Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Information
What the Chamber does:
- Provides names, addresses of City officials, political representatives
- Contacts the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Chamber Ambassadors and Chamber members and encourage them to attend your event
- Provides a local media list
- Includes Grand Opening/Ribbon Cutting information in e-mail notification to membership
- Provides traditional oversize scissors and ribbon
- Provide members’ business service referrals (decorations, baskets, catering, beverages, invitations, publicity, etc)
- Take pictures at the appointed time and provide digital photo files
- Include a photo and acknowledgment of your grand opening/ribbon cutting on our website
What your business does:
- Sets the date and time of grand opening/ribbon cutting
- Provides invitations and handles mailing
- Arranges for local advertising if desired
- Provides refreshments for guests
Please note: DeKalb Chamber cannot guarantee a set number of attendees. We encourage you to do additional outreach to ensure there is a good mixture of attendees.
HELPFUL HINTSIf your business or firm is new to DeKalb, getting the public acquainted with your firm, location, products or service and various forms should be your primary objective. The news media, of course, and various forms of advertising will play a vital role in helping you to accomplish this.
However, many new firms believe that some type of official opening, an open house, dedication or ribbon-cutting ceremony, serves a two-fold purpose of introducing them to the community and helping to build goodwill and understanding among the general public.
The success of whatever type of event you decide on depends upon your ability to be a good promoter, good host and a bit of a showman. The main idea is to attract people to your place of business and then to keep them interested and entertained while there.
INVITATIONS: Clever invitations help to assure good attendance. The time, place, firm, address and any special event or activity that might be planned should be mentioned. If food or refreshments are to be served, this should also be included in the invitation. If this is the case, you should ask for an RSVP. Invitations may be extended to the general public or may be limited to civic, chamber, governmental leaders, news media, employees, customers of the company, your close friends, neighboring firms, the sales staff or other groups. Double check your invitation list to be sure no one who should be invited is left off. Send them well in advance.
PRIVATE OR PUBLIC OPENINGS: Many firms hold two openings, one for special guests and a second for the general public. This of course, depends on your type of business, size of your building and what you feel is best for your own firm.
PUBLICITY: Promotion should be started well ahead of the event. The way to achieve good coverage is the same as for any other publicity campaign — well-prepared deadlines. Follow up stories should be as well-planned as those preceding the event and the news media should take part in the event. Interest in an opening may be stimulated through newspaper ads, spot radio announcements, outdoor signs, window displays and direct mail. A blanket invitation may be extended through newspaper ads, radio spots or signs at the site of the business. The invitation may be mailed to selected guests. Inserts in pay envelopes can be used to invite employees and tell them to bring their friends and families. In case the new location is difficult to dine, include maps or directions telling guests how to find you.
GENERAL TIPS:A. Refreshments: This depends on your type business, space, and hours of your opening. Coffee and light refreshments have proven very popular. Some firms find a social hour or cocktails at an opening held late in the day successful as well.
B. Hosts: Employees or staff members often are used to greet your guests. Consider having guests sign a guest book or having name tags, and your hosts will help manage these processes.
C. Tours: Your leadership or staff should be assigned to give tours of your building. Make sure the guides know which areas are to be shown and are knowledgeable about the business, services and new space. Go in small groups to reduce congestion.
D. Gifts or Souvenirs: A small gift or souvenir for your guests can help to make your opening more memorable. If your firm has some novelty, calendar, notebook, or other items with the firm’s name imprinted on it, this could also be used.
E. Special Event: The traditional ribbon-cutting event still is popular. Other ideas might also be used, such as putting the key in the lock to open the firm for business.
F. Photographs: Don’t fail to have pictures taken of the event. Post these pictures prominently where your employees will have a chance to see them when the event is over. Copies should be sent to special guests who participated in the ribbon-cutting or who were on hand for the event. Copies may also be provided to newspapers, radio stations, and Company internal newspapers.
TIPS TO YOU:
Move around; greet as many people as possible; Have your details planned out and assignments made to staff members; Make your opening as smooth and organized as possible. Have each employee assigned to a specific task; Line up persons for photographs in advance to avoid hurt feelings; Always follow up with a note of thanks to persons or firms sending flowers, etc. for your opening.
Frequently Asked QuestionsQ: What is the role of the Chamber Ambassadors?
A: Chamber Ambassadors are volunteers from Chamber Member businesses, organizations and associations. They assist in greeting guests, conducting the ceremony (complete with a large pair of scissors), and take photos with employees and guests of the event
Q: When should I schedule a ribbon cutting?
A: Scheduling a Ribbon Cutting with the Chamber should take place a minimum of two weeks ahead of the event to allow the Chamber time to invite members of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, the Ambassadors and dignitaries from DeKalb County to join your celebration. Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays are typically the best days for a ribbon cutting for the business community.
Q: What should I serve?
A: Hors d’oeuvres and beverages are usually served, but it is your decision. Your plan can be as simple or elaborate as you like, whatever fits your budget. You will need to decide if you will hire a caterer or prepare and serve the food on your own.
Q: Who should I invite?
A: A combination of the following groups would be ideal to attend your ribbon cutting so they can learn more about your facility and business; neighbor businesses, existing customers, suppliers/vendors, prospects, personal friends & family. The Chamber can also facilitate personal invitations to the Board of Directors, specific members, and local officials, as well as providing a local media list for you to contact.
Q: How can I promote my business to people attending?
A: You don’t want to miss this opportunity to make a great first impression on the community. Make sure you have collateral such as business cards, brochures, literature and signage for attendees to take. Consider offering a coupon or special promotion for attendees to use for a return visit. Holding a drawing and giving away door prizes is also a way to gather attendee information to use for follow up.
IMPORTANT NOTES WHEN SECURING YOUR RIBBON CUTTING
- You must be a member of the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce.
- Allow a minimum of two (2) weeks once this form is completed and received by the Chamber for your secured Ribbon Cutting date.
- Based on the number of ribbon cuttings and space available in the newsletter, your photo and caption may be placed in an upcoming issue – not in the month of your ribbon cutting.
- Your Ribbon Cutting date will not be secured unless this form is completely filled-out. Each item below is required before a date on the Chamber’s Ribbon Cutting schedule can be secured.
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