Your grand opening will be the first major event for your retail store. It can be tempting to treat the event as a minor celebration, but a well-organized grand opening also plays an important role in your marketing strategy. Here are a few tips for making sure your grand opening is a success.
Consider Your Budget
Decide what type of event you'd like to host, and work out all possible costs beforehand. Consider whether you want to host a large event or something small and intimate. Make a list of your expected party expenses. Include things like invitations, food and beverages, decorations, and live entertainment. Once you have a general idea of the costs involved, you'll know whether you can afford the grand opening of your dreams or if you'll need to scale the event down.
Choose the Date
Make sure the date you have in mind for your opening doesn't conflict with any major holidays or local events. Give your guests plenty of notice - invitations should be sent out at least six weeks before the event. In the weeks leading up to the event, decide which staff members will be responsible for various duties on the big day. Consider a "dress rehearsal" a week or so before the opening to make sure your team members are comfortable with their responsibilities.
Your grand opening won't be a success if no one knows about it. Online marketing can be very effective, but you can get very creative with offline promotion as well. Radio and newspaper ads, direct mail, and bandit signs are just a few offline options to consider.
If you want your grand opening to be the talk of the town, you'll need to invite the right people. Send invitations to any prominent people in your city or town, and make sure the local media knows about the upcoming event. Look to your target market when inviting VIPs to the event. Your opening should attract the people who will be shopping at your store regularly.
Don't Forget About Parking
Parking is an often overlooked detail with grand openings. Make sure you have sufficient parking space for the number of people you expect to attend. Depending on the crowd, you may need to arrange for extra parking with a neighboring business. Whatever your parking arrangements, make sure available parking is clearly visible and communicated to your guests with signage.
Security is important not just for your employees, but for your guests as well. If you're hosting a large event, consider hiring a temporary security team. If your budget is tight, the local police department may be able to provide security or crowd control. Avoid serving alcohol at the party, as intoxicated guests can cause disturbances or other problems.
Have Promotional Material Ready
Make sure you have enough promotional material ready for your event. Signs, posters, logo tee-shirts, giveaways, and prizes are just a few of the marketing tools you might consider for the event. On the day of the opening, wear a cap or tee-shirt that advertises your store.
Hosting a successful grand opening is a matter of proper planning and timing. Follow the above tips to make sure your opening day is one your customers won't forget.Tweet