A grand opening or re-opening
Maximize community engagement, media outreach & event planning for grand openings that leave a lasting impression

Tifton Grand Opening

The grand opening — or re-grand opening — of a new location is an exciting time for a propane company and community. It marks a fresh start with new beginnings and new chances to reach existing and potential customers. At Conger LP Gas, we have successfully executed grand openings in the last several years. We opened our flagship Tifton, Georgia, home office in 2018; a new office in Moultrie, Georgia, in 2021; and just recently, in February 2024, moved and reopened a new office in Sylvester, Georgia. Along the way, we have learned some valuable tips and tricks to make a grand opening event successful and fun for everyone, including your employees.

Moultrie Grand Opening

One of the most valuable pieces of advice is to consider joining your local chamber of commerce and including a ribbon cutting as part of your grand opening celebration. A ribbon cutting is a fantastic opportunity to have local government leaders, fellow business owners and chamber ambassadors as a built-in audience. Plus, the chamber of commerce will advertise the ribbon cutting and your business free of charge to their email database and social media followers. In most cases, ribbon cuttings are free for new members, making it a win-win for your business!

It is then time to start deciding how you will spread the word about your event. Start by examining your local community and determining what media outlets are popular in your area. This could include radio stations, television outlets and newspapers. A great way to find out this information is to ask people in your circle of friends, family or your current customers. Do not hesitate to ask the media sales representative about their listenership/readership and coverage area, as they often have that information ready and available for potential clients.


Also, do not forget to use social media to your full advantage. You do not have to spend a lot of money on Facebook and Instagram advertising for it to be effective. I recommend starting on the smaller side when you boost a post and reanalyze what works in weekly increments. You can always adjust your advertising spend and budget on social media once you see what people are responding to. Direct mailing is another excellent way to advertise your event, and it can be done internally or through an online vendor. You can send direct mail to your current customer list if you are doing a re-grand opening or to potential new customers by choosing zip codes or a radius around your new location to send the advertisements to.

Sylvester Grand Opening

Once you have selected your date and have an idea of how you will advertise, it is time to plan the details of your event. Consider what your community and customers would be interested in and what would draw people in. At Conger LP Gas, we have found that offering a special deal for filling cylinders always attracts a crowd. For example, at the Sylvester grand opening, we filled 20-pound cylinders for $10 over our two-day re-grand opening celebration. People showed up with truckloads of cylinders, as we had no limit on how many cylinders people could bring in. Another aspect that always rallies a crowd is food. Offering a free lunch to people who come to your grand opening is an excellent incentive for people to stop by and see your new location. You can do something as simple as hot dogs and chips or go all out and have your event catered.

Giveaways are another great way to get people excited about your event. I recommend reaching out to the vendors from whom you purchase merchandise for your store and seeing if they have anything they would be willing to donate or offer at a discounted rate for the grand opening. There are many different large ticket door prizes to choose from, and some popular ones we have found are gas grills, coolers and tickets to various amusements. If you have something in your showroom that you need to move through inventory, this is another excellent way to use it. You simply need a signup box and some slips of paper for people to sign up to win — plus you get their name, email and phone number to use for future marketing efforts.

McAlpin with President and CEO Dan Richardson
at the Sylvester Grand Opening

To pair with the large door prizes, having some sort of swag available with your business logo and a form of contact information like your website or phone number is a good idea. Our signature items at Conger LP Gas are potholders, hats, pizza cutters, basting brushes and rain gauges. To ensure you do not go through the items quickly, I recommend purchasing a prize wheel and having guests spin the wheel to win a prize. It keeps people from picking up everything they see and depleting your prize inventory, and people enjoy doing it.

Be sure you post about your event on social media throughout the day so people thinking about visiting your new location will be further enticed to go. Ensure you have someone designated to take photographs of your event throughout the day, even if that means hiring a photographer. These photos will be great to have not only to look back on but also to use on your website and social media in the future. Speaking of photos, I have recently started renting a digital photo booth for larger events, which has become a popular addition. People have a lot of fun taking pictures, but again, you also capture their information when they send the photo to themselves.

After all the planning and setup, the fun part begins. On the day of the event, be sure to take in everything and really recognize your employees’ hard work and the support you garner from the community. A grand opening can be daunting, but it means your company is growing — which is a definite reason to celebrate!

Kirsten McAlpin is the director of marketing and public relations for Conger LP Gas. She is a Ph.D. in communication student at Liberty University and holds a Master of Science in integrated marketing communications from West Virginia University. McAlpin is the current communications and marketing chair for Women in Propane.

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