A Step-by-Step Guide to a Chamber Ribbon Cutting for New Members

February 7, 2022
Daniel Real Estate recently hosted its first event at the corporate office: Our Chamber Ribbon Cutting. The team was super excited to come out and celebrate joining the Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce. But what is a Ribbon Cutting, why is it worth celebrating, and how can you prepare for yours?

What is a Ribbon Cutting?

A ribbon cutting is a symbol of something new. It could show a new business or something new happening like renovations or a new location. Most common, it shows a business joining their local Chamber of Commerce. That was exactly why Daniel Real Estate had theirs. DRE recently joined the Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce to show our community support. We gained access to many opportunities that we did not know existed before. We now have an entire directory of people we can call on for their advice and expertise. Even better, we have those same people to share with our clients for their needs.
Our ribbon cutting was a way for those people to come out and show their support when we joined the Chamber.

What Do People Expect From a Ribbon Cutting?

So if you have a ribbon cutting coming up, make sure you have a few things planned for people. Many without a shop opt for having their ceremony at a local restaurant or bar. This can help drive business to the shop, and most owners are very amenable to helping. But, if you have a brick and mortar location that you want to have your ribbon cutting at, here are some tips for you:

Light Bites, not Full Meals.

The purpose, as a spectator, of
 a ribbon cutting is two show support for the new business  and to network. It’s not easy shaking hands and discussing what you do for a living when you need to use utensils for the food. As delicious as your food may be, people might opt-out of eating, if they know they cannot network at the same  time. This could leave you with a mountain of leftovers. Instead, opt for “finger foods”. Daniel Real Estate provided attendees with a charcuterie board from Houston Dairy Maids. We also set out macarons from Common Bond and a fruit & veggie station. Our hummus and pita were a hit as well, providing an alternative to chips and dip, which can get fingers greasy.

If your time is at 4p or later, it’s happy hour.

Networking can be hard for some, and a little bit of a happy hour can usually help people mingle. Offering a light drink might help people feel relaxed and more likely to attend your event. The best to provide would be a glass of wine, like Champagne or a Pinot Noir. Stay away from drinks that could drive the ceremony out of hand, like liquor or beers.

Make your introduction short and sweet

It’s always a good idea as a business owner to have your elevator pitch ready. This should be no more than 30 seconds and should make people want to come up and talk with you after. If you tell the whole story, in three minutes, they’ll have no reason to continue the conversation. Also, any more than 20 seconds and your attendees may lose interest in what you’re saying. Keep everything alive, moving through with purpose.

What Should You Expect From Your Ribbon Cutting?

Your ceremony may not be more than 20 minutes long. But a lot may happen in that short time.

The Introduction Round

A popular tactic used by many chambers is the “Introduction Round”. This is a popular way of breaking the ice at many networking events. It can seem awkward, but it’s a fast and easy way of making sure everyone knows everyone. You’ll go around the room and each person will introduce themselves. Usually they’ll give their name, title, company, and what services they provide. Now, people who may be able to offer business or leads, know who to introduce themselves to.

The Actual Ribbon and Scissors

There will be photos. There will be posing. There will be smiles. Make sure you’re dressed to the nines because these photos will circulate time and time again.
Some Chambers may add something in other than the ribbon. The GHCOC does “confetti” photos. This is a photo that captures right when the confetti cannon goes off. It adds a layer of depth to the photos from the event and shows everyone having fun.

The After-Event Networking

You cut the ribbon! It’s done! You have your photos, people have had a plate of food and a glass of wine. And if everything went well, people are now relaxed and ready to chat for a bit. This is the part that can make or break your event.
If you did an introduction round, people may have already started the networking. If there was no introduction around, now is the time for your to start introducing people. If you know of two people who might benefit each other, make sure they meet. The networking is what makes your ribbon cutting memorable, and will make your event the talk of the town. And when people talk about your event, they’re talking about you!
These events can be an incredible way to show the professional side of your business and what you have to offer. Keep your brand and image at the front of people’s minds by throwing an impressive Ribbon Cutting for your business through your local chamber!

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