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Pre-Opening / Grand Opening Ideas for Your Business

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Pre-Opening / Grand Opening Ideas for Your Business

Getting close to your business’ opening? Awesome! Feeling excited but a bit overwhelmed about it? Totally normal. We’ve put together a list of ideas to consider to help you and your team feel confident going into the big day.


First off, make sure your company info is accessible.

Launch a website and get a logo.

Your website will often be first stopping point for people who have heard your company name, heard about your opening and want to learn more. Your logo will give a visual identity to your brand and help people recognize you.

Create social media accounts.

Determine what social platforms are most relevant for your brand/company. Creating accounts for your business is very easy.

Get professional photos and videos of your business and your staff.

Publish these on your website and social media accounts to draw people to your new business and build excitement.

Make sure your business is on Google Maps.

In our tech-focused society, many people rely on a GPS to get around. Make sure people can find you!


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An Opening Done Well

In 2016, the Kowalski's on Grand Avenue in St. Paul (one of Wilkus Architects' projects) had an outstanding grand re-opening. Some key features of the event included:

  • Ribbon cutting

  • Appearance of St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman

  • Unique, live food carvings

  • Food samples

 

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Plan, plan, plan.

Here are some things to consider in getting your launch plans together:

What's your budget?

What activities will occur?

How will you decorate?

How will you engage attendees?

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Market your grand opening!

 

Consider having your grand opening event 1-2 weeks after opening your space, or doing an initial "soft opening." This will help you get a feel of how the grand opening will go and if there's a need to make any adjustments or additions.

Pre-EVENT:

Design posters / flyers.

Place these in popular places around the area to increase awareness of the event. In terms of marketing, this is a bargain. 

Write a press release.

Send your press release to local media outlets and reach out directly to business reporters likely to cover your opening.

Send out direct mailings.

If you have the budget for it, you can find direct mailing lists for purchase that could help increase event attendance. Target people you think could become potential clients/customers in the future.

Create a Facebook event.

This is a great way to get free advertising. Plus, a lot of people these days use the events tool to find things to do!

Think about potential partnerships.

If there is a local cause that aligns with your business, think about a way to involve these groups in the event. This would attract a bigger crowd (those who may be familiar with that company but not yours) and reinforce your company values.

Invite neighborhood businesses.

Get off on the right foot with the other business nearby. This could set the stage for future collaborations!


DAY OF EVENT:

Post about it!

Share the Facebook event. Encourage people to invite friends and family.

Share live updates on social media. Show people what's going on and they may choose to come if it looks like a good time!

Create an event hashtag and encourage people to use it when sharing their own posts and photos. To encourage these kind of posts, consider creating a contest. For example, offer a prize drawing if people post using the hashtag.

Share information about parking options. Parking can be stressful, especially if your business is located in the city and has limited parking. Share posts about parking options to ease that stress and make it more likely for people to come. 

Set out a sidewalk chalkboard sign.

This could catch passersby who might not know about your opening and lure them in!

Do a raffle drawing.

This will get people interested in your product or service, and if you ask for their information on the intake slip, you can also build your email list and reach out to them about future events.

Week following event:

Continue to engage.

You may have new people following along with your company after having attended your event. Keep them engaged and wanting to come back for future events.

Share photos from your grand opening! People in the photos may tag themselves and share them on their own feeds. This is a chance for even more exposure.

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Architectural Acoustics: Designing Experience, Not Just Appearance

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Architectural Acoustics: Designing Experience, Not Just Appearance

“It’s time to start designing for our ears,” says Sound Consultant Julian Treasure.

Sounds surround us and affect us constantly, even when we are oblivious to it. Sound travels about 1,130 feet per second, traveling so fast that it fills a room almost immediately.

In a TED Talk called “Why Architects Need to Use Their Ears,” Treasure discusses how architects can get caught up in designing the appearance of a space and not fully consider the implications of the design’s impact on sound and how that can affect the experience inside the space.

We certainly can’t argue with that. It explains restaurants where you can’t hear the people across the table from you, classrooms where you struggle to hear the teacher, and hospitals where the bustle and beeps make it nearly impossible to relax and get some rest. 

While sight may be the first sense that activates when walking into a space, arguably the most important sense in evaluating the atmosphere of a space and ultimately influencing how we feel about it, is hearing.


According to the team at Independent Hearing Professionals, “sounds can be interpreted differently depending on the mood we’re in or the emotions that we’re experiencing.” Click on the image below to see their infographic on The Psychology of Sound.


Sound affects us physiologically, psychologically, cognitively and behaviorally. 


Physiologically

Hearing is our primary warning sense, so when a sudden sound is heard, our bodies respond. Cortisol is released, heart rate is increased, and breathing is affected. Our body perceives a sudden or unexplained sound as a threat, even when we may know exactly what a sound is.

Psychologically

What we hear can drastically change our mood and emotions. Both pleasant and unpleasant sounds are often naturally associated with life events that are guaranteed to have emotions tied to them. Those sounds bring those emotions back to the surface. 

Behaviorally

Similarly to how sound can cause our bodies and mind to react, it can also influence how we act in an environment. If we walk into a place with a loud screeching noise, chances are we will want to escape that sound. We will likely become stressed or annoyed, and therefore less social and approachable.

Conversely, if we hear a pleasant sound such as beautiful music playing, we may find ourselves gravitating towards the source. It may cause use to smile and become more relaxed, and more approachable.

Cognitively

The louder the sounds are around us, the greater the effect on how we work. Loud music blasting or several chattering voices can prevent our brains from thinking and processing properly because of the distraction. 


Interestingly enough, noise can affect how people perceive their food.

A 2010 study published in the journal Food Quality and Preference concluded that the louder the background noise is in an environment, the less people were able to identify sweetness and saltiness of foods.

This is likely because of the distraction around them prevents them from fully taking in the food they are eating and all of its tastes.

So, what needs to be considered when designing a space?

John Calder of Acoustic Geometry says, “It’s all about reducing flat-surface reflections.” Hear more in this video:

Calder recommends using a combination of absorbers and diffusers in designing a space. Absorbers will take hold of the sound to prevent it bouncing around, but using only absorbers could make a space sound dull and unnatural.

With the addition of diffusers, sound is scattered, reducing the sound strength but smoothing out negative interferences.


How exactly is this achieved? Here are a few ways…

  • Acoustic panels

  • Sound proof insulation

  • Acoustic partitions

  • Wall/ceiling/floor construction types

  • Wall/ceiling/floor finishes

  • Acoustic ceiling tile 

  • Hanging baffles

When sounds is given as much attention as appearance, the entire space benefits.


“How beautiful it is to be an architect and design the conversation in a room." 

- Dorte Kirstensen, Architect Director of Atelier PRO


Sources:

Acoustic Geometry. “How Sound Works (In Rooms).” Youtube, 1 August 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPYt10zrclQ.

“Effect of Background Noise on Food Perception.” Egyptian Journal of Medical Human Genetics, Elsevier, 10 July 2010,    www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0950329310001217.

Kristensen, Dorte. “Dorte Kristensen - Sound Education, København 2012.” YouTube, YouTube, 17 Dec. 2012, www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVSY5UbmKoA.

“The Psychology of Sound [Infographic].” The Hearing Ranges of Animals – Which Animals Hear Best? | The Hearing Ranges of Animals - Which Animals Hear Best? |, Independent Hearing Professionals, 20 Oct. 2015, www.myihp.co.uk/the-psychology-of-sound/.

Treasure, Julian. “Why Architects Need to Use Their Ears.” TED: Ideas Worth Spreading, June 2012, www.ted.com/talks/julian_treasure_why_architects_need_to_use_their_ears.

Treasure, Julian. “The 4 Ways Sound Affects Us.” Julian Treasure, 13 Sept. 2017, www.juliantreasure.com/blog/4-ways-sound-affects/.

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