Ribbons and Bows

In Chamber by Saralee Rhoads

It’s the season for ribbons and bows, isn’t it? Think about other ribbons this season as well.

One of the many services offered by our Chamber of Commerce is ribbon cutting ceremonies for member businesses. Are you taking full advantage of this service?

We often think of a ribbon cutting as a celebrating the opening of a new business, but one can be utilized for other milestones as well. On your own you can celebrate opening a new brand, location or franchise, a business anniversary, a millionth customer or a new location. Even if it isn’t Chamber-sponsored, it can still be advertised on our website. There are many reasons for presenting yourself to the community.

What if you’re not a brick and mortar business? A new start up or home business needs a ribbon cutting just as much as a traditional business, and the Chamber offers space and coordination for your event as well. These are celebrated weekday events, drawing participation from other businesses and elected officials.

But what if? Many a startup or home-based business owner feels like a sixteen-year-old hosting a birthday party. What if no one comes? The Chamber sets it up in advance and advertises it, promoting attendance. Several Chamber members will attend. You can help yourself as well by thinking of ways to make it characteristic for your business.

  • If you’re a mechanic, think about cutting the ribbon with a blow torch. There’s a photo op for you.
  • A handyman might use a chain and bolt cutter.
  • A chainsaw is certain to attract attention if you’re a landscape artist.
  • Think about your business’ unique offerings: like cutting a cake for a bakery or a big “F” if you’re a tutor. If you’re a caterer, host a rib cutting ceremony. Be creative.

Once the word gets leaked that something new and different will be taking place, the generated interest brings even more attendees. Trish Totta is a genius and your contact at the Chamber for putting together a ribbon cutting for your business. Ask for her advice.

Basic tips for planning any event apply. Begin planning it at least a month in advance, so you may alert key people and make all the arrangements. Trish will handle notifications within the Chamber and city officials. You will want to develop your own invitation list. Think of associates, businesses you hope to benefit, current customers and friends. Consider coordinating your ribbon cutting with a profile of your business in the Eastern Jackson County Examiner for added visibility. Refreshments are important. Everyone socializes better with food. Last but not least, plan coupons, perks or favors for attendees. These basic elements ensure success.

It doesn’t stop with the event, however. Make the most of the experience by posting pictures on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms. Have a framed picture in your office. Write thank you notes to attendees. With some creative planning you can draw out the benefits for months to come. Have I had a ribbon cutting as a Blue Springs writer, you ask? No, I’m shy…but you should!