Our friend Leslie McLellan shared a question from one of her Lake Arrowhead Village locals who will be opening a new gift shop.
“We would like to have a Grand Opening weekend event special at the end of April. Other than having special sales, we’re at a loss for what to do. Do you have any thoughts or suggestions?”
Do we have suggestions? Of course we do! In a small town, it’s a little easier to get people’s attention than in the big city, so you don’t have to compete to be on the tv news here. It also makes sense to respect the character of your town, include connections to the local community in any way you can.
Here’s my starter list:
- Local artists performing or displaying?
- Special displays with the history of the village?
- Refreshments? Especially from up-and-coming local food vendors?
- Food truck rally?
- Pop-ups inside the store with selections curated by well-known locals or visitors?
- Online/offline crossover with interactive tablet displays?
- Online/offline with special coupons online to redeem in-store?
- Online/offline with live streaming, live tweeting from the event?
- Tastings? Samplings?
- Celebration of year-round residents? Celebration of seasonal residents?
- Contests? Drawings? Prizes?
- Outlandish window displays? Living window displays?
- Personalization and customization specials?
- Honor or feature local guides or services?
- Cross-promote with other merchants? Let the specials, fun, performances, displays spill over to other stores?
That’s just the getting started list. What can you add? What makes a Grand Opening really grand?
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.