Grand Opening? This is costing you if you’re not using it.

As you work to get your business off the ground, you are probably like every other entrepreneur that is working his tail off to just get the doors open. You are drained physically, mentally, and financially. You are sleep deprived and hungry for new business. Now it’s time to party! You heard me correctly; I said party! Now is the time to push through the pain and throw a party like your financial future depends on it.

You will use this “grand” opportunity to advance your brand in a way that will pay long lasting dividends and will leave your customers wanting more!

From this point forward we are going to call it a “grand opening” but it is important to note that the ideas talked about here apply to a “grand re-opening” in the same way. So whether you are opening a brand new store, one that has changed ownership, or undergone extensive renovations, this idea is vital to the success of your event.

Let’s talk about what grand openings are designed to do:

1) Attract customers: How do you attract customers to your new business? To throw an epic party you have to have a crowd. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can have a grand opening with just a few friends and family members. There is nothing grand about having your best friend, Uncle Ted and a couple of local chamber members cutting the red ribbon with that big goofy pair of scissors.

To attract customers to your grand opening, you have to get them excited about your event. To get them excited about your event, YOU have to be excited about your event!

Planning is key. Although a spontaneous flash mob of shoppers is possible, it is not probable so you will need to plan your event well in advance. Allow yourself 2-3 months to get your plans in order. Begin promoting your grand opening 1 month prior to the event date. Social media is the #1 source to promote an event such as this and it happens to be FREE so utilize social media to the fullest.

2) Engage customers: How do you engage customers at your grand opening event? Think of your customer interaction like a date with a  girl. And no, I don’t mean you get to make out at the end.

You will ALWAYS get the sale if your customers are having a good time. For your grand opening, this is going to require food, drinks, and a little entertainment as would a date with a girl.

Now it’s time to discuss the most important of the three previously mentioned elements required to engage your customers. Ready for the big secret? Get your pen out and write this down. Entertainment is what makes a party! That’s it! You have to entertain your guests in order to get them engaged. Here’s how you do it while promoting your brand: Hire a photo booth rental company to set up their photo booth at your event.

You can find a photo booth rental company in any big city if you don’t have one local. If it’s a company that provides corporate rentals, they will offer branding options. You can wrap the exterior of the booth with your brand and/or use a custom backdrop or step-and-repeat banner with your company’s logo.

Photo booths are the perfect way to engage your customers. Everyone will enjoy taking photos inside the booth, whether they’re 8 years old or 80. This is a perfect ice breaker for the start of an event and works even better at providing guests with a way to get involved without dancing.

3) Promote your brand: How do you promote your brand the day of your event and beyond? After your customers are engaged and having a blast with the photo booth, they will share their photos and their experience via the “#1 source to promote an event such as this”, social media, thus promoting your brand! You couldn’t ask for a better tool to promote your event and your brand!

Others on social media outlets will like and share these photos creating a web of customers that see your brand and equate it with a good time!

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