What To Do For Grand Opening?

Business By tripleD Updated 29 Jul 2010 , 2:50am by fsinger84

tripleD Posted 26 Jul 2010 , 12:45pm
post #1 of 18

CC friends it finally happening.
I should be opening in about three weeks.
Now I am getting ready for a open house. any suggestions on what to do.
Should I have samples. Maybe t-shirt giveaway for the shop? Cake giveaway? Any ideas to make this a great day sure would be appriciated.

17 replies
minicuppie Posted 26 Jul 2010 , 12:57pm
post #2 of 18

Have you ever seen those girls with the cake skirts? The top of the cake is sturdy enough to hold samples, cupcakes, drinks. It does sound cheesy, but people love that S**T!

Motta Posted 26 Jul 2010 , 2:44pm
post #3 of 18

You will definitely have to put out samples! Free food will always draw a crowd.

Other than that, make sure that whatever you do is consistent with the type of customer you are targeting. Eg. if you are going for a high end client, get fresh flowers and put out fancy plates to serve the cake samples. If you're going for the children's market, lots of bright colors, balloons and confetti would make it appealing for your customer.

A T-shirt giveway is not much of an incentive anymore. How about a raffle for a free cake (limited to 8 inch, one tier for example)? Ask for the customer's name and email address on the entry form and you can create an email marketing list from there. You'll have to make sure the customer checks off a box that states they would like to be added to that list.

Other than that, a local "celebrity" to open the store would be good. For example, in our town the mayor often will attend for business grand openings because the town benefits from new businesses. OR a local radio station could attend your opening for half a day and put the word out on the radio and chat with your customers and offer giveaways etc. It might cost a little but it would be a great opening! Best of luck to you!!!

kristanashley Posted 26 Jul 2010 , 3:46pm
post #4 of 18

Love the radio idea! Maybe you could even do one of those radio call-in contest things where the prize is a cake.

tinygoose Posted 26 Jul 2010 , 3:58pm
post #5 of 18

You could have a few raffles.

"Win a dozen free cupcakes"
"Win a free birthday cake"
"Win a 'your logo' bakery t-shirt'
"Win a cupcake kit"
"Win free coffee"

etc...etc

Have precut pieces of card stock to fill out. Get their name, address, email...etc. Wha La.....you have your new customer mailing list...

Kiddiekakes Posted 26 Jul 2010 , 4:33pm
post #6 of 18

Definetly have samples and lots of them for customers to try...Decorate the shop up really nice according to the type of clientelle you plan to attract like Motta said...Call up a radio station and see if they will send a radio personality over to broadcast from your store the day of...Try and get a local celebrity etc ...Offer draws for cakes etc...discounts...maybe a cheap trip to Vegas for 2 if the budget allows...

SpudCake Posted 26 Jul 2010 , 5:03pm
post #7 of 18

When I opened my shop in May I had a container full of candles (cheap at the dollar store). Funny how people actually got close to the number. The winner got a free 8 inch cake. Good luck to you!
Joanne usaribbon.gif

Doug Posted 26 Jul 2010 , 5:09pm
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Motta

You'll have to make sure the customer checks off a box that states they would like to be added to that list.




better to do an opt-OUT rather than an opt-IN.

they have to check to be REMOVED from the mailing list.

might look like this:

YES, PLEASE SEND ME %-off COUPONS AND INFO ON SPECIAL SALES AND NEW PRODUCTS

[ ] Check here to if you do not wish to receive special promotions

==============

Send out a press release to ALL local media -- newspapers, weekly/monthly magazines, radio and TV stations. Include at least 2 clear photos -- front of store and you inside at counter.

Try to get local paper to do a new business profile

Website of course

FACEBOOK page -- and get all your friends to like it.

YES, DO pay for an ad in the newspaper(s), and even radio spot if possible.

Leave business cards everywhere your target client might shop.

Go to Chamber of Commerce meetings (join!); Kiwanis too.

johnson6ofus Posted 27 Jul 2010 , 2:21am
post #9 of 18

email club for coupons and specials..

week 1- flavor of the week cupcake, buy 1 get 1 free

week 2- one free cupcake or cookie with coffee purchase

week 3- 10% off any special order cake

etc.... It also allows you to bake a "special" item and reserve that for the freebie. Think See's candies or Krispy Kreme donuts- always a free sample. Costs are high, so make it s "freebie" with purchase.

Congrats! Good Luck!

Rylan Posted 27 Jul 2010 , 3:37am
post #10 of 18

Definitely free samples. I'm thiking of free cupcakes or whatever pastries/desserts you plan to sell. When we opened our coffee shop a few years back, we gave away free coffee.

dandelion56602 Posted 27 Jul 2010 , 6:12am
post #11 of 18

I'll probably get shot for this one, but dh just opened a retail store (grills, stoves, accesories, etc). We attended meetings & talked to advertising specialists, went to conferences, etc. They said don't give away your product (when doing giveaway prizes, not samples) b/c it subcconscioulsly belittles the product. They said give away gas cards, ipods, restaurant gift certificates, etc. You'll be giving away tons of samples anyway & I know giveaways draw me in. Just something to consider icon_smile.gif

minicuppie Posted 27 Jul 2010 , 10:42am
post #12 of 18

I still vote for the model in a cake skirt. Maybe the radio DJ will wear it.

Motta Posted 27 Jul 2010 , 1:18pm
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by dandelion56602

They said don't give away your product (when doing giveaway prizes, not samples) b/c it subcconscioulsly belittles the product. They said give away gas cards, ipods, restaurant gift certificates, etc. icon_smile.gif




Good point!!

tripleD Posted 27 Jul 2010 , 9:09pm
post #14 of 18

thank you everyone for your ideas.

carmijok Posted 27 Jul 2010 , 9:36pm
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiddiekakes

Call up a radio station and see if they will send a radio personality over to broadcast from your store the day of..




As someone who worked in radio for many years, PLEASE do not do this unless you wish to pay for remote time...which is not cheap. And expect to book it well in advance of your event. Kind of like ordering cake...you don't wait until the last minute and you get what you pay for.

Also, most chambers offer ribbon cutting ceremonies but you have to be a member to do it.

Have a calendar ready should someone want to set up a tasting time for weddings.

Send a press release to the newspaper announcing your opening. If you are an advertiser they may offer you a special deal.

Have any photos of cakes you've done on display. (Maybe enlarge some to poster size and put on foamcore backing...you can velcro these to the wall...or set up on easels.)

Have hourly drawings for free cake or cupcakes...or $5 or so gift certificates (to be used toward your next purchase).

Give everyone who attends your grand opening a percentage off discount...you pick the amount. !0%-15%...and apply to say cupcakes only or a 6" cake.
HTH.

Doug Posted 27 Jul 2010 , 10:43pm
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmijok

Send a press release to the newspaper announcing your opening. If you are an advertiser they may offer you a special deal.




any paper or other media outlet that offers special deals in terms of story placement (result of press release) as a function of paid advertising is SO operating unethically.

One of the prime points of journalistic ethics is "The Wall" between editorial (where the press release goes) and business (paid adverts) sides.

Do not ask for story placement/coverage as function of advertising.

Deal with each separately.

It doesn't hurt to call the newspaper's photo editor's desk and ask if they a photographer free to come by and snap some pics. Not all coverage has to be a written story. The fastest way to fill space (slow day) and tell a story is a photo essay.

Also call the news editor at TV station to see if a crew needs to get some filler for use on slow news day.

--

try to get some big muckty muck to come to the grand opening -- get a firm no backing out commitment -- and play that up in press release. It could be the president of the bank you've are using, or the head contractor, or... -- someone who will also benefit from the PR.

push the every button about small business owner, woman business owner, new venture in the city, unique setting, unique product(s).

carmijok Posted 28 Jul 2010 , 7:19pm
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug

Quote:
Originally Posted by carmijok

Send a press release to the newspaper announcing your opening. If you are an advertiser they may offer you a special deal.



any paper or other media outlet that offers special deals in terms of story placement (result of press release) as a function of paid advertising is SO operating unethically.

One of the prime points of journalistic ethics is "The Wall" between editorial (where the press release goes) and business (paid adverts) sides.

Do not ask for story placement/coverage as function of advertising.

Deal with each separately.

It doesn't hurt to call the newspaper's photo editor's desk and ask if they a photographer free to come by and snap some pics. Not all coverage has to be a written story. The fastest way to fill space (slow day) and tell a story is a photo essay.

Also call the news editor at TV station to see if a crew needs to get some filler for use on slow news day.




I started my media career IN the print biz, ( metro and alternative newspapers, plus city magazines), and from first- hand experience, I can tell you there ARE such things as 'grand opening' packages that include a certain amount of advertising space at a reduced rate that often includes a promotional grand-opening story written by editorial staff. Generally these are in the business section of whatever print media, but they are advertising vehicles that are sold--also known as 'advertorials'. They differ from media to media, but they do exist. You would need to speak with someone in advertising.

If you buy advertising you often CAN pay say 20% extra for placement...but that only guarantees what section of the paper or magazine you'll be in...not for specific 'upper right-hand reads'. (You can always request that from your rep...but don't expect it...however it never hurts to ask!)

Press releases are free, sent to editorial and depending on how well it's written, if it's a slow news day or whatever, they might run some, or all --or none of it. Sometimes if there is something they find of interest, they might do additional coverage, (be sure and put all your contact info on it) but there's no guarantee. Only paid advertising is a guarantee you'll be in there.

It depends on the paper but I do know this...advertisers ALWAYS get preferential treatment over non-advertisers no matter how lofty the editorial department views its 'Wall'.
For print media these days, money talks--and a grand opening story is not necessarily jeopardizing journalistic 'integrity'. It's a feel-good community event that papers love. And the fact that space in print is determined soley by how much advertising there is, well, guess who's going to stand a better chance of getting their story told? I've seen it too many times.

A 'freebie' is sometimes more possible with local TV (though expect to be contacted by a sales rep). Local morning TV shows are a great resource but they need to know about upcoming grand openings well in advance... send them free samples, you stand a better opportunity of getting booked--especially if you have something unique going on for your grand-opening. Plus you can always keep the hosts supplied with gift certificates to use as giveaways for their contests throughout the year. Call the producers of the show and talk directly to them to get their input instead of only sending a release.

I would think you'd almost need to have a tie-in with some charity or cause or event happening besides your grand-opening to get evening news TV crews interested in covering it...but you never know.

The thing is, freebies are great, but if you want guaranteed publicity you'll have to pay for it. Like cake, it can get expensive, but it depends on what you want. Enjoy your grand-opening but know you'll have to market yourself beyond that to keep your name in front of the public. I wish you lots of luck and hope your business is a huge success!
icon_biggrin.gif

fsinger84 Posted 29 Jul 2010 , 2:50am
post #18 of 18

Our local chamber of com will host a free ribon cutting with big ribon and everything. If you are a member of your local chamber I would ask them about it.

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