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Features restaurant owner Bob Belcher and his family, who after a business disaster – rodents, fire, broken windows – finally announce the “grand reopening” of the business.
Small business owners who have weathered the ups and downs of the pandemic share their stories. Restrictions and restrictions have left founders increasingly weary as they circle the “Open for Business” signs, only to repeatedly close their doors.
A grand opening is usually an event held by a new brick and mortar business to introduce itself to the community. But as more and more brands moved online, grand opening ideas have adapted to the virtual space. And even those that were temporarily closed took the opportunity to create buzz for existing businesses through a massive event.
However, building buzz for your business should start well before launch day. Your brand’s grand opening isn’t just a one-day event—it’s about promoting your big moment. Here, we look at real-life examples of virtual club openings, in-store events, and other grand opening ideas to inspire your own.
Grand Opening Ideas To Kickstart Your Business
A grand opening is just one way to market your new business. It should be part of a larger marketing strategy to reach your ideal future customer. But it’s a particularly useful tool for achieving specific goals when you’re just starting out. For example, an in-person event at a retail store can connect business owners, a local business association, and local residents. And a well-timed launch day promotion can entice followers to become your first customers.
However you choose to celebrate your grand opening—virtually or in person—it has many benefits. You can:
Who doesn’t love an excuse to party? A big event or relaunch campaign can help you connect with loyal customers, reward them for their patience, and make any changes when your business closes. The excitement about this “doing” can also spread to new customers.
For example, brick-and-mortar stores that are closed for renovations may want to host an in-store party to create buzz around the store’s new design. A grand opening can also benefit online businesses that operate on a “drop” model, where a new batch of products is dropped on the website before it is sold.
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Again, yes! Opening an online store can be a little easier than building a physical space, but it’s generally the culmination of months or years of planning. This is your big day. Simply setting up your website might seem anticlimactic compared to opening the physical door, but it doesn’t have to be. A virtual party has the same benefits as an in-store grand opening. If you need help getting ready, check out our ecommerce checklist to get yourself in the best shape for opening your store.
There are many ways to celebrate your big day and you should choose the one that suits your brand. Mine this list for grand opening ideas and examples of successful brands that have been there.
This is a typical grand opening format as it applies to a brick and mortar store. But an in-store event doesn’t have to be limited to a ribbon cutting and a bunch of balloons. Be creative and organize an event that suits your business.
If you run a service business, host a free speed dating consultation day. If you’re a home goods retailer celebrating a reopening, host a cocktail party for your loyal customers featuring the store’s products (for example, live cocktail demonstrations with the martini shakers you sell). Booksellers should consider doing intimate readings or book signings.
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In Santa Fe, Lost Padre Records recently held an opening party for its new location in the store’s parking lot, where attendees can get away from the community. The event featured musical performances by local artists.
@amoraffairs Event planned: GRAND OPENING FOR PRETTY KITTY #plannerer Event #grandopening #champangwall #waxspa #nyc #nj #ribbon ♬ Press – Cardi B
Pretty Kitty Glam Bar held a classic ribbon cutting ceremony for its grand opening in Newark, New Jersey. The celebration relies on the brand of the salon, pink on pink – down to the big scissors.
Even online businesses can host an in-person event. If you’re an artist or maker with a dedicated studio, host an event at your space to draw fans into your process and preview some of your work in person. Alternatively, you can partner with another business or rent a space to host a cocktail party, live performance or other event to celebrate the grand opening of your online store.
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If your goal is to have a lot of activity in your retail store on day one, your grand opening promotion could be a limited edition gift with purchase. This idea also works for online stores. Bonus: If your gift goes with your purchase (say, a branded mug or water bottle), you’re introducing your customers as brand ambassadors.
In Los Angeles, low-waste restocking shop Prostainable celebrated its opening week by offering reusable hemp boxes to the store’s first five customers each day. The gift matches the store’s mission and leaves plenty of room for more shopping.
An exclusive event or discount can be a great way to launch your business. If you want to pull off a big public event, you can encourage email sign-ups or social following by hosting a soft opening. This could take the form of an invite-only event or an early access link and promo code for your backers.
The advantage of this approach is getting early feedback and live quality testing of your site before it’s released to the world. And, if your first customers have a great personalized experience, word of mouth will already spread once you get started. Retailers can also use this idea to host a grand opening party to preview the store before opening it to the public.
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A coming soon page with a countdown clock can build anticipation for your store opening or grand opening event. This is a great place to connect with as you build your social following. Collect emails on this page by encouraging signups with a promo code or early access link.
During the countdown, you can use social media to involve your first fans in your process – share the latest buzz from a live stream or talk about your space or product.
Swimwear brand Coco’s Trading posted a social reminder leading up to the grand opening of its new location in Hawaii.
There are many reasons why you might choose to host a virtual event versus an in-person event. For one: a global pandemic. Business owners had to get creative to engage customers with their brands during the shutdown. Some didn’t let these restrictions get in the way of their big day and instead used TikTok Live, Zoom, YouTube Live, Twitter Spaces and other platforms to host virtual events.
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DIY brand AR Workshop celebrated the grand opening of its Prospect, Kentucky location with maker kits that customers can create together in an online group demo before joining in a Facebook Live event.
This great opening idea works for any store, online or IRL. A contest or giveaway can increase your followers, build your email list, generate UGC, or get followers to share your content. Use social and ask your followers to take a specific action to enter.
Quotes & Cotton launched a $100 gift card giveaway on Instagram and Facebook to build excitement leading up to the store’s grand reopening. Rewards can also include your store’s branding or products.
Your first sale is a milestone. If you open your website or open the doors to the sound of crickets, it can be destroyed. The first sale is confirmation that you are on to something. To encourage shopping on grand opening day, offer a promo code to all your site visitors (say via a banner on your homepage) or reward your first followers and customers with an exclusive discount.
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When influencer Sam Hwang launched his online store, he announced a special promo code to his Instagram followers to thank them for their support.
If an in-person event is not possible, either due to pandemic restrictions or space limitations, host a virtual tour instead. Many online creators have relied on behind-the-scenes content to share their space and process with fans. This is a popular content format on platforms like TikTok. Use this idea to organize a tour of your space and introduce yourself to your potential customers.
When Boston Small Leaf Farms opened its new greenhouse during the pandemic, that didn’t stop the company from hosting a grand opening. The event included demonstrations, a founder Q&A and a tour of the space – all in a virtual format.
@tylerballoonbar Open my dream store with me! #zbukurime #balon #magazin #balondecor #balondux #furnistore #kushchikengang #MakeABunchHappen ♬ Fly Away – Tones And I
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The owner of Tyler Balloon Bar in Texas used TikTok
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