Ribbon Cutting

BBOT Ribbon Cutting Information Package

Congratulations! If you are reading this, you must be celebrating the opening of a new business, anniversary or the expansion/relocation of an existing business in Burnaby.

We are excited for your success and appreciate the opportunity to help you mark this momentous occasion! We hope the following information is helpful to you.

What is a ribbon cutting?

A ribbon cutting is the ceremonial opening of a brand-new or newly-renovated/relocated business. It can inaugurate a business’ first day of operations or it can ceremonially take place weeks after the business’s soft opening. The BBOT will consider ribbon cutting requests for anniversary celebrations on a case-by-case basis. However, a ribbon cutting is not an automatic event to mark a new membership.  A BBOT ribbon cutting should be combined as part of larger Grand Opening celebrations if you are interested in attracting a larger crowd.
Is there actually a ribbon?

Yes, you actually cut a ribbon! The BBOT President & CEO and staff will arrive with scissors and ribbon to mark the ribbon cutting. The most common location to do the ribbon cutting is across the main entrance of the building but it can also be stretched across another important location within the business, especially during inclement weather.  Often, the business owner, key employees, or local dignitaries in attendance will join the BBOT in the actual cutting of the ribbon.

Because the ribbon cutting marks a very significant moment in the business’s history, this is also a great photo opportunity. Each business chooses the group, or groups, of people they want assembled for their photos. The BBOT can take photos, but the business should schedule their own photographer.
Furthermore, the ribbon cutting ceremony gives the business owner or manager a chance to say a few words to those gathered. Business owners may use this time to publicly thank their financial backers, their employees, their friends and family, and/or their business partners. They also take the opportunity to talk about what their business does. The BBOT will also say a few words of congratulations before cutting the ribbon.

What are the benefits of holding a BBOT ribbon cutting?

By hosting a ribbon cutting, you can:

  • Introduce BBOT members to your business
  • Publicize your business within the local community
  • Familiarize the public with your product/services and location
  • Begin creating a customer base
  • Generate possible leads and sales from attendees and those who heard about it
  • Promote your ribbon cutting and your business through the BBOT communication channels

Is there a cost?

We provide all of the following services absolutely free to BBOT members as part of the member benefits! To inquire about a ribbon cutting, please complete and return the attached registration form to the BBOT.

What does the BBOT do for my ribbon cutting?
The Burnaby Board of Trade can:

  • Invite the BBOT Board of Directors to attend
  • Notify the Mayor and City Council of the event
  • Invite other local elected officials to attend
  • Bring ribbon-cutting scissors and ribbon
  • Welcome attendees and speak at your ribbon cutting
  • Take a photo of your ribbon cutting and email it to you afterwards
  • Promote the ribbon cutting in the BBOT communication channels where available
  • Issue a brief news release announcing the ribbon cutting

Please note, the BBOT will promote your event and invite select people to attend, but we cannot guarantee attendance and we should not be relied upon to attract attendees for your Grand Opening or Ribbon Cutting.

Other Information to consider:

1. Your date and time:  Mid-day and early-evening ribbon cuttings draw the largest crowds.  Attendance and length of the event may vary depending on location, a PR campaign and/or drinks being served. In our experience, we’ve found that Mid-week (Tuesdays through Thursdays) work best for attendance. We’re sorry; the BBOT cannot assist with ribbon cuttings on weekends and holidays.

2. Who you’d like in the photo(s):  Some businesses will take multiple photos with various groups of people before the ribbon is actually cut. They conduct staged cuttings to incorporate more groups of people like employees, family, Chamber members, business partners, etc.  The BBOT will take photos of our President & CEO performing the ribbon cutting, but businesses should consider arranging their own photography.

3. Your remarks or speech: This is usually done when everyone is gathered around the ribbon and before it is cut.  Please limit your speech to 3 minutes. The BBOT will also speak briefly to offer congratulations.

4. Other details to enhance your event: Refreshments, drinks, door prizes, and decorations are all optional and up to you. Many businesses add these extra touches when conducting a public grand opening in conjunction with the ribbon cutting.  Hosting a drawing will help you gather business cards to begin or include in your database.

5. Who will attend my ribbon cutting: The BBOT President & CEO and some members of staff will automatically attend the event. We can also invite local dignitaries, elected officials and the BBOT Board of Directors at your request, but cannot guarantee their attendance.

While we’ll list your ribbon cutting on our website calendar, we strongly encourage you to conduct your own PR campaign to increase the attendance and awareness of your business’s opening. You should also consider inviting your business partners, financers, contractors, employees, customers, friends, and family to be with you to celebrate this momentous occasion in your business’s history.

Please understand that you should not rely solely on the BBOT to attract your audience.


What do other businesses do to make their ribbon cutting and/or grand opening unique?

• Send a special direct mail piece/invitation to area residents and/or non-member businesses

• Conduct a separate PR campaign to try to grab media attention

• Invite lots of clients, employees, and/or board directors from their organizations

• Invite corporate staff from out-of-town corporate headquarters

• Offer complimentary appetizers and beverages from fancy to simple, from a few selections to a large buffet

• Invite sports or business mascots

• Give free samples of their product or services

• Play live music: disc jockey, band, string quartet, soloist, pianist

• Give door prizes or other giveaways

• Host an on-site remote radio broadcast

• Decorate with balloons, banners, lights, search lights, etc.

Remember, your ribbon cutting can be a simple affair or a large, extravagant event—it is up to you.  If you want a larger crowd, you should consider combining the BBOT ribbon cutting with a separate Grand Opening event that you organize.

For a Ribbon Cutting Registration Form please contact Marisol Sanchez at marisol@bbot.ca or 604-412-0100.