Ribbon cuttings are fabulous events for promoting your company and its mission to your local community. They can be for unveiling your new business, new products or services, or new management. We love helping plan these fun events and have a few ideas to share to help you plan a successful ribbon cutting!
1. Choose a Great Date
No seriously, your date is important! You want the VIPs to show up (you invited the Mayor, right?) and you don’t want to compete with other local events that will draw your crowd away. You also want to make sure your building is complete and ready for your guests. Give yourself at least a month to plan it as you need to get on people’s calendars early enough, so they can attend, and you want to create a buzz in the community so people know it’s happening.
2. Invite the Right People
As mentioned, always invite the Mayor and local dignitaries to your event. Work with your local Chamber of Commerce to make sure you invite all the right people and get their ambassadors involved to. These are community leaders and their attendance and promotion of your event is valuable! Also make sure your key business partners and key supporters can attend, including those family members who have worked so hard to help you build your business. These are all the people that deserve recognition too and can certainly make a key appearance as a ribbon holder or presenter. (Oh, and make sure to have those big scissors and ribbon! Your local Chamber of Commerce usually has a set that you can use or visit your local party rental store.)
3. Think Local
Working with local vendors to produce and promote this event is a great way to build great relationships. Is there a printer in your community that can help with printing your marketing materials, banners or flyers to promote the event? Is there a local chef or restaurant that you can partner with for food for the event? What about a local florist to help decorate your space? These are all valuable relationships and cross-promoting is an amazing thing in a local community. Yes, you might could get these services or products cheaper elsewhere, but how great would it be if the local printer down the street sent you their clientele week after week?
4. Spread the Word
Send out a press release, create fantastic invitations and advertise your event through social media. You want to let people know when and where, but also the details including that you are providing fabulous food. I know, I know, you don’t want people to come JUST for the food. It’s a great enticement though for those who are considering attending and it might just be that cherry on top of the sundae that gets them there!
5. Make it a True Event!
You need all the elements of a great event as you want people to talk about how much fun they had. Keep these elements in mind for your day:
- Emcee/Host – This can be someone from your company or a local celebrity. They can help introduce speakers and keep the event moving.
- Speakers – Someone needs to get up there and talk about your news, giving a brief rundown of what’s happening and what your company is about. This can be you or it can be your biggest fan club members. Make sure they are engaging and know what points to address. You can have 2-3 speakers, but make sure they keep it short at no more than 3 minutes each.
- Food – We already mentioned partnering with someone local for food. Make sure it’s simple and easy to eat!
- Entertainment – Definitely have some music during the event, but consider a fun demo station for your products, an activity that engages guests with your space or services, or even strolling performers, like magicians or clowns (if kid-focused) to keep guests enjoying themselves.
- Branding – Don’t forget to brand your event through signage and giveaways for guests to take home. You can even do branded food like cupcakes or cookies!
- Photographer – Don’t rely on local media providing you images, hire a local photographer so you can have images to document the event and promote your company with afterwards.
Remember, this event should be a lot of fun for you too! If planning your ribbon cutting is feeling overwhelming, we are here to help! Just give us a call and we can help plan the event and source the things you need to make your ribbon cutting truly successful!