Three Tips to Plan a Successful Grand Opening

Dittoe PR is no stranger to planning grand opening events. Between Broken Beaker Distillery, two CycleBar locations, six GetGo locations, Carmel’s Market District, Hickory House, and Broken English Taco Pub – among many others – we’ve got the process down pat.

 

When Chicago-famous taqueria Broken English Taco Pub decided to expand to Indianapolis, they had to not only find the perfect location but an Indianapolis public relations team to assist with grand opening planning and secure media coverage around the expansion to the Circle City. Assisting with everything from creating the guest list and sending invitations to coordinating a Facebook Live interview during the grand opening event, Dittoe PR did it all.

When planning for a grand opening event, keep the following tips in mind:

 

Set a goal. Is the goal to pack the house? Secure TV coverage? Work with key influencers? Once you know where the finish line is located, it’s much easier to start the marathon. Setting an overall goal will help keep the team’s eye on the prize during the planning process.

 

Outline the run-of-show. Keep everyone on track by creating a run-of-show document that will include all the key details, including contacts, timeline, media interviews, menus, entertainment, and more. The level of detail depends on the depth of the event, but collaborating with the team to ensure everything you need is in one place is integral to pulling off a successful event. Modifications can always be made, but having this prepared ahead of time relieves stress that will inevitably arise the day-of.

 

Give yourself plenty of time. There is a long list of steps that need to be accomplished to ensure the big day goes off without a hitch. Typically, grand openings can take weeks (or even months) to plan. By creating a time table for weekly tasks and checkpoints, it’s much easier to stay on track. Are there potential issues that might arise? Have your vendors signed contracts? Do you know who will field media interviews or check the guest list? Include these questions and details into your ever-evolving run-of-show to keep your team on track.

 

Have a grand opening coming up? Contact us for a consultation to find out how Dittoe PR can help!

Ironworks Social Success!


Dittoe PR recently had the opportunity to assist with organizing the first annual Ironworks Social event at Ironworks Hotel Indy. It was in the high 70s in late October, the sun was shining, and the hotel looked as brilliant as ever. The parking lot was packed with booths offering unique foods and refreshing spirits and a grand stage was set up to host a live performer. Inside the hotel, the Ironworks Hotel staff excitedly awaited the arrival of guests to lead hotel tours and greet VIP attendees.

In addition to the perfect weather, the months of preparation made for a seamless grand opening celebration of the first boutique hotel on Indy’s north side.

From brainstorming event names and coordinating the menus to event promotion around the Circle City, Dittoe PR was responsible for arranging every detail for the big day. While some parts of event planning can be sexy, others, such as studying generators, amps and wattage for electric needs, can be much less appealing. Most, but not all, of Dittoe PR’s efforts for ensuring Ironworks Social was a hit included:

  • Researching and booking bands;
  • Coordinating and creating menus for four different Ironworks’ restaurants and two different alcohol vendors;
  • Renting tables, chairs, tents, a stage, a generator, lighting, port-o-lets, hand washing stations, trash cans, barricades, and more;
  • Booking security;
  • Designing VIP invites and distributing them to key contacts;
  • Securing hotel artists;
  • Inviting guests via Eventbrite;
  • Securing media coverage promoting the event;
  • Creating an hourly run of show for the weekend; and
  • Providing on-site support from sun up until sun down on event day.

Completing all of these tasks and staying within our budget was no easy feat. Our team was determined to work hard and make Ironworks Social an event Hoosiers wanted to attend and talk about afterward.

During the event, which lasted from 5 to 10:30 p.m., attendees were able to purchase small plates from key restaurants at Ironworks at Keystone and Ironworks Hotel including Ruth’s Chris, Sangiovese Ristorante, and Cunningham Restaurant Group’s Provision and Rize, as well as libations from Sun King Brewery and Fountain Square’s Hotel Tango. Guests also enjoyed live music from Indianapolis favorite The Bishops and Wisconsin-based WiFEE and the HUZzBAND, hotel tours, and conversations about the hotel’s exclusive artwork from four different Ironworks Hotel artists. Attendance for the event was free.

More than 550 guests attended the first-ever Ironworks Social, and the Ironworks Hotel team hopes to make it an annual event. Ironworks Hotel and Dittoe PR were thrilled at the positive response from guests, and we can’t wait to begin planning for next year!

 

Dittoe PR Goes Hollywood with ‘COLUMBUS’ Film Premiere

Every day at Dittoe PR, clients from various backgrounds and industries bring exciting projects that challenge us and push us to the next level in public relations. Most recently, our team had the opportunity to bring the glitz and glam of the movie industry from Hollywood to Indiana by working alongside the talented production team of the critically acclaimed and award-winning film “COLUMBUS.”

Despite our limited background in film, this was a challenge our team welcomed with open arms and tackled triumphantly. “COLUMBUS” quickly made a name for itself after its debut at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival where it earned glowing reviews and awards for featuring the world-renowned architecture of Columbus, Indiana, alongside a deeply intellectual storyline about parental and family relationships.  Its connection to the Midwest architecture mecca sparked the “COLUMBUS” director’s burning desire to create a larger-than-life splash in Indiana.

 

The film enlisted the Dittoe PR team to help promote the film statewide – with a greater focus in the Indianapolis and Columbus areas – through consistent, influential media coverage that would spark interest and drive ticket sales to the film’s opening at Keystone Art Cinema (Indianapolis) and YES Cinema (Columbus).

 

During the media relations push, Dittoe PR secured media opportunities with reporters throughout Indiana, connecting them with Kogonada, “COLUMBUS” writer, director, and editor, as well as lead actor John Cho, lead actress Haley Lu Richardson, and key contributors from the Columbus community. In addition to print, online, TV, and radio coverage pieces, the film appeared in organization’s e-newsletters and on influential social media pages. During premiere weekend, our team worked closely with the film’s cast, crew, and management teams to execute local media tours with relevant TV and print outlets, including the Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis Monthly, WTHR, FOX59, WISH-TV, RTV6, WZPL Smiley Morning Show, and more.

 

Media relations has been the core of our business for many years, but our PR services go far beyond media. We were also tasked with assisting in the event planning for the VIP film premiere events as well as planning and running a red carpet event in Columbus. Working alongside the talented team at Columbus Visitors Center and YES Cinema, we pulled off one of the biggest event weekends of the year for the Columbus community, and its hype carried into Indianapolis as well.

 

The film’s hometown premiere earned a per-screen-average of more than $15,000, beating out its initial New York and Los Angeles premiere just a month earlier. “COLUMBUS” went on to be the most popular film ever at YES Cinema by the end of its first week of screenings, selling out all of it 20 initial scheduled shows, and continuing to show through early October. Its popularity kept it around in Indianapolis as well, where it screened for more than a month. As the film approaches its iTunes release on Nov. 4, it boasts box office sales nearing $1 million.

After the Indianapolis and Columbus openings, the “COLUMBUS” team expanded Dittoe PR’s efforts into other markets, which allowed us to generate additional media attention in major cities like Phoenix, Chicago, and St. Louis, as well as more than 15 additional cities through Indiana. Altogether, our savvy PR skills secured more than 250 media hits, 68.5 million media impressions, and a total publicity value of $860,000.

 

If you are interested in learning more about how Dittoe PR can assist with outreach for your company or event, request a consultation today!

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