First impressions are everything. If you’re launching a new business, a grand opening event provokes excitement, curiosity, and a sense of community. But a boring old ribbon-cutting simply won’t cut it.

From idea to operation to afterglow, here’s how to come up with grand opening ideas, market your event effectively, and execute with style. With an unforgettable grand opening announcement and decorations, you can make a statement as your new business opens. Read on to learn how to host a memorable event.

Zero in on your goals for your grand opening event

A grand opening isn’t just any event. Your goals for your business are specific. For instance, you might be looking to:

  • Create awareness around your brand. This is your first big marketing effort, and you can only do it once. Make sure you have a tight, unified brand message. Everyone on your staff should know exactly how to talk about your event — and your brand — from the get-go.
  • Get people excited about your business. Beyond awareness, you want to create an authentic connection with your local community. You might not be the first store of your kind in town, and your grand opening is the event that can differentiate your business.
  • Build relationships with the community. Your grand opening event can kick off your relationships not just with customers, but with business partners and vendors you’ll interact with over the years to come. Get these relationships off on the right foot by inviting them to a grand opening party that will genuinely excite them.

Eventbrite can help you achieve these goals, from building your presence online to connecting with your community. With your business goals in mind, it’s time to brainstorm grand opening ideas.

Grand opening ideas that stand out

Every successful launch starts with a great idea. A memorable venue can enhance your event even more. Here are just a few grand opening ideas to make your launch an affair to remember.

Break a record or create a publicity stunt

Guinness World Records has been wowing people since the ’50s. But did you know that the famous organization behind record-breaking spectacles has a strategic Business Solutions team? These experienced marketing pros can help your organization break a record at your grand opening party.

Attention-getting stunts can also make for the most effective grand opening ideas to generate PR. Consider creating a human billboard or launching your own annual race or parade to catch people’s attention.

Bring a past decade to life

Tap into event-goers’ happy memories of the past by hosting a decade-themed grand opening event. You might not be able to book a famous artist, but cover bands that harken back to a specific musical era can draw a surprisingly large crowd. Encourage costumes, incorporate grand opening decorations and serve food and drinks typical of the decade to extend the theme. Go nostalgic as you celebrate your grand opening, and you’re sure to attract attendees. Your grand opening flyer ideas and grand opening gift ideas should use your theme as inspiration for a seamless event from start to finish.

Dress it up

It doesn’t have to be October for people to want to dress up. Inspire attendees with a thematic costume challenge. If you’re opening a store devoted to luxury items, for instance, a Great Gatsby party makes for a great time — and social-media worthy photos.

Support a cause

Is there a charity that’s closely aligned with your business’s theme or goals? Is there a local cause you could support? Fundraisers, sponsorships, and simple donations are all great ways to establish your brand as charitable and attract a generous crowd. If you’re supporting a cause at your event, highlight the charity or cause in your grand opening announcement to help bring your community together in a thoughtful way.

Showcase your brand at a pop-up or fair

pop-up grand opening instantly showcases your brand to a large crowd. Connect with other business owners to host a pop-up event in a public space where locals can check out different local businesses, including yours. This event design can be especially effective for retailers looking to showcase their product line.

Look for a local fair or festival where you secure a booth and host an off-site grand opening event that connects you with a large potential customer base. Feel free to get creative and check out how one virtual fair allowed event-goers to connect with businesses from around the world and how to create a unique pop-up dinner event.

Looking for more generous grand opening ideas? Read 100 Unique Fundraising Ideas That Actually Work and The Most Unusual Event Trends Around the World for more event inspiration.

Marketing your grand opening event

Marketing a grand opening event is slightly different than promoting other events because your brand or space is new. That means you might not have an existing audience to market to. These 30 creative event promotion ideas can offer some inspiration as you develop a marketing plan.

To reach new people, you’ll need to adopt some specific tactics.

  • Use social media. Get the most out of the social media pages you’ve already set up. Tag your posts at local hot spots and with popular hashtags, so users who aren’t yet following you will see your posts.
  • Make a Facebook Event. Create a Facebook Event from your Facebook Business Page, so your grand opening event will come up for all users who conduct a relevant event search.
  • Engage in creative ways. Social media gives you plenty of opportunities to engage with your followers and promote your event. Offer sneak peeks of the event using Facebook or Instagram stories, detailing the event planning and day-of prep. Go live on these platforms to engage in real-time with followers to preview your grand opening event and answer any questions they may have.
  • Reach out with Eventbrite Boost. Use Eventbrite Boost to create ads, gain followers, improve social media engagement, and launch contests for increased reach.

Once you gather email addresses in the registration process and at your event itself, you’ll be able to send attendees marketing updates. Consider emailing them post-event with a discount and links to follow you on social media.

Looking for more ideas to promote your grand opening? Check out Where to Promote Your Event for more tips. Then, learn how to grow your small business with Eventbrite.

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