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What is a Groundbreaking Ceremony?

A dictionary definition of the word groundbreaking is the ceremonial ‘breaking of the ground’ to begin construction projects.

Typically, before the builders begin their work, a business’s owners, president, and key employees will gather to celebrate the beginning of the project. It marks a milestone in the business and is an opportunity for publicity and team building.

It usually involves a special ‘golden shovel’ and remarks from contractors, corporate and local officials. Groundbreaking events are so impactful that the dictionary definition of a major change is the word groundbreaking.

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What is a Grand Opening Ceremony?

A Grand Opening is the conclusion of the construction project. The Grand Opening is the opportunity for the builders to present the building to the owners and open the doors for the public to learn about the new facility.

Other Construction Event Examples

There are other examples of milestones in the process that builders recognize. Topping out (or topping off) is the placement of the last beam at the highest point. It’s origins are in Scandinavian countries where a small tree was placed on the highest log as an offering to spirits that lived in the trees used in construction.

Weathertight (or dry in) is when the roof, doors and windows are installed in a new construction project. These are opportunities to either hold a small event or as a stage in promoting the grand opening.

These can be a way to test your publicity and social media plans for the grand opening and learn how to receive more coverage. Consider regular updates on all your social media apps.

By PKS at Danish Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 2.5, Link

Why Celebrate Groundbreaking and Grand Openings?

Celebrations like groundbreaking and grand openings provide an opportunity for team building, publicity, and marketing. You can turn your new building into a showroom to highlight your business.

Politicians and local Chamber of Commerce officials like cutting ribbons, vendors like networking and free food, customers enjoy a day out of the office and the public is interested to see what the builders have produced.

Local news media will often cover a well-planned event and it also provides content for your own social media website and other outreach.

(Click here to tell us about your business’ groundbreaking or grand opening celebrations)

Budgets for Groundbreaking and Grand Opening Projects

Construction project budgets can be a challenge. Sometimes it’s tempting to cut back to help cover construction overruns, but don’t sell yourself short. Our team has the tools to manage your event budget to save you money and produce an event that provides a great ROI.

What Makes a Great Groundbreaking?

1. Participation of stakeholders including:

  • Construction GC and subs
  • Local Elected officials
  • Vendors
  • Customers
  • Employees
  • Neighboring businesses
  • Non Profit partner organization (your company’s designated charity or a personal favorite)

2. Plenty of ‘Golden shovels’.

You don’t need to limit it to one, have six or a dozen. You can do shifts and give everyone an opportunity to dig in the dirt.

3. Have an “official shovel” and picture you can display in your new building or addition

Many people, especially those present, will enjoy seeing mementoes of the event. And it provides a centerpiece for future corporate anniversary celebrations.

4. Food and Drink make it a party

Catering and beverage service help set the proper mood for hospitality, to work and play.

5. You need a tent at your Groundbreaking event.

Protect your guests from Sun or rain and provide a visual anchor to the event, especially if you’re in an open field.

6. Don’t forget to include the Chamber of Commerce

They are great at inviting and opening doors with local businesses and government officials.

7. Invite the Media, especially the local Business Journal and business reporter

You should incorporate a media plan into your overall marketing strategy.

8. Consider a media coordinator.

You should have a professional that can handle every sentence and every word of your media presence. If you don’t have the skills in-house, your marketing agency or local Chamber might be able to handle this.

9. Involve a professional event planner

Let event professionals take care of all the details for you so you can concentrate on your guests.

10. During construction, take the opportunity to plan your grand opening ceremony.

11. Keep people involved

You can include regular updates on construction progress and build a sense of excitement. Take this opportunity to capture the progress of the facility by involving all stakeholders.

Tell Us About Your Celebration

What Makes a Great Grand Opening or Re-Opening?

1. Check out the list for a great groundbreaking and do those things.

2. An event that highlights your new facility and the services or products of your business

3. A practice run with your employees. Have everyone assigned a task to greet the guests and tell them about your business and the new facility.

4. Creating a time capsule with items that represent your business and the new facility. This will be a great centerpiece for your 5, 10, 20, or 50-year commemorations. Don’t forget to include employees’ predictions about the future.

5. Create a keepsake that is appropriate for your industry. Something that is dated and can be displayed by guests to promote your business.

6. Finally, don’t forget to involve an event planner that can conceptualize and organize these details while you concentrate on your business and getting the new facility up and running.

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Get Started Today

Construction is a busy and expensive process but if you take advantage of the opportunity to celebrate your groundbreaking and host a grand opening, you will realize additional benefits for your time and efforts spent on construction. Let us help you create memorable events based on our years of experience.

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Our Service Areas

Located in Harrisburg, PA, we proudly serve the local community in Central PA and the surrounding areas. Over the years, we’ve built the trust of our community, so you can rest assured your event will go off seamlessly.

  • Harrisburg, PA
  • Mechanicsburg, PA
  • Palmyra, PA
  • Lancaster, PA
  • State College, PA
  • Reading, PA
  • Strasburg, PA
  • Camp Hill, PA
  • York, PA
  • Carlisle, PA
  • Hanover, PA
  • Gettysburg, PA
  • Selinsgrove, PA
  • Linglestown, PA
  • Elizabethtown, PA
  • Chambersburg, PA


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