What is a Chamber ribbon cutting?
A ribbon cutting is a formal ceremony that celebrates a major milestone for a business or organization. It can inaugurate an organization’s first day of business, celebrate a major anniversary, or debut a new exapansion or renovation.
Because the ribbon cutting marks a very significant moment in the business’ history, this is also 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.
You must be a new or current Chamber member in good standing (including dues paid) for the McLean County Chamber of Commerce to participate in your ribbon cutting.
Who qualifies for a ribbon cutting?
The McLean County Chamber of Commerce is available to assist with your ceremony if your business has:
- Opened its doors within the past six months
- Moved to a new location
- Been remodeled or has expanded its current location
- Is celebrating a milestone anniversary (5 years; 10 years; 25 years; etc.)
- Recently changed ownership
What are the benefits of holding a Chamber ribbon cutting?
By hosting a ribbon cutting, you can:
- Introduce both the public and Chamber members to your business
- Announce your ribbon cutting on the Chamber’s Community Calendar
- Familiarize the public and Chamber members with your product/services
- Familiarize the public and Chamber members with your physical location
- Begin a customer base
- Generate leads and sales from attendees
Is there a cost to have the Chamber participate?
There is no cost to host a Standard Ribbon Cutting. However, the McLean County Chamber of Commerce is excited to offer a Premium Ribbon Cutting!
Standard Package | Free
Premium Package | $125
|- Chamber Membership Team representation||- Chamber Membership Team representation|
|- Chamber Ambassadors invited||- Chamber Ambassadors invited|
|- Event Placement on the Chamber Calendar||- Chamber Marketing representative present|
|- Congratulatory post on Facebook||- State Representatives invited|
|- Event Placement on the Chamber calendar|
|- Congratulatory post on multiple social media platforms|
|- Photography coverage of the event|
|- Ceremonious plaque|
|- Photo featured on Chamber website|
Is the ribbon cutting my business’ event or a Chamber event?
This is your event. The Chamber will gladly assist you with the following:
- Notify the Chamber’s Board of Directors and Ambassadors of your ribbon cutting, encouraging their attendance
- Invite local officials on your behalf
- Have a member of the Chamber’s Team provide congratulatory remarks
- Bring the “BIG scissors” and ribbon
- Promote the event in Monday Morning Coffee and with a social media event
While the Chamber will extend the above mentioned invitations and list your ribbon cutting in our newsletter and on our calendar, we strongly encourage you to conduct your own PR campaign to increase the attendance and awareness of your business’s celebration. 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.
What do we do?
Because your ribbon cutting is your event, there are no set rules. To make your event successful, carefully consider the following:
- Schedule your event using our Ribbon Cutting Request Form at least two weeks in advance. Also, we ask you to please take a moment to cross-check your preferred date and time of celebration with the McLean County Chamber of Commerce’s events calendar to prevent scheduling conflicts with Chamber events.
- Determine who will cut the ribbon. The owners or top executives most frequently do the honors, but each business is different and can pick whomever they like.
- Determine who will be in the photo. The photo might include employees, family, Chamber members, business partners, and Ambassadors, for example.
- Your remarks or speech. This is usually done when everyone is gathered before cutting the ribbon.
- 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 a list of 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 a list of members who can help you with catering.
- Be sure to have plenty of marketing materials available
Other details to enhance your 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 in conjunction with the ribbon cutting.
A special invitation. The Chamber can sell you a member mailing list if you would like to mail an optional special invitation to the entire membership. This is especially encouraged if you are conducting a grand opening with prizes, business specials, and refreshments. Members of Distinction can receive the list once (1) per year at no cost. Member emails are not offered in any capacity.
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.
What have other businesses done to make their ribbon cutting and/or grand opening unique?
- Sent a special invitation to the whole Chamber membership
- Sent a special direct mail piece/invitation to area residents and/or non-member businesses
- Sent a special direct mail/email invitation to local elected officials (Mayor, City Commissioners, County Commissioners, etc.)
- Conducted a separate PR campaign to try to grab media attention
- Invited clients, employees, board directors from their organization, and/or staff from out-of-town corporate headquarters
- Offered complimentary appetizers and beverages from fancy to simple, from a few selections to a large buffet and/or chocolate fountains, champagne fountains, and sweets
- Invited sports or business mascots and superheroes in costumes
There are lots of great websites that provide tips on planning and executing a great event. Google “ribbon cutting ceremonies” for the top sites.
Please contact Shellie Schwanke, Membership Services Manager, for other questions.
Note: The Chamber cannot guarantee the number of guests in attendance. Pre-registration with the Chamber for Ribbon Cuttings is required with two weeks advance notice. Events are scheduled based upon availability. Ribbon cuttings are conducted Tuesday – Thursday from 9:00am – 4:00pm. No more than two ribbon cuttings will be conducted in the same week.