Ribbon Cuttings & Grand Opening Celebrations
Ribbon cuttings are a great way to get newsworthy information in the public eye and celebrate new beginnings for a business. The Knoxville Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors are always ready to help celebrate.
What types of occasions constitute a ribbon cutting?
- Opening of a new business (within the past 6 months)
- Celebrating new ownership
- Opening of an existing business in a new location
- The completion of an expansion or renovation
- Milestone Anniversaries (1 year; 5 years; 10 years; 25 years; 50 years; 75 years; etc)
What types of occasions will we politely decline?
- Political office open houses
Day & Time
What will work best for your business and your demographic? If you’re targeting families, during school hours may not be the best time. If you are looking to get a general, assorted group, a ribbon cutting right around the 5:00 hour works well. If getting the best showing of Chamber Ambassadors is your goal, a time Monday-Friday from 8:00 am – 5:30 pm is ideal.
It is also always a good idea to check the school activities calendar and the Chamber event calendar to see if there are any events occurring that might prevent people from attending.
We kindly ask that you contact the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce at least two weeks in advance, but the sooner you can let us know, the better.
During the ceremony, when should you actually cut the ribbon?
Sometimes, this is done right at the beginning of an event, but more often it is done about fifteen minutes into the event, once people have had a chance to mingle.
Who should cut the ribbon?
This could be the business owner, manager, a local dignitary, someone from the Chamber, family members, or any combination of these. We recommend someone from your business though!
The Knoxville Chamber of Commerce provides large scissors and ribbon, and will have a short “Congratulations and Welcome” presentation. It is never a bad idea to have a few words prepared from the business, as well.
Food and drinks are always a good idea to attract and please attendees. Consider the time of day, your audience, and the size of your expected crowd when choosing your order.
Who do you want to invite?
What is the target audience you are hoping to attend your event? Current clients or prospective clients? Local dignitaries and politicians? Family members and friends? If you are looking to attract a broader crowd, is there a special demographic you want to attract (i.e., students, singles, couples)?
Keep your audience in mind every step of the way when choosing a time to schedule your ribbon cutting.
The Knoxville Chamber of Commerce will invite all Chamber board members and Ambassadors, but it is your responsibility to invite the rest. Some people to keep in mind:
- Local politicians
- Business Neighbors
- Other Chamber members — if you’re a member, we can provide a contact list of all other members.
Making the Most of Your Event
While local media outlets such are usually great at attending, sometimes it can get tricky with small staff and having to be everywhere at once. The Chamber always sends out an initial press release alerting the media of a ribbon cutting ceremony. If you do not see a specific media outlet at your celebration, it is good to follow up with a press release of you own and be sure to include a photo.
This doesn’t need to be a professional – it can just be someone comfortable with a camera. If there are certain shots you definitely want (the ribbon cutting itself, for example), make sure to put together a list of those shots and review it with the photographer in advance. Post these on social media and your website as soon as possible.
Get the names and contact information for those who attend your event. You can do this by having a raffle with a bowl for attendees to drop business cards or forms into.
When It’s Over
Follow Up! Send out your press release and photos to the local media outlets. Post photos on your website and social media and ask your followers to share. Send out personalized “Thanks for coming” notes. You can even include an incentive to come back into the business, like a coupon
More Chamber Resources
Be sure to submit your event to our event calendar online so it will be included in our Event E-Newsletter. You can also send us your press release to post or write a blog about. And don’t forget, we’re here to help you every step of the way!