May 18, 2022

How to Plan a Grand Opening Event for Your Business

This post will explain how to plan a grand opening event for your business and get the most out of the occasion.

6 Tips for Planning a Business Grand Opening Event

1. Set Goals for the Event

Every aspect of your marketing should include goals, so your grand opening event shouldn’t be an exception. Before planning an event, set tangible goals, like getting contact information from a certain number of people, and intangible goals, like raising brand awareness. Overall, your goals should be to attract a customer base, build relationships, and create a memorable experience, so make decisions accordingly.

2. Start Planning Early

Grand opening events should be planned as early as possible because it takes time for all the details to come together. If you’re holding it at another location, you’ll want to book as soon as you know the date because venues can fill up quickly. Even if you’re hosting at your home location, you’ll want to book your catering and entertainment early, especially if your event is during the summer.

3. Stick to a Budget

FitSmallBusiness recommends setting aside 20 percent of your first year’s marketing budget for your grand opening event. You’ll want enough money for your advertisements to be seen multiple times during the two weeks before the event. However, you shouldn’t spend so much that you don’t have money leftover to advertise for the rest of the year. By allotting 20 percent of your marketing budget, you should have enough to host a special event without breaking the bank. Additionally, food and entertainment costs can add up quickly, so it’s essential to create a budget that you can reasonably afford. New call-to-action

4. Make Sure You Have the Right Insurance

Small business insurance protects your business if an injury or other damage occurs on your business’s property.  The Insurance Information Institute suggests that all businesses have the following types of insurance at a minimum:
  • Liability insurance
  • Property insurance
  • Business vehicle insurance
  • Workers compensation insurance
Even if your company only has a few employees, you’ll still want to ensure you have proper coverage before your event. Extra people on your business’s property increase the chances of an accident, and if it does, you’ll want to have your bases covered.

5. Advertise Before the Event

Around two weeks before your event, you should start advertising in your local community and other platforms. All your messaging and graphics should be consistent with your brand, but you should try to promote your event on multiple platforms, such as:


While most radio stations make you sign long-term contracts, some stations may allow you to advertise your business for a shorter period. Start contacting radio stations early to get the best availability.

Direct Mail

Although sending mail can be expensive, sending a mail piece to every home in your business’s zip code can be an effective way to generate buzz for your event.


Before your event, create printed flyers that you can post in your business’s area. Then, post them on community boards and other places where flyers can be placed. For example, many local grocery stores or libraries have boards where people can post ads for their businesses and events.

Social Media

If your business doesn’t have a physical storefront, you should focus your efforts on online advertising. Facebook targeted ads are shown to people in specific demographics or zip codes, so you can guarantee that the right audience is seeing your ad.

Press Release

Before your event, publish a press release providing details about what attendees can expect, including:
  • Ribbon cutting ceremony details (if applicable)
  • The event’s time and location
  • Food, entertainment, and freebies
  • Additional information about your business

6. Provide Entertainment and Food

To host a successful event, you must give people a reason to attend. Offering free food is the best place to start because most people will go out of their way for a free meal. If you’re opening a restaurant, showcase the items from your menu so that attendees can try your cuisine. Otherwise, cater food from a local restaurant or save money by grilling hot dogs and hamburgers. You’ll also want to feature some form of entertainment at your event. Depending on your audience, you’ll need to determine if you need entertainment solely for adults (think wine-tasting and a fun band) or family-friendly options like bounce houses, face painting, and balloon animals. In some cases, you might need a broader range of entertainment for both adults and families, so consider your ideal customers and plan accordingly. If you want your big day to be a hit amongst attendees, consider giving away free promotional products, such as t-shirts, mugs, or keychains. If you can give away free or discounted products or services, it may help you attract future patrons.

ConclusionHosting a Grand Opening Event Will Help Grow Your New Business

Even if you don’t have a large budget, you can still host a successful grand opening event. The best events focus on building relationships and showing potential customers a good time. Ensure all your employees are friendly and recognizable (they can wear matching shirts or lanyards). Finally, be sure to follow up with your guests after the event so you convert them into loyal customers. Editor’s Note: This post was updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in May 2022.