When building a new business or relocating, it pays to start your publicity early. An inexpensive way to create buzz is to host a groundbreaking or a “kickoff” ceremony at the beginning of your project. I’ve had clients who’ve broke ground both before starting a project or soon after a project has started, with construction being the backdrop during the ceremony. We call it a project “kickoff” instead of “groundbreaking” when we renovate an existing building.
There are many ways to conduct your event; however there are four key items that will help you when planning a groundbreaking ceremony:
1. As I mentioned previously, promotion and, of course, thanking the people who helped make your project possible are usually the purposes of having a groundbreaking ceremony. However, the origination of these ceremonies predates time. Whether it was a primitive tradition to ask for forgiveness and protection from the earth or a spiritual ritual of making a “sacred deposit” to bless the site, every culture on each continent has engaged in a groundbreaking ceremony to begin a construction project.
2. You don’t have to worry about inclement weather. Of course, you hope for the best, but plan for the worst, which means that you have shelter and a container full of dirt on standby to use for the turning of the soil. As the contractor, we provide a tent, podium, shovels, hard hats, umbrellas and a container full of soil, just in case of rain (or because we’re in Michigan, snow). Additionally, you should have chairs, tables, trash bins and food service items if your contractor doesn’t already provide them (we do).
3. Provide plenty of time when sending invitations. At least two weeks before should be the cut-off for sending. Include all people who made the project possible, i.e. community officials, banker, staff, networking groups, clients, contractor, architect, etc. Note: be sure to announce key people during your speech. And, of course, don’t forget to invite the media to the occasion. Radio stations, TV news programs, and newspapers are all interested in showing business growth in their community; however, if they aren’t able to attend, be sure to send a press release and pictures that you take of your speakers and the turning of the soil.
4. I’ve mentioned that you or a representative of your company will be making a speech about the project. Quite often, we are asked what should be said during this speech, so I’ve included a sample agenda of a groundbreaking ceremony with a duration of 15-30 minutes.
Wolgast is a comprehensive general contractor located in Saginaw, Michigan. We are specialized in Design/Build, Construction Management, General Construction, and Insurance Restoration in the markets of Restaurants, Schools, Medical, Dental, and Manufacturing. For more than 70 years, we have provided our professional construction services throughout Michigan and beyond. We are happy to discuss The Wolgast Way with you at 800-WOLGAST!