There is nothing more exciting than seeing a new restaurant or bar open in your city. Whether you come across a sneak peek on the brand’s TikTok page or see your favorite influencers getting a BTS preview on Instagram, a new opening is something that always gets the public excited. I’d like to invite you to take a step into my world as The Power Group’s Grand Opening Expert. You might ask what the day in life looks like or what activities a grand opening entails. Well, I’m here to give you a DIML (as the TikTokers say) of working and planning a successful grand opening event! Below are a few things you need to know to execute a successful opening for your brand.
As an agency, we create comprehensive plans for grand opening events that include media and influencer angles as well as community partnerships that make sense for the brand. We also put together detailed timelines that outline dates we begin drafting our press release and media advisories, creating invites or pitching media. Of course, these are always subject to change based on opening timing and construction delays, which is something we see frequently. The Power Group is nimble and can accommodate a changing timeline!
Strong VIP/Influencer Lists
Research is key to crafting a solid influencer/VIP list. Our clients expect a full house at their opening and we are here to provide them with that! As a Grand Opening Expert, I’m always working with my team to ensure we have our lists in check with the latest influencers and local celebrities. Once lists are finalized, we issue invites to the brand’s VIP party. Our approach is to host a VIP party before the grand opening to the public. The reason this is strategic is because media, influencers and local community VIPs alike crave the “sneak peek” experience. When we extend this invitation prior to the public opening, VIPs feel more inclined to join and showcase the event on their social channels. This creates brand awareness before the restaurant or concept even opens! One of my favorite restaurant openings had over 200 VIPs with a line out the door – talk about a big win!
Securing Media Interviews
Securing an interview with one of Dallas’ biggest publications like the Dallas Business Journal, Dallas Morning News or D CEO is something TPG excels at. When we send a press release out or pitch the media, the goal is to always secure an interview with the spokesperson for the brand and an editor who will cover the opening. Not only does it generate buzz and awareness in the news, but it also makes the interviewee feel special and allows their opening to feel like it’s coming to life. Often we get feedback from our clients along the lines of, “I can’t believe it’s finally happening” or “wow, we are opening!”.
This may sound obvious, but relationship building is crucial when working in public relations and with media/influencers for a grand opening event. Event attendees will remember the PR team member who’s doing check-in time after time, especially when you can connect with them on a personal, and not just professional, level. You also have to make connections within the local community. We strive to connect all our clients, not just grand openings, with like-minded brands and individuals who will continue to support us even after an event. One tip I have for connecting with people is simple – compliment them! Giving a compliment goes a long way and I’ve found it leads me to connect with others on a deeper level, beyond talking business. For example, I found out through a conversation I had with a CEO I worked with that he’s also a yoga instructor in his free time. You never know where a conversation will lead, even if it’s intimidating.
Continuing the Momentum
One of the most rewarding feelings is leaving a grand opening event on a high, knowing you knocked it out of the park! All the hard work you had planned for came to fruition and you can leave with a big smile. Although, the work can’t stop here. Keeping the momentum up is key for ongoing brand awareness. Our team strategically times grand opening projects to have an additional month of work, so we can continue pitching media and influencers following the event for additional coverage. There’s nothing worse than seeing a restaurant or brand all over social media for one influencer event, then following the week of hype, no supplemental posts or media hits. There are plenty of opportunities to create new story angles and have influencers promote other offerings for the brand. Our approach is to continue proactive outreach for a minimum of 30 days following the event to ensure our clients receive the most publicity possible and brand awareness grows.
The Power Group specializes in grand opening project services. For more information about these services or our grand opening department, please reach out to [email protected].
–Madison DeChellis, Senior Account Executive – Grand Opening Expert