There’s no better way to build awareness and excitement for your location’s Grand Opening or Grand Re-Opening than to host an in-store event for your friends, family and new customers.

See the New Store Opening Guide for the comprehensive approach to this topic.


Your Grand Opening Event marks the official opening of your location. We also recommend an event when you’re re-opening after a renovation or perhaps as an anniversary event.

Tools for this event include: invitations, ribbon cutting event, food and beverages, live music, charity participation, dignitary participation, and an opportunity to meet with new customers.

Grand Opening-Related Activities

Planning Your Event

A Grand Opening Event is like throwing 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 party 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 Weeks Out

  • Pick your party theme, date and time. Consider a less busy day to help drive traffic to your slower times.
  • Plan out the elements of your party…decor, food, music, activities. Include a ribbon cutting, 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.
  • Invite your Charity Partner and/or Local Dignitaries to be part of your event.
  • 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 party 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.
  • Send a Media Advisory to local media inviting them to your event.

One Week Out

  • Linked below is a sample Event Flow for a grand opening event, including ribbon cutting ceremony.
  • Review all the party details and event flow 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 party favors.
  • 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 party 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!