This event is a party for store employees, their friends, and family members. They are invited to enjoy a private event to celebrate a grand opening, promotion launch, sale or other special event.


A friends and family event may be hosted for a few different reasons…

  • As a way to celebrate and thank friends and family for their support during the opening of a new store or location.
  • A way for employees to practice making or selling product before going live with the general public.
  • As an event for an intimate product sale.
  • As a way to test a new menu.

Invite your property owner and local business partners to help strengthen relationships.

Mail Invitations to your list two-weeks before the event.

For a Grand Opening or Grand Re-Opening, this event is typically held the day prior or night prior to the store opening to customers.

If you expect many participants, consider holding two separate events: one for employee friends and families and another for the property owner and business partners.

Planning Your Friends & Family Event

This event, like a Grand Opening Event, is a party! Think of the things you do when you throw a party at home and incorporate what is appropriate…music, games, food, etc…

To ensure your event is a success and lots of customers attend, make sure you plan out the details carefully. Here is an example Timeline and Activity List you can use.

Four or More Weeks Out

  • Pick your theme, date and time. Consider a less busy day to help drive traffic to your slower times.
  • Plan out the elements of your event…decor, food, music, activities. Include a cake cutting or toast as part of the party. Have special discounts or promotions during the event. Plan relevant activities that promote your offerings like Wine Tastings, Make Your Own Cupcake or Making Your Latte at Home to be part of the event. Put all these details on your signage and invitations.
  • Get your employees involved in the ideas and planning.
  • Consider inviting any vendors or suppliers to participate by doing demonstrations or tastings.
  • Send a Calendar Listing to local media to spread the word.

Three Weeks Out

  • Create signage, like a counter card or table tents, to put it up in your location where customers will see them.
  • Create invitations to distribute to customers in store.
  • Distribute invitations to businesses and other places with potential customers as identified in your Trade Area Assessment.
  • Send an eMail invitation to your eMail list and announce the event on your website.
  • Promote via your Social Media channels.
  • Schedule extra labor for the day of the party.
  • Order extra supplies needed, especially of new products you want to sample.
  • Order extra merchandise needed for extra sales on the day of the event.

Two Weeks Out

  • Order a cake and have it decorated to celebrate the occasion.
  • Order food and beverage needed from local caterer or deli/gourmet store.
  • Consider any favors or take-aways you’d like to give and order appropriately, like samples of a new product. You could also ask suppliers to donate these.
  • Promote via your Social Media channels.

One Week Out

  • Review all the party details with each employee.
  • Talk up the party with your customers inviting them back next week for the party.
  • Order balloons to decorate the inside and outside of your location on the day of the party.
  • Promote via your Social Media channels.

One Day Prior

  • Pick up / gather supplies: cake, food, beverage, balloons, extra cups/glasses, etc…
  • Confirm with music, vendors/suppliers.
  • Prep any activities and give-aways.
  • Prep for any sampling planned.
  • Promote via your Social Media channels.
  • Ensure your location is stocked, clean and ready for guests.

Event Day

It’s party time! Make sure all the event elements are in place prior to the event.

  • Decor
  • Food & Beverage
  • Music
  • Activities, Sampling, Party Favors
  • Talk up the event all day to customers.
  • Promote the event on your a-frame chalkboard in front of your store if you have one.
  • Have an employee at the door to greet customers and welcome them to the party.
  • Actively sample throughout the event.
  • Have a great time!