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Congratulations! You are officially opening your new business or location. The hard part, getting your idea off the ground and turning it into a business, is already done. Now, it’s time to celebrate as you embark on your new business journey with a grand opening. Be sure your grand opening event goes off without a hitch using these grand opening ideas, tips, and examples.

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What should a grand opening include?

While each of our grand opening ideas below are unique, all successful grand opening events have a few key traits in common. Your grand opening should include:

  • A set date and timeframe.
  • A promotional period beforehand to allow you to ramp up your grand opening marketing efforts.
  • A cohesive theme that aligns with your business’s branding.
  • An event timeline to keep all your day-of activities on track.
  • A guest list of must-have attendees.
  • A goal or purpose that will outline how your grand opening is going to drive new business.
  • A clear way to track and report the success of your business’s grand opening.
  • A post-event plan that outlines how you’ll thank your attendees, follow up with your leads, etc.

There’s plenty more you could add to this list as you craft your own unique grand opening event. For example, you may find as you start planning your grand opening event that you’ll also need to coordinate with vendors, draft speaker scripts, create signage, and so on. However, these are just a few guidelines to ensure your grand opening event covers all the basics.

A helpful exercise to keep your event planning from becoming overwhelming is to use the SMART goal approach to your grand opening. This will help you to keep the details of your grand opening specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timebound. Let’s put that into action with some example questions you could ask yourself to frame your SMART grand opening goals:

  • Specific: What is the purpose of your grand opening?
  • Measurable: What metrics will you use to measure the success of your grand opening?
  • Achievable: Is what you have in mind for your grand opening event realistic for your business?
  • Relevant: Do your event themes and promotions align with your other marketing campaigns?
  • Time-bound: What would the timeline look like leading up to the event, day of, and post-event?

campaign planning - smart goals example

🌱 Make a plan to grow your new business before, during, and after your grand opening with our free, easy-to-use growth strategy template!

How do you attract people to a grand opening?

One of the biggest challenges when it comes to opening a new business or location is ensuring your grand opening generates enough buzz to be a smashing success. No matter which of the grand opening ideas below you decide to try, be sure your event gets maximum exposure by leveraging a cross-channel marketing approach. That way, you’re able to make both your current and future customers aware of the grand opening no matter where they are in the buyer’s journey.

Here are some examples of ways to attract people to your grand opening:

And more! That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ways you can promote a grand opening for your business. So, don’t be afraid to get creative and leverage as many marketing channels as possible. That way, possible attendees are guaranteed a chance to find your event information regardless of how they choose to interact with your business online. A marketing calendar like the example below can also be helpful so you can schedule your cross-channel promotions before your event.

september 2024 marketing calendar with social media holidays

🗓 Download our free marketing calendar complete with tips and ideas for every month of the year here!

Grand opening ideas for any business

Without further ado, here are the top grand opening ideas any business could take advantage of.

1. Partner with another business

Leveraging the support of another established business within your community is a great way to set your grand opening up for success. Try to identify a business that complements your own and see how you could turn your grand opening event into a mutually beneficial growth opportunity.

grand opening ideas - partnership for grand opening event example

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2. Support a community organization

Is there a cause or organization related to your business or within your new location’s community that you could volunteer with or donate to during your grand opening event? Try using a “donation meter” to track donations throughout your grand opening event as an exciting way to support a good cause.

Alternatively, your event could be an opportunity for attendees to sign up for volunteer activities or learn about your chosen organization’s programs.

3. Invite VIP guests or keynote speakers

This grand opening idea is sure to draw a crowd! Adding a person of interest to your grand opening event agenda can be a great way to attract your audience. Your VIP guest or keynote speaker doesn’t have to be a big celebrity, but it could be a thought leader within your business’s niche market, a community activist, a micro-influencer, or even a special friend or family member.

4. Attempt to break a record

Add a dose of suspense to your event with this grand opening idea. See if there are any fun records you and your team could aim to break on the day of your event. That way, spectators can cheer your business on as you attempt to reach your goal.

5. Host a simple grand opening party

This grand opening idea seems like a no-brainer, but can often be overlooked in the rush of opening a new business or location. Keep your grand opening sweet and simple with a grand opening party that includes refreshments, photo opportunities, and promotions for your new business.

grand opening ideas - simple grand opening invite

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6. Make your grand opening “friends and family” exclusive

Turn your grand opening into an exclusive club that all your potential customers will want to get into. When you make your grand opening for only friends and family, you’re adding a touch of exclusivity and novelty to your brand. This will show potential customers that you already have established a strong brand community they could be a part of.

7. Hold a soft launch

A soft launch is a grand opening on a smaller scale that allows you and your staff breathing room to test out your product and service offerings in a controlled setting. With a soft launch, you limit the number of customers attending your grand opening to make it easy to get a feel for how running your new business or location will work. Be sure to let attendees know they’re coming to your soft launch rather than a full opening, so they can provide you with feedback along the way as you work the crowd.

grand opening ideas - soft launch

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8. Give out small, branded freebies

If you don’t have the marketing budget to make your grand opening, well, overly grand, then start small with branded freebies to give out at your event. There are plenty of vendors that can transform just about anything, from water bottles to pens to stickers and more. You could have these items customized to have your brand colors or small business logo on them. This will make your attendees feel like they’re getting something out of going to your event without you having to break the bank.

9. Stick with a festive theme (with the help of AI)

Who doesn’t love a good party theme? Frame your grand opening around a fun theme you can lean into when trying to brainstorm event activities, signage, and more. You could do a traditional grand opening party theme or get creative with costume parties, pop culture references, and so on. If you’re struggling to think of a grand opening theme, try leveraging AI to give you some ideas to go off of. For example, you could use the following AI prompt to help you curate your own unique grand opening theme.

“Please provide a short list of 5 different grand opening party themes I could use to launch my [industry] business.”
grand opening ideas - party theme ai prompt example

10. Show you care about your vendors

Give a big thank you to your vendors at your grand opening by shouting them out at the event. You could even allow them to have their own booth to promote their offerings at your event. Be sure to add your vendor contacts to your VIP guest list to help boost your attendance rate as well.

11. Host a scavenger hunt

What better way for your potential customers to learn more about your business’s new location or office than to have them explore it themselves? Hide a small prize, like a free product or gift card, somewhere in your location and sneak hints or clues for your attendees to find throughout the day.

12. Try QR code marketing

You could incorporate QR code marketing into your event with a custom QR code you could place on stickers, event signage, and more. Attendees could scan the code and be brought to your landing page. From there, you could nurture them through your sales funnel.

13. Focus on food and fun

The best part of any party? The food and entertainment, of course! Nothing brings people together quite like food, so try putting your grand opening focus on free refreshments, a catered buffet, or other treats to entice guests. While you’re at it, you could schedule an entertainer, like a DJ or band, to give your attendees a show while they eat.

14. Make a shareable grand opening playlist

With this grand opening idea, you’ll want access to a free, public streaming platform like Spotify, Pandora, or Soundcloud, to put together a list of songs you’ll want to play at your event. This grand opening idea is beneficial in multiple ways because it gives you background music for your event, and your customers can access the playlist to listen along with you leading up to the big day. Just be sure to include your business name in the title to keep your brand top of mind for listeners.

grand opening ideas - product launch playlist

This fitness apparel business creates new playlists for every product line launch.

15. Don’t limit your grand opening to just one day

Who said a grand opening has to be a single-day event? You could spread grand opening buzz across a week or more by promoting a few activities each day that celebrate the start of your new business or location.

16. Hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is a classic grand opening idea and for good reason: it’s one of the few activities you can do with your attendees that clearly signifies the start of your new venture.

grand opening ideas - ribbon cutting invite

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17. Give a behind-the-scenes tour

Offering tours throughout your grand opening event can help your potential customers to learn more about your business as they get a behind-the-scenes look at how your products or services come to life.

18. Offer a workshop

Let your attendees walk away from your grand opening feeling accomplished by offering a free workshop that teaches them something related to your business. For example, a B2B software business could host hands-on training sessions about their programs, or a beauty salon could offer a DIY face mask station.

19. Do a grand opening countdown beforehand

Create hype leading up to your grand opening event but counting down on your website or social media Stories. You could have a clock counting the days and minutes until your big day. This will help to remind anyone interested in attending to mark their calendars.

grand opening ideas - grand opening countdown

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20. Go back to how it all began

Try creating a collage, online gallery, or another visual way to tell the story of your business from the ground up. You could present this at your grand opening event or have attendees explore the timeline themselves, but with this idea, you’re able to convey the importance of your business’s grand opening.

Grand opening ideas to promote sales and services

If your grand opening is focused on increasing sales or service bookings rather than brand awareness, the following clever grand opening ideas can help you achieve your goals.

21. Run a grand opening sale

A grand opening sale is a no-brainer for a new business or location looking to maximize its event’s marketing ROI. You could promote the sale ahead of time across all your marketing channels, and be sure to include plenty of signage throughout the event to remind attendees of the sale. If you can’t afford to offer a steep discount, a small percentage or dollar amount off certain products or services is just as effective. You could play on the date of your event, for example, if your event is on October 10, you could offer 10% off for 10/10.

grand opening ideas - grand opening sale example

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22. Offer free gifts to the first few buyers

Create buzz and anticipation around your grand opening by making a select few attendees win a prize at the beginning of the event. This grand opening idea can help you start off on the right foot. People will be flocking to your business as soon as your event starts for a chance to be one of your first few customers!

23. Provide grand opening promo codes or coupons

Instead of offering a storewide sale or promotion, you could be more selective with your grand opening offerings by giving out exclusive promo codes or coupons before, during, and after the event. This helps you to move potential customers through your sales funnel during your grand opening as you guide them to special offers. Try playing on your grand opening theme by using a promo code like “GRAND-OPENING-DAY1.”

grand opening ideas - coupon example

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24. Make your grand opening a booking bonanza

For service-based businesses, theme your grand opening around a “booking bonanza” where you incentivize potential customers with booking one or multiple services, consultations, or other types of appointment bundles.

25. Run a giveaway or sweepstakes

A giveaway or sweepstakes provides you with multiple activities for your grand opening. For example, you could collect leads via a raffle, and announce winners at your event’s closing ceremony.

💡 Uncover more ways to generate leads during your grand opening with our free, definitive guide to lead generation complete with 25 ideas plus tips and examples.

26. Do a product launch

What better place to unveil a new product or offering from your new business than at your grand opening? Launch a product at your grand opening event to get immediate eyes on your new offering.

grand opening ideas - product launch example

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27. Hold product demos

Your grand opening is the perfect time to educate your attendees on the products or services you offer. Try holding a presentation that walks through the key points of your offering, or have a service in progress on-site so your customers can watch your work in action.

28. Offer free consultations

Whether you are trying to book appointments or sell products, you could have your team circulate your grand opening event to offer live consultations to attendees. With these consultations, your experts would have a chance to talk potential customers through the buying process and provide recommendations for what types of products or services could be right for them.

29. Feature case studies and reviews

If you already have any success stories or customer testimonials you can feature at your grand opening, this last grand opening idea is for you. You could have customer testimonial videos playing on a loop at your event. Or, create a sign that directs potential customers to your local listings where they could read your reviews. Other ideas would be to have a happy customer come and speak at your grand opening, or create a slideshow that features pictures and videos of some of your successful work.

grand opening ideas - customer testimonial feature example

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Try these grand opening ideas for grand results

Let’s be real, this list could on. There are endless ways to spin up a great grand opening event for your business, so try to take these grand opening ideas and personalize them to your unique business needs. You already have everything you need to ensure your grand opening goes off without a hitch, a business, event ideas, and passion for your new endeavor, so now you just have to bring it to life! If you want more support before, during, or after your grand opening, see how our solutions can help you grow your business’s online presence to increase awareness and conversions on and offline.

To recap, here are the best grand opening ideas any business can use:

  1. Partner with another business
  2. Support a community organization
  3. Invite VIP guests or keynote speakers
  4. Attempt to break a record
  5. Host a simple grand opening party
  6. Make your grand opening “friends and family exclusive”
  7. Hold a soft launch
  8. Give out small, branded freebies
  9. Stick with a festive theme (with the help of AI)
  10. Show you care about your vendors
  11. Host a scavenger hunt
  12. Try QR code marketing
  13. Focus on food and fun
  14. Make a shareable grand opening playlist
  15. Don’t limit your grand opening to just one day
  16. Hold a ribbon cutting ceremony
  17. Give a behind-the-scenes tour
  18. Offer a workshop
  19. Do a grand opening countdown beforehand
  20. Go back to how it all began
  21. Run a grand opening sale
  22. Offer free gifts to the first few buyers
  23. Provide grand opening promo codes or coupons
  24. Make your grand opening a booking bonanza
  25. Run a giveaway or sweepstakes
  26. Do a product launch
  27. Hold product demos
  28. Offer free consultations
  29. Feature case studies and reviews

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