Ribbon Cutting and Open House
Found in: About Business
Amber B., Michigan
In three weeks, I am having a ribbon cutting with my local chamber on Friday at 4:30 pm and an Open House on Saturday from 10-3. My teaching space is small, 240 sq ft, but in the basement of the building there are two large rooms which will be used during the open house. I have spent lots on print advertising and have created an invite postcard to put in private school kids’ backpacks. I also will have a banner in front of my location. My plan is to schedule current students to play at the studio on each hour of the open house and have the public observe current students. I would then like people to end up in the basement rooms where one room would have snacks and the other room would run the testimonial video on a large TV.
My question is to those of you who have held this type of event. What am I missing? What are the pitfalls with an event of this type? How do I predict how many people will attend? Should I add something else to the day?
Karina S., California
Sounds like you have a lot covered! Maybe a “call to action” to get those folks down to your space…a raffle of some sort. People LOVE free give a ways. Remember how excited everyone gets at the symposium? See if you have time to partner up with local businesses that would give you product/services in exchange for “mentions” either vocally or having their business cards there too.
The bottom line is to place yourself in someone shoes who might attend and think, “What’s in it for me, what does mean to me?” then you can create a marketing/advertising campaign around that to be specific. You could even say the “first five entrants win a special prize” or something like that. That’s what a call to action does.
Your idea of cards for students in private schools is great! Do you have the local school’s contact(s) behind you? For the local private schools, ask them if they would share your costs and on the back side of your card they could have their info with a call to action of some sort for them to schedule a tour of the school(s). Also, if there is a local piano store, depending on the expected attendance, offer a deal of some sort.
This stuff takes time for sure so not sure if you can get this done in the three weeks time, so maybe just do a raffle. Usually everyone has to sign in at these events. Ask someone from the chamber if you can be at the sign in table so that you can personally welcome entrants and KEEP the list of info (names, e-mails, phone contact) for later follow up! If they hesitate, offer them a free workshop! Basically you want to create a buzz and entice people to physically get down to the basement rooms. By the way, you can have a local caterer donate their services in exchange for them being highlighted too 🙂
Knowing how great your personality is though…once people meet you I know you’ll have great success! Remember, the program speaks for itself and they are attracted to YOU.
Francis B., Nevada
I would recommend a guestbook or better yet slips of paper with guest contact information for a grand drawing. You could do a free lesson or half tuition or whatever you feel would be reasonable incentives and get the excitement in air. I would also add a spot on the guest slip for them to answer how they heard about you. You could also run an incentive with your current families. The most guests from a current family in your studio receives whatever you
would like as a prize, etc.
I don’t know if parking is an issue but if you have any special instructions for that, I would consider that into your planning.
Elaine F., South Carolina
Do you have colorful flyers with FAQ they can take home with them to show their spouses?
Amber B., Michigan
Update on Ribbon Cutting and Open House
• I am using a parent who owns a catering business and we are going to swap services.
• I contacted my local piano stores and tuner and ask them to mail postcards to contacts in my area and donate a $25 value item for a raffle. One local piano store is coming to visit my space before they commit. I think they are curious about my space and how many students I am teaching?
• Talked to my sister about making a scavenger hunt slip of paper so that nobody comes into door without registering and visiting every room of open house.
• Offered new student special advertised on postcards of 10 weeks of lessons with materials for $199.
Still need ideas on prizes for the scavenger hunt and FAQ list for parents to share with spouse. Ideally, I would like to cover all of this at an SIS but should I have a packet of information for people to take home with details about how the studios runs including payment policy?
Thanks you for your ideas and actions!
Claire C., Pennsylvania
Prizes-perhaps gift cards to local businesses. Perhaps ask them to provide them free in exchange for advertising at your event.
Terah W., Kansas
I think the SM mug on the website is terrific. I used one as a prize for a contest in my Studio and just ordered its replacement for me! You could add a gift certificate to a favorite coffee shop or McD’s (inside the cup) or whatever else you might think to put in one. Add candy or just a bow and leave it empty. They are a great size and feel good in your hand:)
All the best on your Open House. I plan to do one before summer when my waiting area (and cubicle) are completely finished, so will look forward to a detailed report on yours!
By the way, I could be wrong, but I would hesitate to give out too much written info simply because I would want the chance to do the SIS. Paper is good but there’s no price for personal enthusiasm!