How to Hold a Grand Opening

Your new business can benefit from a grand opening event.  A well-coordinated grand opening can provide free marketing, public relations, and increased activity around your business.  The Helena Business Association welcomes the opportunity to help you get started with this short guide.

Step 1:  Develop a Plan

Develop a detailed plan.  The plan should outline time frames, scheduled events, promotional efforts, and a detailed budget.  Begin planning your grand opening at least six to eight weeks in advance to allow enough time to set logistics and communicate the event through advertising, public relations, or other promotional and marketing efforts.

Step 2:  Set the Date & Time

Determine the exact date and hours of your grand opening.  Determine what day of the week has the best foot traffic for your retail location to maximize impact.

Step 3:  Create a "buzz" with others

Ask local businesses and individuals to take part in the ceremonies or activities throughout the day.  Invite local restaurants to offer food for sale or contact local talent such as musicians to perform at your location.  Create as much promotion as possible by using other business contacts.

Step 4:  Create an Invitation List

The list should include any prominent business figures in your community, local political leaders, and/or the contractors involved in getting your business ready including any Helena Business Association members.  Plan a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony with a guest of honor (such as the mayor) performing the initial cut.  Be sure to contact any honored guests well ahead of time and confirm their participation.  A list of Helena City contacts can be found on our Resources Page.

Step 5:  promote your grand opening

Communicate your grand opening through as many media outlets as possible.  If you a member of the HBA and you let us know about the event, we will send a notification out to our membership as an announcement for you.  In addition to these means, use email, social media, website promotions, press releases, fliers, and any other pertinent form of media you can.  If budgeted, advertise in local media to increase awareness outside your existing contacts and the business community.


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