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Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Have you opened a new business, relocated your business expanded your operations or are you celebrating an anniversary or milestone?

If you answered YES to any of these, then the Chamber is here to help you-our valued member-with your Ribbon Cutting Ceremony! How to make the most of your event! Make it exciting, something people will remember. A grand opening, ground breaking or ribbon cutting offers an excellent opportunity to draw attention to your business, motivate your employees and put a spark in the neighbouring businesses. These occasions also require thoughtful planning to ensure success.

While every event is different, here are some quick tips for success.

• Work with the Chamber of Commerce
• Schedule 2 to 4 weeks in advance for best attendance – Noon is a great time or right after the work day
• Provide hors d’oeuvres/snacks and beverages
• Post the event on your Facebook and social media pages
• Have an email sign up form for E-Newsletter (if your company provides E-Newsletters)
• Present your brochures, business cards, etc. where guests can view them

Here are a few things the chamber will do:
• Invite their staff, Board of Directors and Ambassadors
• Provide the ribbon and scissors at the event
• Take photos and share them on their social media site
• Invite elected local officials for you
• Invite the membership
• Post the event on their website, facebook & twitter pages

Here is a more detailed breakdown:
• Set the date
• Set the location of your event • Set your budget
• Create your guest List
• Send out invitations
• Assign roles
• Create a time-line for event & activities
• Contact caterer (optional)
• Contact photographer (optional)
• Develop/Distribute news release and media advisory
• Week of the event – Who, What, Where & When
• Day of the event Set the Date
• To avoid potential conflict, schedule your event around other events that might reduce turnout. If there are guest speakers, town and business leaders you would like to have at your event, check with them, book them in advance so you are sure they will attend your event – do this prior to sending out invitations or creating flyers. By scheduling your event at least 2-4 weeks in advance, this will give others the flexibility to make the adjustments to their calendars.
• Determine your venue. If outdoors, make plans for inclement weather. Create your Budget
• How much do you want to spend on your event? Creating a budget before you invite guests is a very important step. You can determine a total amount for the event or a per-person cost. Create the Guest List Your ribbon cutting ceremony is a great opportunity to bring together people who are most supportive of your success.

Be sure to include:
• Your staff, family & friends, local businesses, key customers, prospects & vendors
• Special dignitaries from key professional or business organizations you may be involved in (if appropriate)
• Key business and government representatives including city council members, county commissioners or state senators. The Chamber can assist you with identifying these individuals
• And don’t forget to give yourself time for: designing, printing and mailing invitations (2-3 weeks in advance)

• Tracking RSVPs and following up with dignitaries and other special guests who have not responded Invite Guests Send invitations 2-4 weeks in advance. Your invitations can be sent via email, facebook event or printed. Ask guests to RSVP to help you determine the amount of food and beverage required. Have a lead person follow up with everyone two days before the event. This keeps your event on the top of their mind.

Assign Roles
Make one person the central point of communications and scheduling. This person can delegate specific responsibilities, but will ultimately ensure that the process is moving as it should. Event Activities Educate your audience. Create flyer with interesting facts about you and your business, a brief history of your business, and a guest list of who will be speaking at your event.
• If necessary arrange for rental and delivery of a microphone/sound system, podium, chairs, tables or a stage.
• Set a menu for finger food/appetizers and water and coffee (if appropriate)
• Make arrangements for any performers, activities, games or give-a-ways for the event • Identify and arrange for any “props” that will be needed -- such as commemorative shovels, ceremonial scissors and ribbon, a reveal curtain, countdown clock, and the like – and make arrangements to rent or purchase them. Customize props that would be unique to your business. Also, be clear on costs and delivery dates. Develop/Distribute News Release and Media Advisory
• Develop a news release and media advisory. *If a quote from the 1st Selectmen would be appropriate for the news release, the Chamber can help you get them.
• Distribute media advisory two business days before event to local media, business publications, trade associations and professional and business organizations you may be a member of. Follow-up calls on the day of the event are recommended to see if they will cover your event or provide a mention of it. Week of the Event Organization is key to any successful event. You want to prevent anything from going wrong – while there is still time to do something about it.

So, consider the following:
• Find a staging location and put all items that are necessary for the event in the same area.
• Check with your master of ceremonies and other speakers to be sure they understand what is expected of them and to find out if there is anything that you need to have ready for them on the day of the event. Determine if they will write their own remarks or will look to you for scripting.
• Assign others with tasks such as welcoming guests, distributing give-a-ways, answering questions, etc.
• Prepare a check-list and verify all items on it.
• Prepare an agenda to ensure all parties participating know what to expect.
• Write script for master of ceremonies and other speakers, as necessary.
• Distribute script to all speakers.

Day of the Event Execute your plan. Keep the time-line in mind throughout the event and ensure each activity takes place as planned. If an individual is speaking, ensure someone is responsible for quieting the entertainment and turning on the microphone. Then stand back and watch the ribbon being cut. Be sure you have enough people to help and that your person in charge is on the scene – ready to go – in plenty of time prior to the event. Bring an extra copy of the agenda, script and copies of news release for media. Check to be sure all are ready to go when guests arrive.