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How to Make the Most of Your Ribbon Cutting Event

The ribbon-cutting ceremony serves as an event to mark the opening, re-opening or relocation of a business. For the business owner, it is a chance to generate interest in your business from the community. To maximize this unique opportunity to spread the word about your business and get locals in, here are some tips and tricks.

Decide who, what, when, where and how.

Who

Decide who you want there and who you would like to speak at the event. Does the owner want to make remarks to inspire the staff or engage the community to want to visit the business again? Generate an attendee list that you will use for sending out invitations. Invite neighboring businesses, vendors, family and friends to attend. You have accomplished a lot opening your business. Getting the word out and providing ongoing positive customer service experiences are important for generating repeat success.

What

Determine what you want the ceremony to be. Are you holding a happy hour social with refreshments and drinks for attendees? (We highly recommend this). Make it interactive. Take this chance to tell everyone about your business and your services. Several of the chamber ambassadors are local business owners coming to support your ribbon-cutting ceremony. Take this time to provide them with information they can share with others in the community. The more engaging your ceremony is the more likely people will want to come back and be willing to spread the word. Set up a program of the event schedule: welcome and introductions, speeches, ribbon-cutting, recognition of contributors and closing.

When

Determine when you want to hold your ribbon-cutting ceremony. We recommend Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday because these dates have shown to have the highest attendance. We also recommend late afternoon (3 p.m. or 4 p.m.) because more people are able to attend by ending their work day early. Ribbon-cuttings are not scheduled on weekends. Having it later in the day allows other business owners to complete most of their work day prior to attending. This time also prevents them from having to rush back to the office and contributes to them having a more positive experience at your establishment. If it is a social event with refreshments, they will be more likely to stick around to learn about your businesses services, as well as, give you more time to build a relationship with them.

Where

This is most often held at the place of business because it gets people to your location to learn about your services. However if you are a home based business we can hold the ceremony in the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce lobby. Because this is a photo and marketing opportunity, you also need to decide where the best place is to take the ribbon-cutting ceremony photo and who you would like to be in the photo. Choose carefully the best way to market your business. Some other home based businesses that have good signage on their cars will choose to have the photo taken in the chamber parking lot next to the sign on the car.

How

Send out invitations a couple of weeks in advance with an explanation of what you are celebrating, where it will be held and a specific time noted for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, as well as any special guests or speakers. Include an RSVP request so that guests who plan to attend will notify you. This is especially important if you are serving refreshments or a meal so you can plan accordingly. Post the event in your local paper a few days before the ceremony and MBACC will post it on its website. If you want to, you can create and print a short program to hand out at the event so everyone involved will receive recognition. We recommend finding a way to thank everyone who worked hard to bring the project to fruition!

Spread the Word and Publicize the Event as Much as You Can

Fill out the news release request provided to you by MBACC. Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce will compile a list of businesses that have had ribbon-cuttings and send that list out to local media outlets throughout the month.

Plan a short speech about your services to maximize "word of mouth" opportunities

At the beginning of your ribbon cutting ceremony you will be asked to spend a few moments communicating to chamber staff and ambassadors about your business and services. Please take a moment to plan what you would like to say. This is your opportunity to tell the chamber what you would like communicated about your business to the community. Our Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce staff and ambassadors are regularly asked about area businesses so this is your chance to maximize the conversation about your business in the community.

Contact Local Media Outlets

Compile a list media organizations (newspapers, radio and television stations) that can publicize the event. Contact each group and fill out the necessary forms. MBACC has compiled a list of possible public officials that you may be interested in contacting.

Other Suggestions

If you want people to learn about your business services, prepare the information in the form of a handout that will be easy for them to take with them. Provide food and beverages so people will be interested in attending and spending more time listening to your sales pitch.

Print posters or flyers and place them in prominent positions around town: in schools, grocery stores, post offices and other places with foot traffic. Target the audience that will be using the new facility.

Design an invitation, which should include the name of the event, date and time, location, and name of the ribbon-cutter and any other distinguished guests. Also include RSVP information. Mail out the invitations and keep track of the RSVP replies.

Arrange for seating for everyone in attendance.

Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce will bring the ribbon, scissors and photographer.