Groundbreaking & Ribbon Cutting Tips
We would be happy to help your business celebrate with a Grand Opening, Ribbon Cutting or Groundbreaking Ceremony. As you prepare, here are some tips and suggestions to help you execute an excellent event!
- To have a Greater Omaha Chamber representative present, your company must be a member of the Chamber. Visit OmahaChamber.org/Belong for membership information.
- Events must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance.
If you are in the process of joining the Greater Omaha Chamber, your event will not be scheduled until membership payment is received. Once received, your event must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance.
- A Chamber representative will only be present at one event per day.
- Your company must meet one of the following qualifications:
- Your business opened its doors within the last 12 months.
- Your business changed ownership or is under new management within the last six months.
- Your business moved to a new location.
- Grand Re-Opening, remodel or expansion at its present location.
- A Chamber representative can only attend during Chamber business hours 8 – 4:30 p.m.
- The Chamber observes summer hours Memorial Day through Labor Day and will close at 1 p.m. on Friday afternoons.
- The Chamber observes holiday hours and will not be able to attend from Dec. 15 – Jan. 15, 2018.
- The Chamber cannot attend on weekends, holidays or anytime the Chamber is closed.
- If Omaha Public Schools are closed due to inclement weather, our staff will not attend the scheduled event.
- The company is required to fill out the Ribbon Cutting Request Form before the Chamber can confirm your date – please allow 48-72 hours for processing.
- The company is responsible for all external promotion of their event. We encourage the company to post their event on Member News under Ribbon Cuttings.
The Chamber will provide:
In order to elevate the success of your event, the Chamber can help you with the following:
Note: If your event does not abide by any of the above guidelines, the Greater Omaha Chamber is not required to provide you with any of the following items.
- Large scissors and red ribbon for your event
- A Chamber staff person, if available
- A mention in a weekly e-flier about your event to a list of more than 100 individuals
Tips and Suggestions
Set the Date:
To minimize the potential for conflict, don’t schedule your event around other events – this can reduce turnout for yours. These events can include:
- Major and minor holidays
- College sporting events
- High school tournaments
- Community events and festivals
By scheduling your event at least two weeks in advance, it gives others the flexibility in making adjustments to their calendars.
Note: If there are particular individuals, business and civic leaders, or other dignitaries that you are relying on for attendance, ensure you have checked their calendars in advance to be sure your event is scheduled – even before invitations are mailed.
Determine your venue. If outdoors, make a plan for inclement weather. Groundbreakings can be done indoors, if necessary. Some Chamber members choose to have their events at the Chamber.
Set the Guest List:
Your grand opening, ribbon cutting or groundbreaking event is a great opportunity to bring people together. This is your event so we encourage you to invite anyone supportive of your business. The Chamber is not responsible for guaranteeing event attendance. Here is a suggestion of individuals to keep in mind:
- Current employees and past employees, as it makes sense
- Vendors, suppliers and others your business does business with
- Key customers and prospects
- Neighboring businesses
- Special dignitaries from key professional or business organizations you may be involved in (if appropriate)
- Key business and government representatives including city council members, county commissioners or state senators
Send event details (what, where, when, why, who and how) to local media by using the media list provided on the Chamber’s website.
Props and Event Activities:
This is your event, the Chamber is not responsible for making any of the below arrangements.
- Educating your audience – create brochures with interesting facts, highlight company history and individuals who will be speaking at the event.
- Arranging rental and delivery of a microphone/sound system, podium, chairs, table or a stage
- Setting a menu for finger foods or appetizers and water or coffee (if appropriate)
- Making arrangements for any performers, activities, games or giveaways for the event
- Making arrangements for a photographer or videographer if necessary.
- Identifying and arranging for any “props” that will be needed – such as commemorative shovels, ceremonial scissors and ribbon, a reveal curtain, countdown clock, etc. Be sure to make arrangements in advance to rent or purchase these items from a provider of your choice. Customize props that would be unique to your business. Also, be clear on costs and delivery dates.
- The Chamber has ceremonial scissors and red ribbon member companies can borrow.
Promotion of Your Event:
This is your event, the Chamber is not responsible for any of the below arrangements. A news release and media advisory template, along with a media list is available from the Chamber’s Communications Toolkit.
- Post your grand opening, ribbon cutting or groundbreaking to Member News, located on the Chamber’s website.
- Develop a news release and media advisory.
- Distribute a media advisory two business days before the event to local media, business publications, trade associations and professional and business organizations you may be a member of.
- Follow-up calls on the day of the event are recommended to see if anyone will be covering your event or provide a mention of it.
- Distribute the news release after the event.
Week of the Event:
Organization is key to any successful event. Anticipate challenges and prevent disappointments in advance. Consider the following:
- Make one person the central point of communications and scheduling. This person can delegate specific responsibilities but will ultimately ensure that the process is moving as it should.
- Find a staging location and put all necessary items for the event in the same area.
- Check with your master of ceremonies and other speakers to ensure they understand what is expected of them and find out if there is anything you need to have ready for them on the day of the event. Determine if they will write their own remarks or will look to you for scripting.
- Assign others with tasks such as welcoming guests, distributing giveaways, answering questions, etc.
- Prepare a checklist and verify all items.
- Prepare an agenda to ensure all parties know what to expect.
- Write a script for master of ceremonies and other speakers if necessary.
- Distribute script to all speakers.
Day of the Event:
Be sure you have enough people to help, and ensure your point person is on the scene – ready to go – in plenty of time prior to the event. Bring an extra copy of the agenda, script and copies of the news release for media in attendance.