12 Tips for Planning A Ribbon Cutting

August 2, 2023

Upon completion of a project, many clients will expect a ribbon-cutting ceremony. However, there usually is a need for someone to step up and manage the details of these events. As the construction partner for the project, the ability to take ownership of every detail of a client’s event is a solid avenue toward adding value to your services. These 12 tips will help you prepare to serve as a reliable ribbon-cutting event resource for your clients.

Schedule a Kick-Off Meeting

Your first action item is to plan a brief meeting to kick off the event planning process. Ideally, this meeting will take place via phone call or video conference and will occur at least eight weeks before the event. This will provide a bit of a cushion to accommodate for lead times on signage and promotional items, announcements to the public and media, and invitations to key public figures.

When scheduling this meeting, be sure to invite every client representative that will be making decisions or helping with the details of the event. To minimize follow-up phone calls, prepare a checklist beforehand with important details and pending decisions. During the meeting, develop a reference sheet with the primary points of contact, important dates, decisions made during the meeting, and a list of action items. A collaborative document from Google Docs or Dropbox Paper would be best, as it can be updated without sending the file back and forth multiple times throughout the planning process.


Signage is the best way to capitalize on the opportunity to establish a brand presence at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Because a printer’s backlog can be unpredictable, order signage as soon as you are aware of an upcoming event. Before selecting a vendor, price the signage with at least four different vendors. The signage should be placed near the focal point of the event to ensure that it is within the audience’s view and will be included in photographs. 

A step-and-repeat is a fantastic way to enhance the atmosphere of a ribbon-cutting ceremony. This style of signage promotes the logos of those involved and gives an incentive for attendees to take photos at the event. Additionally, a custom plaque with the details of the project is a nice gift to provide to your client at the ceremony.


Design a digital flier announcing the event to the public and provide it to the project partners to distribute via social media and email blasts. A printed flyer, normally 5”x7”, should also be designed for distribution at the event. This flyer will include project partner logos and fun facts about the project, such as total concrete poured, interesting details, total square feet, etc.

Promotional Setups

Plan to set up a table to promote your business if appropriate. Your table can include a branded tablecloth, branded cooler with bottled water, flyers, and promotional items to give away as swag.


Custom cookies can be designed specifically for the event with a logo or branded colors. It is safest to offer individually wrapped cookies.


Confirm the sources of electricity when planning the focal point of the ceremony. Ensure that a podium, speakers, and microphone are available for the event. These can be rented as needed.


Confirm the agenda, order of speakers, and any ceremonial activities.

Alert the Media

Contact local news outlets for high-profile events.

Notify Key Public Figures

At times, the contractor is responsible for contacting key public figures to notify them of the event. Be prepared to inform them of the date, time, and if they are being requested to speak.

Chamber of Commerce 

Contact the chamber of commerce to schedule a representative to bring the ribbon and giant scissors.

Set-Up and Take-Down

Plan to bring some members of the construction team to help with set-up and take-down.

Post-Event Checklist

Ensure that rented items are returned and signage is stored safely in a logical location for future use.

The ability to manage an event for a client adds value to your services as a project management partner. Give the client the opportunity to take ownership of any details, but also be prepared to take care of everything if needed. Check out our iPhone photography blog for tips on how to take “professional” iPhone photos at the event.






© COPAS + Co 2023


Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Get the latest on the construction industry delivered to your inbox.