ribbon cutting marketing checklist

Ribbon Cutting Checklist – How to Promote a Grand Opening

This checklist is for chambers. If you’re hosting your own event, you want my Ribbon Cutting Checklist for New Businesses.

Most chambers of commerce give a ribbon cutting checklist to the host, but have you made one for yourself? Here’s how to promote a grand opening or ribbon cutting, and related task reminders. Using this exact framework, I increased our networking event attendance by 27% after my first two years at the chamber.

Before the Event

✂️ Confirm details with the host! This is such an easy step, and skipping it can cause miscommunication or missed opportunities.

  • Confirm date, time, and place (get the specific address).
  • Send them a Ribbon Cutting Checklist.
  • Ask for their logo and press release blurb (“About Us”).
  • Get event details to promote. Details could be food, entertainment, deals, whatever. This will vary greatly from member to member.

✂️ List the event on your website’s calendar. I also double-check that I:

  • Put their logo at the top.
  • Linked to their directory listing on the chamber website.
  • Used a ribbon cutting or other chamber-branded photo where desired.
  • Set up an email reminder (Chamber Master option).
  • Enabled the map link (Chamber Master option).

✂️ If necessary, update your ribbon cutting web page or front page of your site.

✂️ Create a press release (most businesses can’t or don’t do this).

  • List on your website (mine are also auto-tweeted via Chamber Master).
  • Email to your press list.

✂️ Create an ad. I recommend making a template and just changing the info for each event. You could skip this if they gave you a flyer you can use.

✂️ Update your communications calendar:

  • Calendar invite to board (per my board’s request) or ambassadors.
  • Facebook posts – 2 weeks out and day before
  • LinkedIn – post 2 weeks out or in monthly Upcoming Events post
  • Twitter (day of – My Facebook posts already go to Twitter)
  • Invitation email – 2 weeks out
    • You could also schedule an email reminder, but this is where I cut one of my “extra” emails. Instead I only auto-send reminders to those that RSVP’d to the event (through Chamber Master).
  • Include upcoming events in all possible newsletters.
While advance notice is good for chamber staff, I’ve found that attendees forget if I email a month before the event.

✂️ Create a Facebook Event (here’s why you shouldn’t skip this).

  • Make the cover photo a fun photo from their biz or from a past event.
    • I’ve found this to greatly impact the reach of the event, so don’t post an ad or anything boring!
  • Add the business as co-host (and utilize their audience to get new followers).
    • I also add the local Young Professional group as a co-host to encourage them to share.
  • Invite relevant Facebook friends to the event.
  • Post in the discussion with the ad + link to event on your website.
  • Bonus: create an “event frame.”

✂️ List event on outside sites. Examples:

  • TownPlanner.com
  • EventBrite.com
  • Local YP group
  • News station community calendar
  • Google “(your city) events” and  see what comes up. Click through the first few and see if you can add a free listing.

✂️ Personal phone calls:

  • Invite your newest members. This a great way to reach out to your new members and make them feel welcome.
  • Invite important community figures.

✂️ Update your phone message or voicemail if you think it’s relevant. (We have a phone extension you can select to listen to upcoming events.)

✂️ Change your email signature. This is such a quick and passive way to promote your events to people you’re already engaging with.

Free Ribbon Cutting Checklist for Chambers

During the Event

  • Show up, take photos
  • Introduce yourself! This is an obvious time to get out of the office and meet your members all in one place.
  • Ask the host if there’s any photos they’d like you to take. They don’t take me up on it often, but it’s such an easy way to create good will.
  • Do a Facebook Live video. You can film the ribbon cutting itself or a behind-the-scenes tour.
  • Collect business cards to track attendance (if possible)

After the Event

  • Create Facebook photo album, share link on: Create Facebook photo album, share link on:
    • Twitter, LinkedIn, other chamber social platforms
    • Chamber blog
    • and in your newsletters
  • Pinterest – upload a photo you took of the business or staff, link to their directory listing on your site
  • Email photos & attendee list to host (if you have or promised)
  • Log date hosted under member’s file in Chamber Master, other CRM
  • Log # of attendees (for use in your annual report infographic)
  • Update your:
    • Website – ribbon cutting page, front page, or other web page if needed
    • Phone message or voicemail
    • Email signature
  • Send pictures to local newspapers
    • Bonus: Write a press release about the event.
Skip to content