A ribbon cutting is the ceremonial opening of a brand-new or newly-renovated/relocated business. This can also be done for business anniversaries or expansions. Because the ribbon cutting marks a very significant moment in the business’s history, this is a great photo opportunity. The ceremony gives the business owner or manager a chance to say a few words to those gathered. Business owners have used this time to publicly thank their financial backers, their employees, their friends and family, and/or their business partners. They also take the opportunity to talk about what their business does.
All Washington area businesses are invited to ask the Chamber to hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for them, at no cost and regardless if they are a Chamber member.
Washington Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors are available to assist with your ceremony if your business:
- Opened its doors within the past six months
- Moved to a new location due to expansion
- Completed a remodel or has expanded its current location
- Is celebrating a milestone anniversary (10, 15, 25, etc.)
- Is celebrating a groundbreaking
- Introduce both the public and Chamber members to your business and products or services
- Announce your ribbon cutting on the Chamber’s Community Calendar
- Announcement will be promoted in our Weekly Features and Chamber newsletter.
- Photo of event will be published in the local media.
- Familiarize the public and Chamber members with your physical location
- Increase your customer base
- Generate leads and sales from attendees
- A photo of your ribbon cutting will be published in the Chamber’s newsletter with a distribution list of over 1,300 subscribers
This is a free service to our community.
This is your event. The Chamber will gladly provide the following:
- Notify the Chamber’s Board of Directors and Ambassadors Committee of your ribbon cutting – encouraging their attendance
- List your ribbon cutting on the Chamber’s Community Calendar and Weekly Features
- Have a member of the Chamber’s Ambassador Committee provide congratulatory remarks
- Alert the local paper and radio of your event
- Provide a list of Chamber member caterers, if requested
- Bring the ribbon and a certificate commemorating the event
- Take pictures at the event and publish a photo in our newsletter, Facebook and in the local media
While the Chamber will extend the above mentioned invitations and list your ribbon cutting on our Community Calendar, we strongly encourage you to conduct your own PR campaign to increase the attendance and awareness of your business’s opening. You should also consider inviting your business partners, financiers, contractors, employees, customers, friends, and family to be with you to celebrate this momentous occasion in your business’s history. Please understand that you should not rely solely on the Chamber to attract your audience.
Because your ribbon cutting is your event, there are no set rules. To make your event successful, carefully consider the following:
- Schedule your event at least two weeks in advance. Weekdays between 11-1 p.m. or 4:30 p.m., just before the end of the work day, have optimal attendance, and no earlier than 8:00 a.m.
- Determine who will cut the ribbon, this can be more than one person. The owners or top executives most frequently do the honors, but each business is different and can pick whomever they like.
- Who will be in the photo(s). Photos might include employees, family, Chamber members, business partners, customers and Ambassadors, for example.
- Your brief remarks or speech. This is usually done when everyone is gathered before cutting the ribbon. Be sure to have plenty of brochures available.
- Invite everyone you know! Invite your family, friends, past, current and potential customers, business associates (including your accountant, banker, and property owner,) suppliers, your employees, the media, neighboring businesses, and government officials.
- Consider having giveaways, especially logo items that guests can take back to their offices. The Chamber is happy to provide you with members who can help you create gifts.
- Food and beverage is not required, but for open house events, it makes a nice touch. The Chamber is happy to provide you with members who can help you with catering.
Decorations. Consider placing balloons, signs, or banners outside your event to let the community know that a special event is going on. You can place posters on your door the week of, inviting your customers to come back for the event.
Refreshments, drinks, door prizes, and decorations are optional and up to you. Many businesses add these extra touches when conducting a public grand opening or an open house in conjunction with the ribbon cutting.
A special invitation. The Chamber can provide you a member mailing list if you would like to mail an optional special invitation. We have lists of local businesses as well as chamber member businesses. This is especially encouraged if you are conducting a grand opening with prizes, business specials, and refreshments.
Organize a separate PR campaign. If you would like to invite the general public, you should explore other advertising avenues and/or consider sending a press release to the local media. The Chamber can provide you with a list of the local media contacts.
Please note: Pre-registration with the Chamber for Ribbon Cuttings is required with two weeks advance notice. Events are scheduled based upon availability. Submit your requests to the Chamber at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 319-653-3272