite – www.Evite.Com
- Paperless Post – www.paperlesspost.com
Push the press
Compile a list of media contacts. Remember to include press wherever your current and/or potential customers reside. Let the press know if dignitaries are attending to increase interest.
Blitz the media
- Post information about your grand opening on relevant websites.
- Email press releases to area newspapers and publications.
- Contact your local radio and television stations. Include the date, time, specials, directions, a contact name and phone number. There is no guarantee that your grand opening will be covered but any publicity would be very beneficial to your business.
- Decorations – Design your decorations to attract attention to your business. Choose colors that accentuate and implement a theme to the decorations. Decorate the outside as well as the inside of your business.
- Refreshments – Decide what refreshments to serve. Your budget and the time of day should be considered. Ceremonies planned during mealtimes should have heavier offerings.
- Music and announcements – Music adds a nice touch to any event. Consider the mood that you would like to set. Don’t forget a sound system may be necessary for announcements, proclamations or speeches.