How to Plan a Successful Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Celebration


Congratulations! You’ve finally done it. You’ve dreamed about starting your own business, and now, after months—or even years—of all that planning and prep work, you’re finally ready to let the world know that you exist. What better way to do that than by planning a fabulous grand opening celebration?

Ribbon cutting for Interabang Books in Dallas, Texas

First Things First: Set the Date

The first big ticket items to consider when planning a successful grand opening are the date and time of your event. If you live in Texas, hosting an outdoor event in the middle of July is not a good idea. The same goes for Maine during the winter. Weekdays work best for groundbreaking or ribbon-cutting ceremonies. Unless your business is located in a shopping center, you won’t get the attendance rate on a weekend that you would during business hours on a weekday. As far as time of day goes, mornings or lunchtime will usually be the most convenient for your attendees.

Groundbreaking ceremony for Windrose Tower

But wait! Before you start sending out those invitations, it’s important to make sure that no other major events are taking place on the day that you selected. Take a look at the social calendars produced by city magazines and blogs in your area. Visit your local chamber of commerce and visitors bureau to double-check that no other events are being held. You’ve put so much effort into making it this far; the last thing you want is to compete for attendance on the day of your grand opening.

The Food

Now that you’ve set the date for your grand opening celebration, it’s time to consider what you’re going to serve your guests. Will you hire a caterer, or are you providing the food and drinks? Mornings can be a lot easier to plan—especially if you’re handling the food yourself. Light pastries, coffee, and orange juice work perfectly. If you decide to host your event around lunchtime, a buffet is ideal. No need to worry about a plated, sit-down lunch.

Hosting your grand opening in the morning or at lunch also means that you don’t have to worry about buying alcohol. Generally, alcohol is only served at events that take place later in the afternoon or evening—in this case, a bit of champagne and a signature cocktail are all you need to toast the opening.

The Music

Live music is a nice touch for a grand opening, but it’s not mandatory. No matter what type of musicians you select, it’s key to have them play soft background music that allows for easy conversation. Think complementary, not overpowering.

Three Things to Remember When Planning a Successful Grand Opening:

1. First things first: business technicalities! Identify the zoning regulations for your area and the steps you need to take to secure a special event permit. If you plan to bring in outside food, be sure that all vendors have received the necessary permitting from the health department. Tackle these tasks as early in the planning process as possible to ensure that you and your team are worry-free on the day of your grand opening!

2. Inviting dignitaries, celebrities, or government officials can lend a certain amount of credibility to your business. If you have particular VIP attendees in mind, submit a request to their office as soon as possible, and be sure to follow up.

3. The last item may seem obvious, but it can easily be forgotten amid the plethora of other details. If you’re host a ribbon-cutting ceremony, remember to buy your ribbon and a pair of oversized scissors!

Ribbon cutting ceremony for Legacy West

Grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for La Moderna Pasta Factory in Cleburne, Texas attended by Governor Greg Abbott

Marketing is a key component of any successful event. It would be such a shame to put so much time, effort, and money into producing the most glorious grand opening anyone has ever seen, only to be faced with lackluster attendance on the day of your event. To avoid that scenario, send grand opening invitations one month in advance of your event. You can send out traditional invitations, but e-vites are even better. They’re easy to create, cost-effective to send, and they allow you to get an instant headcount while also keeping track of any last-minute cancellations.

Now, let’s talk branding! You want people in your area to become familiar with your brand, but even more importantly, you want them to interact with it, get excited about it, and then tell their friends about how amazing it is! For the grand opening of Interabang Books, we accomplished this by hosting different segments that engaged guests in a memorable way. A “make your own bookmark” station, a storytime reading for children, an author meet-and-greet, and other activities strongly promoted what they are all about: books and community!

Scenes from the Interabang Books grand opening

As a major shopping center, we took a different approach when working with the Legacy West team to produce their grand opening. Nationally-recognized bands, street entertainers, artists, free yoga sessions, giveaways, and other activations served to extend shoppers’ stay while making their time at the event more memorable and enjoyable.

Scenes from the Legacy West grand opening weekend of events

An entire weekend was devoted to the grand opening of La Moderna Pasta Factory in Cleburne, Texas! Guests first toasted the occasion at the kick-off cocktail party, which was followed by an inauguration ceremony featuring factory tours, mariachi music, and a ribbon cutting attended by Governor Greg Abbott. From signature cocktails, to logo-embellished menus, to lounge furniture and floral arrangements complementing the colors of La Moderna’s logo and packaging, branded touches abounded at every turn.

Featured lounge furniture: Perch Event Decor

For smaller-scale celebrations, something as simple as a takeaway item or free sample embellished with your logo can go a long way. Hot day? Why not give each of your guests a customized water bottle or fan? Bounce-back coupons are another easy way to get people to remember your brand and return for another visit.

Last but not least, alert the local media about your upcoming event and make sure the details of your grand opening are on all of the event calendars for your city. Consider hiring a photographer or videographer to document your grand opening. On the day of the event, encourage guests to post on social media by creating signs with your event hashtag, setting up a step and repeat featuring your logo, or hosting a unique activity that is just begging to be Instagrammed. You can even hold social media giveaway contests, like Levi’s did for the grand opening of Legacy West!

You’ve done the hard part of opening up a new business. Now, it’s time to focus on getting others as excited about your company and brand as you are. Use these tips to start laying the foundation for your event, and if you would like assistance in planning and orchestrating your grand opening in Dallas, Fort Worth, or beyond, we would love for you to get in touch with our team!

Image Credits:

Legacy West Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting photos: Taylor Kiker for DFW Events

Interabang Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting photos: Sprouse Neuhoff Photography

Windrose Tower Groundbreaking Event courtesy of Windrose Tower

La Moderna Grand Opening, Cocktail Celebration, and Ribbon Cutting Photos: Jeffrey Wooten courtesy of La Moderna

Head West for the Legacy West Grand Opening June 2-4!


Our team is thrilled to be producing the grand opening of Legacy West, a 3.2 billion dollar development that combines the crème de la crème of shopping, dining, and lifestyle brands in one incredible location! On that note, we recommend blocking off June 2-4 on your calendar now. Otherwise you might miss out on a celebration that includes performances by Emerald CityParty on the Moon, and Jordan Kahn, tastings from Plano’s most exciting new restaurants, specialty swag bags and amazingly-cool giveaway offers, and—seriously, we’re not just saying this—so much more. 

Emerald City Band, Legacy West fountains, Tesla | photos courtesy of Legacy West

Stop by in-store events hosted by retailers including Pockets and Fabletics, sip margaritas on the Mesero patio, take a spin in a Tesla, nosh on couture Sprinkles cupcakes, enter for a chance to win a Texas-themed trucker jacket from Levi’s, and raise a champagne toast at the Renaissance Hotel. Oh, and did we mention the sneak peek tours of forthcoming foodie paradise Legacy Hall that will be taking place? You’ll want to pencil that in, too!

Needless to say, there will be countless opportunities to discover why Mayor LaRosiliere recently dubbed Legacy West the “Center of the Universe!”

A few more details per the release:

The concert line-up will include the Jordan Kahn Music Company performing Friday, June 2 starting at 7:30 p.m., followed by Emerald City Band on Saturday, June 3 at 2 p.m. and Party on the Moon Band at 7:30 p.m. On Sunday, June 4, Taylor Pace Band will take the main stage at 2 p.m.

Many Legacy West restaurants will offer food and drink tastings throughout the weekend including Bistro 31, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, Earls Kitchen + Bar, Fogo de Chao, Haywire, Mesero, Shake Shack, Starbucks Reserve, Taverna, True Food Kitchen, and Toulouse. Legacy Hall, a 55,000-square-foot food hall, will offer tours to the public for the first time and will also have several of its food stall operators on site sampling their menu items. Sprinkles will serve an exclusive Legacy West Chocolate Caramel cupcake and True Food Kitchen will offer a special cocktail called the Plano Paloma, only available June 2-4.

Legacy West retailers including Bonobos, Coach, Fabletics, Filson, Johnny Was, Peter Millar, Pockets Menswear, Suitsupply, Tesla, Tommy Bahama, TUMI, and West Elm will host special in-store events, parties and exclusive discounts and promotions. Also participating, The Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West Hotel and Visit Plano.

Click here to peruse all of the parties and promotions taking place throughout the weekend, and don’t miss what D Magazine and Paper City had to say about the grand opening. In the meantime, enjoy this sampling of the entertainment taking place throughout the weekend!

Friday, June 2 | 7:30 PM

Saturday, June 3 | 2 PM

Saturday, June 3 | 7:30 PM

Sunday, June 4 | 2 PM

Capital for Kids 2015


With Capital for Kids 2016 right around the corner, we thought it was only fitting to take a look back at last November’s eleventh annual fundraising event! As always, it was such an honor for us to coordinate this purpose-driven celebration for Capital for Kids, an incredible organization we’ve been working with for nine years.

photos: Caroline Jurgensen Photography



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Event Preview: The 24 All Star Chef Classic Benefiting Dallas 24 Hour Club

CelebrationCorporateVendor Spotlight

Now’s the time to save the date (and work up an appetite) for October 16, the date of The 24 All Star Chef Classic! We are thrilled to be producing the event, which will feature fabulous bites and sips from 24 of Dallas’ top chefs and culinary stars (Sean Frye, John Tesar, Richard Blankenship, John Coleman, and Mico Rodriguez just to name a few), world class entertainment from Jordan Kahn, and more!

2015 Chef Classic photos: Holt Haynsworth

Chef Classic_Holt Haynsworth

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Save the Date for “Safe Conversations” This Valentine’s Weekend!


Have you finalized your Valentine’s Day plans yet? If not, in between those chocolate-box exchanges and candlelit dinners, we would love to invite you to attend Safe Conversations with Drs. Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt!

This can’t-miss (free!) event will take place on Saturday, February 13, and is focused on providing couples, families, and organizations alike with communication techniques that have been proven to strengthen relationships. The bottom line? Safe Conversations will improve the way that you communicate at home, work, school, and beyond—an objective we believe is worthy of any extra space you can find in your day planner!

And here’s the best news: While the main event will take place at Fair Park, the Safe Conversations subject matter will also be simulcast at locations throughout Dallas-Fort Worth. These locations include The Potter’s House in Fort Worth, Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep School, and Prestoncrest Church of Christ just to name a few. Click here for the complete listing!

The DFW Events coordination team will be spread between Fair Park and each simulcast location this Saturday, so if you do attend the event, be sure to say hello. We couldn’t be more proud to support the mission and message of Safe Conversations, and look forward to seeing you there!

Event Details:

What: Safe Conversations Valentine’s 2016 event, featuring presentations from relationship experts Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph.D. and Harville Hendrix, Ph.D.

When: Saturday, February 13, 2016 from 9 am-5 pm

Where: The Coliseum at Fair Park & Centennial Hall (1300 Robert B. Cullum Blvd., Dallas, TX, 75210) + simulcast locations across Dallas-Fort Worth

Click here to register for the free event, and learn the proven Safe Conversations way of creating a deeper connection that produces life-changing results in relationships at home, at work, and everywhere!

Capital for Kids 2014


For the past 10 years, Capital for Kids has been making a difference in the lives of children in need across North Texas. Over the course of that decade, CFK donors have contributed 10 million dollars in support of organizations that educate, protect, and encourage at-risk children. So how do you celebrate such milestone numbers? That’s easy: by throwing the birthday party of the decade!

photos: Caroline Jurgensen,

CFK_Caroline Jurgensen

We’ve had the privilege of teaming up with CFK for eight years in order to fête the men and women who so generously give back, and this year was no exception! With CFK’s 10-year anniversary theme in mind, a festive environment was created within Dallas’ FIG building that included boldly lit signage designed by Stage Works, a musical mash-up by Andy Austin and the Jordan Kahn Music Company, and a multi-colored bar stocked with all the ingredients necessary for delicious craft cocktails.

CFK Collage 2_Caroline Jurgensen

Tasty bites and treats were in abundance at this birthday bash thanks to delicious passed appetizers and dinner food stations catered by Food Glorious Food, a highly-trafficked Steel City Pops booth, and a festive three-tier cake created by Dallas Affaires. Other unforgettable highlights included the raffled baubles from Bachendorf’s, which were presented by models from the Kim Dawson Agency, and the 4 Flashes Photo Booth that kept all 900 guests posing, laughing, and repeating throughout the evening.

CFK Collage 2_Caroline Jurgensen

It is truly an honor to work with the group at Capital for Kids—our entire team looks forward to this event each and every year with much excitement. Cheers to 10 more years of giving every child the tools they need to succeed!

CFK2_Caroline Jurgensen

CFK3_Caroline Jurgensen

[via @dfwevents on Instagram]

Mary-Frances Hurt and Alison Baker, DFW Events

To team up with CFK or learn more about their mission, we encourage you to visit To view photos + recaps from past CFK events, click here.


Venue: FIG
Caterer: Food Glorious Food
Event Design and Décor: Stage Works, Nelson Robinson and Kathy Kreuter
Rentals: Ducky Bob’s
Raffle Item: Bachendorf’s
Alcohol: Republic and Ben E. Keith
Photographer: Caroline Jurgensen
Mixologist: Julian Pagan
Lighting: Beyond
Entertainment: Andy Austin and Jordan Kahn Music Company (drummer and saxophonist)
Models: Kim Dawson Agency
Photo Booth: 4 Flashes Photo Booth
Step Repeat: B3Entertainment
Specialty Food: Steel City Pops
Valet: Lone Star Valet
Coordination: Alison Baker for DFW Events

Capital for Kids 2013


letter from child_Page_02

We are thrilled to be a part of the Capital for Kids annual fundraising event, which was held at the beautiful FIG, Fashion Institute Gallery  in Dallas. Capital for Kids is a network of volunteer professionals from within the investment management business, dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children in need. Capital for Kids supports organizations that educate, protect and encourage the development of children in the North Texas area, and they also raise awareness of children in need of support.  99% of all sponsorship and donation dollars are given to the 39 grant recipients.

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This was our 7th year coordinating this very special event, and we’re very pleased to announce that it was an enormous success, breaking last year’s fundraising totals by raising a staggering $1.5 million, and welcoming record-breaking attendance as well! Over 800 guests enjoyed the evening’s fabulous cocktails, dinner and auction.

[A special thanks to Taryn Meixner for sharing these images with us!]

Guests arrived for the big event at F.I.G….


The Capital for Kids event featured a spectacular mixologist bar.




One of the highlights of the event was the raffle, which featured truly impressive prizes:

  • A FIAT 500C Pop convertible from Clay Cooley FIAT
  • BACHENDORFS – 3 chance ticket Prize 1) London Blue Topaz, Rose Gold and Diamond Pendent Necklace from the Rocks      collection by Lisa Nix, 2)$500 Gift Certificate3) $100 Gift Certificate
  • Floor seats next to Mavericks owner Mark Cuban
  • A package for two to attend the 2014 USGA Masters in Augusta
  • And many more fabulous prizes

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model necklace

The varied and magnificent menu options, including ice cream from Paciugo, wowed the crowd…



As part of our event design, we invited children from the beneficiaries to paint pigs that were then displayed at the reception.



We’re honored to work with Capital for Kids and to play a part in raising funds benefitting children of North Texas!

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Venue: FIG, Fashion Industry Gallery

Caterer:  Food Glorious Food

Event Design and Décor:  Stage Works

Rentals: Ducky Bobs

Raffle Items: Fiat & Bachendorf’s

Alcohol: Republic, Perrier Jouet and Ben E. Keith

Photographer: Taryn Meixner

Mixologist: The Cedars Social

Lighting: Beyond

Entertainment: Dave Alexander Band

Models: Jan Strimple Productions

Flip Books: Pic Flips

Step Repeat: B3Entertainment

Specialty Food: Paciugo

Food Truck: Ruthie’s Rolling Café

Valet: Lone Star Valet

Coordination: DFW Events, Inc., Alison Baker 469-855-9142, Anna Staples 903-732-7950


Capital For Kids 2012


We are extremely honored to be a part of the Capital for Kids annual fundraising event in Dallas. This was our 6th year to be involved and each year it just keeps getting better and better! Capital for Kids is a network of volunteer professionals from within the investment management business dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children in need. Capital for Kids supports organizations that educate, protect and encourage the development of children in the North Texas area, and they also raise awareness of children in need of support.

“Investing in a Brighter Future…Deep in The Heart of Texas” was the tagline of the party this year and it was held at the Fashion Industry Gallery (FIG) on November 29th. It was a huge success with over 600 guests attending and most importantly, the event raised 1.127 million dollars for kids in need in North Texas! 99% of all sponsorship and donation dollars are given to the 37 grant recipients!

A special thanks to Rebecca Lorrine Photography for sharing these images with us.

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Capital For Kids 2011


We are extremely honored to be a part of the Capital for Kids annual fundraising event in Dallas. This was our 5th year to be involved and each year the events keeps getting better and better! Capital for Kids is a network of volunteer professionals from within the investment management business dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children in need. Capital for Kids supports organizations that educate, protect and encourage the development of children in the North Texas area, and they also raise awareness of children in need of support.

“Color the Night” was the Latin-inspired theme of the party this year and was held at the Dallas Contemporary on November 17th. It was a huge success with over 600 guests and most importantly, the event raised over 1.3 million dollars for kids in need in North Texas! A special thanks to Rebecca Lorinne Photography for sharing these images with us.

Co-Chair Dawn Blankenship Hennessey and Executive Director Susan Nichol

2012 Co-Chair Tim Lawler, 2011 Co-Chair Joe O’Brien, Executive Director Susan Nichol, 2011 Co-Chair Dawn Blankenship Hennessey, 2012 Co-Chair Tracy LaPietra


Venue: The Dallas Contemporary
Caterer: GEORGE Catering
Event Design and Decor: Stage Works
Coordination: DFW Events 214.505.9142
Rentals: POSH Couture Rentals
Lighting/AV: Beyond
Entertainment: James Gabriano
Mariachi Band: Fransisco Divera 214-415-8549
Taco Truck: Yes! Taco
Valet and Security: Gold Crown Valet
Cigar Roller: The Cigar Roller, Sabino Sotelo 972-809-3999

Capital For Kids 2010


Over the past few years, DFW Events has had the incredible opportunity to coordinate the Capital for Kids Campaign that takes place each fall. This year, the event took place at Sons of Hermann Hall and was the perfect night for guests, donors and grant recipients to enjoy an evening for a cause! Visit the Capital for Kids website to learn more about this amazing organization giving back to the Dallas / Ft. Worth community! Enjoy pictures courtesy of Marty Perlman.

Upon arrival, guests were greeted by our carhops taking tickets for event admission.

Models were courtesy of Jan Strimple Productions.

Once inside Sons of Hermann Hall, approximately 600 guests filled the venue both inside and out.

One of the multiple amazing buffet spreads catered by Kent Rathbun Catering.

Lighting was provided by Beyond.

Guests were invited throughout the space for food and beverages, however, legendary entertainment awaited guests upstairs.

That’s right: ELVIS was in the building! What a GREAT show he put on!

There are various sponsorship levels for this event…below is an example of recognizing these generous donors!

Once the dinner buffets had been enjoyed, Kent Rathbun displayed a delicious assortment of pies…

Throughout the evening, guests were invited to the silent auction for a chance to bid on some FABULOUS prizes. Just to name a few: Package of Symphony Tickets to the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Dinner for 10 at Abacus, Napa Valley VIP Wine Tasting Tour of the Top Wineries, and a Khima Eliazov Scalloped Clutch…there were AMAZING items!

Outside, guests were treated to the music of Justin Cash.

It was a beautiful evening, and guests LOVED the atmosphere of the back alley!

What an honor it was to be a part of such a wonderful event that gives back to kids in need! Check out Capital for Kids‘ website to see how you can be part of making a difference for the youth in our city!


Venue: Sons of Hermann Hall
Catering: Kent Rathbun Catering
Event Design and Décor: DFW Events, 214-505-9142
Event Planners: DFW Events, 214-505-9142
Rentals: Ducky Bob’s / POSH Couture Rentals
Specialty Lighting/AV: Beyond
Entertainment: Justin Cash / Victor Trevino Jr.
Valet and Security: Gold Crown Valet
Photography: Marty Perlman
Models: Jan Strimple Productions, 972-438-8229