Guide to Ribbon Cuttings

Ribbon cutting ceremonies are a benefit for Chamber Member businesses. Members requesting a ribbon cutting event must be in good standing and have a qualifying reason for having the event, such as anniversaries, new locations, recent remodeling, grand openings or similar circumstances. For new members, there must be a commitment to a three-year Chamber membership agreement for the ribbon cutting event to be scheduled. A fee of $300 will be charged for the ribbon cutting services prior to the planning and promotion of the event if the three-year commitment is not agreed upon.

Contact Mark McGill at 574.400.4044 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a ribbon cutting.

Email Mark


Setting a Date

You should allow yourself plenty of time to organize the details of the event. For instance, don't plan a ribbon cutting with only a week's notice and expect people to attend. Consider your audience and their schedules. Before choosing a date, here are important things to consider:

  • Be aware of major holidays and avoid planning your event for those days. 
  • Try to avoid a conflict with major community and/or sports events. 
  • Consult the Chamber’s Events Calendar to assure you aren’t selecting a date that conflicts with an established Chamber event.
  • Consider the audience you are trying to attract when selecting the day of the week. Typically, Tuesdays through Thursdays are best for non-retail establishments. 
  • Avoid holding a weekend event. Most people have their own personal or recreational plans on Saturdays and Sundays.


Time of Day

The time of day you choose to hold your event is also important to its success. Morning functions, for example, will have an entirely different atmosphere and style than an evening cocktail reception. Luncheon gatherings will naturally require more food and beverages. If media coverage is important to you, give serious consideration to their deadlines before selecting a time for your event. Contact the individual media outlets to determine deadlines.

Who to Invite

When developing the list of who you will invite, consider the following groups of people:

  • Potential/current customers
  • Suppliers/vendors
  • Employees/volunteers 
  • Representatives/ambassadors from the Chamber
  • Key elected officials. If your goal is to have a public official present, you may want to schedule that person first and build your event around his/her availability. The Chamber may be able to assist with that connection. Also, consult the elected officials list on the website. 
  • Media outlets
  • Neighboring businesses
  • Friends and family
  • Business associates
Who to Invite

Food & Beverages

  • Hors d’oeuvres and beverages are typically served, if an evening reception, but it is your decision. When planning for food, it is important to make time-appropriate selections. You absolutely do not need to provide food, especially if your event is a simple ribbon cutting. If you are making the event bigger, including tours, etc., you may choose to offers some refreshments for guests. If your ribbon cutting is in the morning, it is always a good idea to offer coffee. 

Planning a Program/Ceremony

Whether you’re staging a groundbreaking or a ribbon cutting for your company, it adds a nice touch to an event to have a brief program of some kind. It provides not only valuable recognition for you and your key people but also makes the event more purposeful, and allows you to explain more about your business. Consider these suggestions when planning your program or formal ceremony:

  • People generally anticipate spending no more than about a half hour at a ribbon cutting or grand opening ceremony, so plan your event agenda accordingly.
  • Limit the number of speakers and the length of their speeches. Overall 10 minutes total is long enough for the speech portion of the ceremony. To help keep the program flowing smoothly, set a time limit for everyone asked to participate in the program. 
  • Consider having some kind of door prize or drawing as part of your program. Winning a sample of your product, a free trip for two or dinner at a nice restaurant can add to your guests’ enjoyment and builds attendance.

Media Coverage

Do not rely on the media to give coverage to your special event. There are many ribbon cuttings and groundbreakings. They can’t cover all of them. The media may not find a ribbon cutting "newsworthy" enough to cover. The following are some concrete things you can do to increase the chances of getting more media coverage for your event:

  • Send a press release to the news directors or business editors at least 10 days ahead of your event. A day or two prior to the event, follow up with a media alert outlining the who, what, where, when, why and how of the event. Always remember to include the address of where the event is taking place and be specific on the time.
  • Have a camera and photographer on hand so that, if the media was not able to attend your event, you can email a follow-up press release (with photo) stating that your event took place. It is also good to use for your internal and trade/industry communications. The Chamber, if invited, can take a photo as well and send to you.
Chamber Resources

What We Provide

  • PR to members prior and following event, using Chamber communication vehicles, including social media. Event will also be placed on Chamber Events Calendar for added visibility.
  • Membership list, upon request, if you wish to invite Chamber member businesses.
  • Chamber representation, including Chamber Ambassadors. Provide at least two weeks' notice to Chamber. Notify Director of Member Relations Mark McGill, 574.400.4044. If you would like a Chamber representative to speak at your event, please provide more advance notification.
  • Oversized presentation scissors to use during the ribbon cutting ceremony along with ribbon.
  • If arrangements have been made to have a Chamber representative present at your event, he/she will also have a camera. Digital photos will be taken and emailed to you for your purposes, upon request.
What We Provide What We Provide