Grand Opening Parties: 101-It’s Easier Than It Looks

We recently put together an entire Grand Opening Party for our Client, Ray Apartments and we learned how to make a Grand Opening work. Believe it or not, it’s easier than it looks…

At first, when the idea of a Grand Opening Party at Ray Apartments came up, we can’t lie, we were a little daunted. It's a really strong opportunity to get people in the new building, have them take a tour, and maybe even sign a lease. But, after all, it’s also a TON to think about.

Immediately, questions start popping up: “How are we going to get people here?” “What will they do while they’re here?” “How can we showcase the building while also making the party entertaining?”

Eventually, when it really came down to it though, planning a party around the opening of a totally awesome apartment complex was kind of a no-brainer. Just make sure to plan around your strengths, promote, and execute. The Building, our main strength, with its great staff and amenities, will sell itself. The main challenge, for us, was to get people to the party...

The Plan

We knew to get people in the door we had to actually make the party a party. Every party has two crucial components: a place to chill out, and FUN. Luckily, the building itself was a big strength; the rooftop terrace, where we would host the majority of guests, is a totally awesome space, with it’s own orangerie, TV’s, Speakers, and an epic view of the city. Place to Chill out, check!

Ray Apartment Block Party Freemont WA

But how do you guarantee a good time? Guaranteed fun? That’s tough, but not withgiveaways, baby! So, we decided to partner with the radio station, Movin’ 92.5, to organize the giveaway of a bunch of local goodies. That way, guests could come to the party, take a tour of the building, and get a chance to win a prize in a Spin-to-Win Giveaway hosted by a promo team from the Station. Sounds pretty great right? That’s the idea…

Our prizes included gift cards and giveaways to a number of Local business, like:Fremont Brewery, EVO, Bala Yoga, Urban Surf, Milstead Cafe, PCC, Ivars Salmon House,The Cycle Saloon, Teatro Zinzanni, Fremont Vintage Mall, Thrive Cafe, Kinetic Sports Rehab, and Thrive Healing

Here was our step-by-step for the party:

  1. Have guests sign-in near the building’s main entrance when they arrive

  2. Direct the guests up to the rooftop terrace, where they could chill out, enjoy some drinks and hors d'oeuvres, and take in the view

  3. After the guests have hung out for a bit, they continue the tour downstairs to check out a model unit and amenity spaces

  4. They finish the tour downstairs, where they spin for prizes or have the opportunity to chat with a leasing agent.


We did a hell of a lot to promote this party. If there’s a marketing method that has ever seen use for this kind of promotion, we definitely took advantage of it. We made sure to leave no stone unturned, which is really the best approach for promotion in general.

Here’s all that we did:


By leveraging both static and dynamic ads and using Google’s Display Ad network, we were able to generate 124,999 impressions and 4,558 clicks with a CPC of only 8 cents. This means that over 4,000 people visited the landing page to learn more about the Grand Opening Party.


Because over 40% of Seattleites have an average daily commute of over an hour, our ad, displayed with the help of King County Metro,was able to reach over 55% of Washington State’s population in just four weeks.


We designed and distributed 250 posters within the Fremont neighborhood within the week prior to the Grand Opening Party. There were two alternate designs, each of which featured details about the event and numerous prize offerings.


We ran a general awareness campaign, which detailed prize offerings, event information, and clicked through to RaySeattle.Com. With this ad, we were able to generate 8,338 impressions with 127 website clicks. We also ran a couple of Day-Of Local Awareness ads. Between these two ads, which clicked through to directions to the event, we were able to generate 12,747 local impressions!

Social Media Posts

For three weeks prior to the Grand Opening Party, we promoted the party with 2-3 twitter posts per day and 1-2 Facebook and Google Plus posts per day. These posts detailed everything about the party including prize offerings, event details, local business outreach, and links to the homepage.

Radio Ads

We also used Movin’ 92. 5 for Radio promos. We created three different 30-second campaigns for them to air. Between these three ads, we had a total of 28 on-air promos and 28 streaming promos.The event was also promoted on Movin’s event page and on Movin’s Eblast newsletter, which allowed it to reach over 53,000 opt-in listeners. We also ran 17 online and streaming advertisements on the day of the event.


For Drinks, we had Mimosas and a Blood Orange Honey Wheat Ale, courtesy of Bad Jimmy’s Brewery, perfect drinks for keeping with Ray’s orange theme. (Pic of Mimosas)

Roof Top Games Fremont WA

We also had fantastic food, courtesy of Classic Catering, a company we hired through Catering and drinks were set up on the rooftop terrace, so guests could take in the view and catch some sun while they enjoyed the food and bevs. 

Roof top bar fremont wa

We were able to giveaway all 40 of our prizes that we had stocked up, which was totally awesome. Big big thanks to Movin’ 92.5 for helping us out with promo and with the giveaways, you guys rock! 

Mason Moving 92.5 - Ray Block Party Fremont WAl

All in all, we had about 60 guests, 40 of which took the tour, and two lease signings; a completely amazing turnout! The crew here at Bonsai definitely had a good time enjoying the sun on that rooftop terrace, and it looks like the folks at Ray had a pretty sweet saturday as well!

Roof Top View Fremont WA


The Takeaway

Obviously, the planning of a Grand Opening Party isn’t a one size fits all scenario. If you’re planning a party for a particular business, then the party you plan should speak to that business’s strengths. REMEMBER, as a marketer, if you’re planning an event for another business, it’s not your job to sell for that business at the event, you’re merely trying to get people TO the event. From there, the business in question should sell itself or have staff to do so. In our case, with Ray Apartments, there were fantastic leasing agents on-site that day who were working their magic, which helped the party be successful.

Remember the three steps for planning a Grand Opening Party, or any marketing event:

  • Plan

    • Whatever the business may be, plan your party or event around that business's strengths. Think, “What will get people in the door?” In our case, it was the guarantee of neighborhood-themed freebies, among other things...

  • Promote

    • Promote the hell out of your event through all feasible means. Obviously, if something is too expensive, you might have to shelve it. But if you’re unsure with promotion, err on the side of ‘leave no stone unturned’

  • Execute

    • Have staff members at the party to make sure that all the things you plan (events, games, food, drinks, tours, etc.) go off without a hitch. There should also be staff for the business there to handle any and all questions from guests.

At half-past eight the door opened, the policeman appeared, and, requesting them to follow him, led the way to an adjoining hall. It was evidently a court-room, and a crowd of Europeans and natives already occupied the rear of the apartment.

At half-past eight the door opened, the policeman appeared, and, requesting them to follow him, led the way to an adjoining hall. It was evidently a court-room, and a crowd of Europeans. At half-past eight the door opened, the policeman appeared, and, requesting them to follow him, led the way to an adjoining hall. It was evidently a court-room, and a crowd.

The donations increased due to the impactful user journey.

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