After nearly 10 years in public relations, I’ve seen my fair share of grand opening and ribbon cutting events. Giant scissors, mayoral proclamations, radio remotes, free samples…you know the drill. While it all sounds pretty simple, a well-executed grand opening event can be a very effective way to introduce a new brand, business or location to the neighborhood. The results can be even better when you get a little creative, which is exactly what the ALON/7-Eleven team did for a grand opening in Rio Rancho, N.M., last week. Since the new store was unlike any convenience store location the company had ever built, the grand opening had to be just as special.

ALON/7-Eleven ribbon cutting Rio Rancho

How did we help make it special?

My day started off at the store at 5 a.m. sampling some new products and preparing goodie bags with fresh treats for the local media. ALON ordered these chocolate covered waffle cone cups straight out of Beverly Hills to help launch the store’s new coffee bar. DELICIOUS.

7-Eleven coffee at Rio Rancho grand opening

Then, I visited local morning shows to drop off samples and spread the word about our grand opening activities. Thanks to the KOB Good Day New Mexico team for letting me hang out at the studio for a while!

Sharing ALON/7-Eleven's grand opening in Rio Rancho, N.M. with media

We also did a few live shots from the store with KRQE reporter David Romero.

photo 2

But, the fun really started when customers began packing the store and the parking lot to try out new products, enter to win free gas prizes and visit our special guest, five-time Super Bowl Champion Charles Haley.

NFL Hall of Fame - Charles Haley

The event was a ton of fun, but the best part is that thousands of customers came in to check out the new store during opening weekend. That’s the true measure of success.