How to Host a Successful Laundromat Grand Opening Event
After months of planning, prioritizing, and purchasing, you’re finally ready to open your laundromat. Congratulations! Now what? You already know you have a great facility with the most updated laundromat technology and energy-efficient laundry products, but your potential customers may not. After all the work and thought that went into getting the laundromat up and running, it might be tempting to treat your opening as a minor detail and not put too much thought or effort into it. However, a successful grand opening celebration can help you get customers in the door, gather valuable information about your clientele, and spread excitement and enthusiasm about your new laundromat facility. Here are a few tips to help make your laundromat's grand opening event a success:
Make It Fun and Exciting
While laundry may not be everyone’s favorite chore, that doesn’t mean your event has to be dull or boring. You’re obviously excited about your new laundromat, and you want your customers to be excited too. That’s why it’s your job to plan a fun event that attendees will be talking about for weeks to come – and telling everyone else what they missed out on.
Everyone loves free things, so raffles and giveaways can be great if you’re able to spend on a few enticing items. This could be as simple as a gift card or laundry-themed gift basket to something as extravagant as a television or iPad, depending on your budget. Knowing there’s an opportunity to win cool prizes can help create some buzz and get people to attend the event in the first place. You’ll want to make sure key prizes are highlighted in your grand opening promotional efforts so people know about them ahead of time and come to the event. Before you announce the prize winners at the celebration, you can also take advantage of the captivated audience and share some short remarks about yourself and the facility to help generate a rapport with visitors you didn’t get to interact with one-on-one.
Another way get your customers excited is to have swag bags to pass out at the event. These bags can include smaller, useful items such as a dryer sheets, detergent samples, or stain removers. They can also include promotional materials for your laundromat, such as pens, pencils, shirts, or stickers with your logo on them to help spur name recognition. Swag bags are also a great place to add in brochures about your laundromat’s hours of operation and upcoming events that customers may need to know about, or coupons to entice visitors to return.
Other ideas to help spice up your event include:
- A DJ or live music.
- Activities, games, and a craft area for youngsters.
- A fun theme that represents the community, season, or clientele you’re trying to attract.
- Demonstrations of how unique features work (such as your Smart Card Laundry Vending System).
- Guided tours of the facility.
- A laundry-themed photo booth. Encourage visitors to follow you on social media to see the pictures or share their own!
Make Sure People Know About It
You could have a great event planned, but it isn’t worth it if nobody shows up. This is your first big marketing push for your laundromat, so you’ll want to be sure it pays off. Advertise your grand opening celebration through various channels, including press releases, signs, online and print ads, and in person events.
When planning how to promote the event, take note of where your target market is and pay special attention to promoting the event there. If you’re trying to attract college students in the surrounding rental properties, perhaps your time and money would be best spent hanging up posters around the university, having a booth in the student union, or targeted marketing on Facebook and other social media platforms they’re regularly using. If your demographic is mostly seniors in the area, perhaps you’d get more interest by placing a newspaper ad and visiting the local senior center.
Also, with more than 80% of your laundromat clientele living within one mile of your laundromat, don’t underestimate the power of a flashy banner, window display, door hangers, and signs around the community to attract visitors that other marketing efforts may have missed. These types of promotions can also help attract walk-ins on the day of the grand opening.
Keep Them Coming Back
Once you’ve got them in the door, anything you can do at the grand opening to encourage them to return or stay connected with you will help your business be successful in the long term.
As previously mentioned, handing out coupons and schedules will hopefully encourage your grand opening visitors to use the facility at a later time. Branded promotional items will also remind customers of what a great time they had at your event and create name recognition. Both are great way to start building customer loyalty.
But it’s more than just a one-and-done thing. Once they’ve used that coupon or lost the pen with your logo in the bottom of their desk drawer, then what? You don’t want them to forget about you! That’s why you want to start collecting addresses, emails, and phone numbers at the grand opening event and use them to build a contact list to stay connected with your customers. You can then continue to send coupons, promote various events and discounts, and keep customers apprised of what’s happening at your laundromat long after the grand opening.
The celebration may also be a great time to do a survey to gain more insights about what customers want and how your laundromat can help meet those needs to outshine the competitors. While you’ve probably done a lot of research already, you never know what customers might say that will surprise you.
Keep a Budget in Mind
You’ve probably already invested a lot into your facility, so you don’t need to break the bank to have a successful grand opening. Almost any idea can be tweaked to fit within your budget. The important thing is that your customers learn about your laundromat and are left with a positive impression of you the facility so they want to come back.
Coin-O-Matic has been helping laundromats succeed for more than 90 years. If you want to learn more about how we can help you grow and improve your laundromat business, contact our knowledgeable team today!