Planning Your Ribbon Cutting or Groundbreaking Ceremony

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1 Planning Your Ribbon Cutting or Groundbreaking Ceremony OVERVIEW Congratulations! Your ribbon cutting or groundbreaking represents an important day for your business, and the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce is excited to be a part of your event. This guide is designed to help you plan your ceremony with a checklist for pre-event, during event, and post-event promotion. Please keep in mind that each Chamber business is different, so not all details will apply. The Chamber has no specific rules, but wants you to apply your imagination and marketing skills to your special event. SUGGESTIONS AND TIMELINE Set your date and time. Set your rain date if applicable. If planning an outdoor event, you may want to have an alternative date in case of inclement weather or other options such as a tent coordinated. Develop a budget for the event. Create your guest list, which may include: o Current customers and clients o Prospective customers and clients o Business partners o Contractors, etc. o Elected officials. Prepare and send invitations. Invitations can include mailed invitations (formal or postcard), blasts, Facebook event and invite, etc. If your event will need to know attendance count, don t forget to include a RSVP by date and way to RSVP. In addition to your invitation plans: o The Chamber will invite all members through a weekly blast. o The Chamber will also invite all Chamber Ambassadors to each event, with an average of 15 Ambassadors attending each event. o The Chamber will promote the event the month prior in the Chamber Matters insert in the Messenger-Inquirer. o The Chamber will promote the event on the calendar at Involve the media in the event. Ways to accomplish that: o Prepare and distribute a press release. An outline of how to write a press release is included in this guide. o Submit your ribbon cutting to local radio station s community calendars. o Possibly purchase radio or print advertising promoting your event. 1

2 Plan the agenda for the program, using the attached outline in this handout. The program is usually short, no more than minutes to allow for networking, tours and other activities. Submit the attached worksheet (page 4 & 5) so that the Chamber staff can be prepared with names and information about your business for the program. Select and contact suppliers if necessary, such as: o Caterer (Light refreshments are recommended, but not required.) o Photographer (The Chamber will take a picture for submission in Chamber Matters, but you may want professional photographs taken for future use.) o Florist or other décor coordination o Tent, AV support, other if large event is planned. Outline materials and/or staff members needed: o Giveaways and/or door prizes o Business brochures, coupons or other handouts about your services o Sign-up sheets o Greeters, tour guides, etc. o Name tags for your employees and guests. All Chamber Ambassadors and staff will have their official name badges on. o The Chamber will provide the Ribbon, the Scissors, the plaque to present, as well as the business card holder for all Ambassadors to submit their names to you. o Shovels if you are doing a groundbreaking ceremony. o Hardhats, safety glasses, hairnets, etc. if you are doing tours of your business and those are required. o Signage promoting your business, displays, photos highlighting your business. o Microphone and speakers. o Podium. Call Chamber office at if you would like to schedule a walk-through prior to the event to get comfortable with the agenda, flow and set-up. Post-event tasks o Send thank-you notes to participants o Submit photo and follow-up press release to media o Post photo and attendees on company website, newsletters, Facebook. On Facebook, tag attendees and businesses who attended and supported your efforts. PRESS RELEASE STEPS 1. First paragraph should provide Who, What, When, Where, Why, How 2. Second paragraph should tell your business story and why the public should plan to attend the ribbon cutting. 3. Third paragraph should be a quote from you, the business owner about why you chose to open in Owensboro, or what special promotion you have, or something of interest to general public. 4. Be sure to include picture of business or business owner if you have one. 5. Last paragraph where and how to RSVP or call for more information. 2

3 AGENDA This is the standard structure that the Chamber follows, but this can be flexible and changed to accomplish your goals for your ribbon cutting. A. Chamber representative will welcome the crowd, congratulate business, and then introduce: a. Chamber Board members b. Chamber staff c. Chair of the Chamber Ambassadors B. Chair of Ambassadors will introduce the Business Owner for their presentation, which may include: a. Presentation on the purpose, mission and desires of the business b. Introductions of dignitaries (elected officials in attendance, etc) c. Introduction and thank you to: i. Special guests ii. Employees iii. Family iv. Business partners d. Plans for tours, food, other special activities. C. Chair of Ambassadors will: a. Congratulate the business b. Share the purpose of the Ambassadors c. Ask the Ambassadors to come forward and introduce themselves and their business d. Present the plaque and business card book honoring the day D. Chamber representative will thank the business owner and direct everyone to location for ribbon cutting with photo op. a. Please use worksheet to designate participants in the ribbon cutting. b. Several pictures will be taken prior to cutting the ribbon. c. Scissors are very sharp and will cut the ribbon, so wait for the count! NEED ASSISTANCE? Call the Chamber office at or feel free to visit our website for the contact information of all of our Chamber Ambassadors. Our Chamber Ambassadors are a team of volunteers who attend all ribbon cuttings, and are willing to assist you in planning and preparing your business for this event. 3

4 WORKSHEET Company Address: Phone#: Fax: Person to contact for ribbon cutting planning: Date of Ribbon Cutting: Time: Please take a moment look over the skeleton agenda outlined above. Then, fill in the names and titles below of the people from your organization who will be involved. If there are other key people, please list them in under the other representative section. Person to speak about company and make introductions: Person to cut ribbon: Person to receive business card holder: Person to receive plaque: Other representatives to be introduced and recognized: 4

5 Notes or Requests: Please submit this form via to or by fax at

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