Congratulations, new business owner! You’ve honed your concept, raised the money, found your perfect space, conducted interviews – and now it’s time to open your doors, with the MBD Marketing and Events team’s tips on how to host a ribbon cutting for your new business.
What is a ribbon cutting?
A ribbon cutting is a ceremonial opening of your business, usually a formal event where a company representative or local public figure commemorates your new venture. The name “ribbon cutting” comes from the tradition of cutting a large ribbon with supersized scissors to “open” the doorway to the new storefront.
Fun fact: The origin of giant scissors can be traced back to the Bronze Age, over 3,000 years ago.
Modern ribbon cuttings need not involve the literal ribbon, though it is still a popular practice. The main purpose of a ribbon cutting is to gain publicity for and raise awareness of a new or renovated business.
Ribbon cuttings and grand openings are not one and the same. Grand openings are typically the first time a storefront is open for regular business, while a ribbon cutting is a special event focused on ceremony and dissemination of information.
Follow these steps to get the most out of your ribbon cutting:
First things first, you’ll need to set a date and time for your ribbon cutting. Your local Chamber of Commerce or an event planner can tell you the ideal day and time to host your event. You’ll also want to check the schedule of any officials or public figures you’d like to attend, before settling on a date. Be sure to allow enough time to plan the logistics of your event and to get the word out.
Next, you’ll want to start on promotion (see “Promote” below). While you’re spreading the word about your event, you’ll need to prepare and send invitations to VIPs.
Planning the ceremony itself involves considerations about who will host and answer questions, whether you will have any speakers, food, entertainment, seating, photography, and swag such as branded gift bags. Hiring a local event planner like MBD Marketing & Events can streamline this process, and we’ll use our huge network in northern Colorado to get you the best deals from your vendors.
You’ll want to get the word out about your upcoming ribbon cutting as much as possible. There are free and paid methods for creating word of mouth about your event in your community. Consider promoting your event through:
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of hours promoting your new business while you’re, well, getting ready to open that new business, you’re not alone. Our marketing and events team can handle all of the above for you!
Many people, even business owners, don’t realize what goes into putting on an event behind the scenes – but we are experts. Sticking to your event timeline can be a challenge when juggling multiple vendors and inevitable last-minute mishaps. Having an event planning team working in the background ensures your day will run smoothly, but if you don’t, plan to at least have someone to coordinate vendors and logistics the day of your event.
Consider things like:
Ideally, your early promotion efforts enticed local publications to attend your ribbon cutting and/or write about your new business. But you can publicize your event, too. Share photos and information about your event on your business’s website and social media pages. If your website includes a blog, dedicate a post to your successful ribbon cutting.
Your event guests are a great source of free publicity. Encourage them to share your event by creating a specific hashtag for posting about your event – this allows you to easily search for posts made by guests. A selfie wall, or eye-catching backdrop for guests to take photos in front of, is a source of entertainment and visual publicity for your ribbon cutting.
For help planning your ribbon cutting and day-of coordination, book the northern Colorado experts at My Big Day Marketing & Events. We take on the behind-the-scenes stress, so you can enjoy your event.
For more business marketing and event tips and ideas, follow My Big Day on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
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