At some point in your PR career, you will probably be tasked with organizing a ribbon cutting ceremony, whether it be for a client, your agency, or your company. Compared to other events, these can actually be quite simple, as long as you are organized and cover all of the details. Here is the list of information you will need to gather before and during the planning process to ensure a smooth, seamless event.
Supplies you will need:
- Scissors (one pair for each person who will be cutting)
- Camera and photographer/camera-savvy co-worker
- What is the budget for this event?
- Is there a preferred date and/or time for the event?
- Who should be in attendance of this event? Is there a guest list?
- Are refreshments needed for this event? If so, what type?
- Is entertainment needed for this event? If so, what type? (ex. band, DJ, radio station)
- Will anything be offered after the ceremony? (ex. tours, a presentation)
- Are prizes and giveaways needed for the event? If so, what do they have in mind?
Ironing out details:
- Who will emcee the event?
- Do you need to write the emcee’s opening and closing remarks?
- If they will be writing their own, will they need you to review them?
- How should people be invited to this event? (ex. email, eventbrite, printed invitation)
- Who will create the invitations?
- Are there specific news outlets or reporters who should be in attendance of this event?
- Are there specific local officials/dignitaries who should be in attendance of this event?
- How many people will be speaking total?
- Are decorations, linens, or extra tables or seating needed?
- Are tents, microphones, a/v equipment, lighting, or banners/signage needed?
- If tours, a presentation, etc. is planned for after the ceremony, who is managing that?
- If prizes and giveaways are needed, who will manage purchasing and prepping/packaging for the event?
- Where will the ribbon cutting take place? (General location and specific, ex. at the office, in the conference room.)
- Is it an indoor or outdoor location? If outdoors, is there a rain location?
- Where will the media/photographers/reporters stand?
- If you are having refreshments, where will they be set up?
- Does the caterer supply plates, glasses, utensils, napkins, and ice?
- How will trash be handled? Are there trash bins and trash bags?
- If you are having entertainment, where will that be set up?
- Who will be greeting guests upon arrival?
- Where will coats be hung? Do you have enough hangers?
- What will guests do when they first arrive?
- Who should be in the photos? What are their names and titles?
- Who should the reporters speak with for quotes? What are their names and titles?
- Who is on clean-up duty?
Did I forget anything? Have you ever run into an unexpected problem while planning a ribbon cutting ceremony?