10 grand opening ideas to make your new business shine
You’ve worked tirelessly over the last few months—no, years—to get your business up and running. Finally, it’s time to celebrate your opening day.
Of course, a grand opening both celebrates your accomplishments and kicks off your next customer-facing chapter. And a grand opening party shows your new community and potential customers what they can expect from your business. Not sure where to begin? Paperless Post is here to help.
To let your future regulars know how fabulous your clothes are, how silky your organic skincare is, or how dedicated your personal trainers will be, you need grand opening celebration ideas that sparkle—and when it comes to event planning, “sparkle” happens to be our middle name.
“Impasto” by Paperless Post.
Getting people to the grand opening event
Your opening day won’t be too grand if guests don’t show up. That is to say, you need to invite people! Call on friends, family, colleagues, business contacts, old college roommates, and anyone in your network, and invite them out for your big day in order to increase your brand awareness. Opening a business is a big deal, and we guarantee they’ll be honored to get a personal invite from you.
Here’s how to get their attention:
— Invitations: Speaking of personal invites, a well-designed card can go a long way. Our Paperless Post grand opening announcement invites are totally customizable to fit your unique party needs. Or, springboard off our designs like the always-classic “Orbit,” Champagne-bubbly “Coriandoli,” or fresh “Mint”. Be sure to include the date, time, and address of the event.
— Social media: Don’t underestimate the power of social media to hype up a grand opening. For a truly dazzling event, start posting on social media a month or two in advance. Peep renovation photos, hint at giveaways, and give your followers an exclusive look at what they’ll find at the special event. Remind them of the date of the big event often. You can even share a link to your invitation so your social media followers can RSVP.
Image by Karolina Grabowska; “Southampton” by Jonathan Adler for Paperless Post.
Considerations to help your opening awe your future customers
No matter what type of business you’re opening, you’ll want to check these boxes to bring the day to life. This is your chance to show people why you ventured into this business, what inspired you, and what makes your products or services special. It’s your time to shine—so pour your passion into it and don’t hold back.
Here are some prime points to cover when planning the big day:
— Decorate with your brand in mind: Channel the inspiration that drew you to start your business. Think about what colors, textures, and emotions you associate with your services or products and let them guide the way. Perhaps your scarves evoke colorful nostalgia that warrants a groovy ’70s theme. Or maybe your wellness facility will feel clean and inviting with plenty of neutrals.
— Provide light, one-bite snacks: If you’re opening a restaurant, we’d hope your menu is a tad more expansive, but for retail shops and boutiques, give out some light bites to keep hungry guests satiated. Think small and poppable, like cheese cubes, fruit, chocolates, or small pinwheels.
— Supply plenty of energetic music: Have you ever walked into a silent event? It can be a little awkward. Set the fun energy as soon as attendees come through your freshly-painted doors with a playlist full of upbeat tracks. If you don’t have a sound system installed, don’t fret. Grab a powerful Bluetooth speaker or two, or go old-school with a rented jukebox for your grand opening day. Just don’t go too loud, or people won’t be able to mingle without shouting.
— Hand out coupons and punch cards: Your grand opening attendees are your future loyalists—the ones who’ll shout your brand’s name from the rooftops. If you reward them, we guarantee they’ll hit the top floor with a megaphone. Hand out coupons for 10% off their next purchase or set up a loyalty program to incentivize repeat visits to create loyal customers.
— Harness the power of free stuff: A grand opening event is also a unique chance to create walking advertisements for your new local business, so don’t skimp on the merch. Everyone loves free stuff, so load up on pens, cups, apparel, blankets, magnets, matchbooks, and tote bags with your business name and logo printed visibly for passersby to see and Google later.
— Document the day: Don’t forget to document the day’s festivities. For one, you’ll want to indulge in nostalgia on your 10th anniversary. But also, successful grand opening photos and videos make for fantastic social media content. Real people enjoying themselves in your store? Those assets are a social media manager’s dream.
10 grand opening ideas for any business
As unique as your business’s ideas and innovations are, your special event will need some details that are specific to your offerings—and the exciting vision you have for your business’s future. You can use the ideas below based on your industry, or mix and match any that make sense for your budding business.
“Orbit” by Paperless Post.
Opening ideas for retail spaces
So you’ve sealed your invitations with a kiss and lined the shelves with your most pristine products. Now it’s time to crank up the music in your fabulous new retail store. Here are some ways to make your grand opening the coolest party on the block:
1. Organize a social media contest: To keep guests active, arrange a photo-taking contest. Have event attendees snap pics of their full shopping carts and tag your business on social. Select one winner for a grand prize you’ll announce on your social channels later. Winners or losers, contenders will become much more familiar with your product line.
2. Map out a scavenger hunt: Scavenger hunts are a blast for kids and adults alike—because who doesn’t like hunting for treasure? You can tease it in advance of the grand opening on your social media or in your grand opening invitations as an extra perk for your loyal followers. Hide an object or product somewhere in the store, and offer a prize to the most sharp-eyed treasure hunter.
3. Partner with a community business: Double the star power of your grand opening by standing on the wings of an already-loved business in the community, like a historic bakery or trendy smoothie shop. Feature their goods at the grand opening and make sure to tag them all over your social media to pique the interest of their followers.
Image by Rezha Ramadhan; “The Great Pyramid” by Paperless Post.
Kickoff inspiration for restaurants
Serving up some family-style Italian? Dishing out sumptuous noodle bowls? Gracing the world with your sweet vegan treats? (Can we get an invite?)
Aside from making mouths water, delight your grand opening guests with these ideas:
4. Hire a local muralist: If you have a brick wall to spare and a flexible city ordinance, show your community pride with a mural painted by a well-known local artist. An outdoor mural will draw the eyes of passing pedestrians, while an indoor mural is ideal for attracting social media attention. Make sure the artist signs their name on their artwork and snaps a selfie to share with their own social network.
5. Enjoy the outdoors: If your new nosh pad is equipped with outdoor space, pop up the sunbrellas, put out the bean bag toss, and crank up the barbecue playlist. Employ your friends and family to stage games throughout the event to keep the atmosphere lively and inviting. You can even blend up a special icy cocktail on hot days to show off your bartender’s mixologist chops.
6. Bring guests to the kitchen: There’s a growing population of foodies out there who would love to feast their eyes on a sparkly new stainless steel kitchen. A behind-the-scenes tour of how some of your restaurant’s soon-to-be famous dishes are made is an unforgettable experience that guests will tell all their friends about.
“Forsythia” by Paperless Post; Image via Diana Light.
Launch ideas for beauty and wellness shops
There’s a uniquely loyal community that gathers around beauty and wellness brands. Treat these special guests to the luxury they deserve with some grand opening perks:
7. Hand out free samples: The grand opening party is the time to get your guests clued in on how amazing your products are. Give away samples like mini mascaras, lotions, and soaps. Don’t forget to put them all in an adorable canvas tote emblazoned with your business logo. It’ll double as their shopping bag the next time they stop in!
8. Give a free gift to the first 100 customers: Beauty and wellness products are a lavish treat and often feel like an indulgence for those who don’t buy them often. So what better than a free product to bring people through the door? Keep the item a secret, but let social followers know that a gift awaits.
Image via cottonbro; “Photo On Tall” by Paperless Post.
Unveiling suggestions for health and fitness centers
Maybe you’ve got an expansive space with natural light casting on shiny silver fitness machines. Or maybe you’re rocking a small space for intimate yoga classes. No matter what sets it apart, make your space feel fresh and inviting for future clients with these tips:
9. Give away branded gear: It’s especially advantageous to choose workout-related gear as giveaways for your empowering small business. Think water bottles, drawstring bags, and yoga mats. Chances are, your sporty guests will use them far more often than during workout sessions—meaning more advertising for you.
10. Provide free consultations: Hire a dietician or personal trainer (or provide the services yourself!) and give free 15-minute consultations to grand opening guests. This is a superb way to grow new business and get to know your new clients’ unique needs. Plus, it shows your community that you care about their health.
“Storefront” Flyer by Paperless Post.
Host your business opening in grand style with Paperless Post
It’s time to twirl into this celebratory triumph of all your hard work coming to life. With Paperless Post, you can have your congratulations cake, eat it, and watch customers come racing back.
Our grand opening invitations at Paperless Post are unlike any others. Customizable event detail Blocks ensure every unique piece of information is accounted for. Upload your curated brand statements, like logos and backdrops, and customize colors to match the “NOW OPEN!” sign on your door. We’ve also got you covered for any event you need invitations for, whether it be a casual cocktail party or an office Christmas party.
The best part? You can send our invitations with virtual convenience through email, text message, or a shareable link. Get ready for your business to make its grandest entrance yet.
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