5 Steps on How to Master a Client Opening

The past few months have been an exciting time for our agency. With four openings under our belt in October and November, we’ve have worked on some incredible, well-executed opening events. However, there’s more to a grand opening than just a great party, and we’ve mastered the keys to making it a success! Zapwater_Logo_TEG

Hire Zapwater: Whether launching a new retail store, new location or introducing a new concept to the market, Zapwater has done it all. Our team employs creative strategy to ensure that our events stand out and our attention to detail separates us from any other boutique PR agency.


Carolina Mariana Photography

Differentiate Your Brand: It’s important that each brand event, opening or not, resonates with the brand and helps reinforce their identity. Most recently, Zapwater executed a Bespoke Bash for our client, Interior Define. Interior Define is a Chicago-based upholstered furniture startup that offers unparalleled customization capabilities including size, an expansive selection of legs and a diverse array of fabric options including linen blends, velvets, leathers and performance fabrics. With this in mind, Zapwater put together a party that celebrated customization with custom food, drink and activations including: build your own margaritas, popcorn cart with topping options and a DIY S’mores bar. DJ Lani Love created a total request playlist and Flowers for Dreams created custom flower bouquets as takeaways. The event was a smashing success and not only did guests take home beautiful flowers but a clear idea of what Interior Define is all about.

LaPerla Chicago

Elizabeth Nord Photography/LaPerla

Create Partnerships: This fall, Zapwater was retained to handle the luxurious lingerie brand, La Perla, for their Oak Street store opening. La Perla is the leading lingerie and beachwear brand synonymous with “Made in Italy” luxury. Their stylistic mood redefines style codes from lingerie and beachwear which evolve naturally into outerwear and can be worn not just in private, but also as a starting point for “public” looks. To celebrate the new Oak Street store, La Perla and Vogue partnered for an exclusive and intimate cocktail party and dinner. A portion of proceeds of sales from the event went to After School Matters, a local nonprofit organization that gives Chicago public high school teens opportunities to explore and develop their talents, while gaining critical skills for work, college and beyond. By uniting La Perla, Vogue and After School Matters, we were able to reach a group of Chicago’s most influential women to celebrate a good cause and of course, a night of fashion.

VV Founders-1

Hallie Duesenberg Photography

Engage Influencers: In an age where shoppers are attached to their mobile devices and social media platforms, one of the biggest ways to break through the clutter is to work with influencers. Leading up to the opening of the vineyard vines stores in Chicago and Oakbrook, Zapwater partnered with a variety of local top tier bloggers to style vineyard vines pieces into their wardrobe. We also coordinated a private media luncheon with vineyard vines and its co-founders, Shep and Ian Murry, where influencers had the chance to learn more about the brand first hand. As a result, vineyard vines was amplified to a larger audience who were then more likely to shop at the store in the future. Word of mouth is one of the largest motivators behind purchase decisions and these influencers helped create buzz for the brand and its new stores in an authentic and trusted way.


Hallie Duesenberg Photography

Celebrate the BrandKey components of celebrating a brand include its cultural heritage, brand identity and key points of difference. For the opening of Latinicity, a Latin-inspired experiential dining marketplace, it was important to highlight the brand’s representation of the food, flavors and wares from the regions of Latin America, Spain and Portugal that are evident in the concept’s 12 innovative eateries, a tapas restaurant, café, full bar, market, event space and lounge. In order to do so, Zapwater designed a comprehensive grand opening event that included a ribbon cutting with Chef Richard Sandoval and Chef Jose Garces, both of whom spoke to the inspiration for and future of the concept; a media and influencer preview, including key Latin American outlets; and an unveiling of the finished space, along with tastings, tours and cooking demonstrations. Zapwater was then able to showcase the unique venue and offerings, as well as invite the city of Chicago to celebrate the brand with the team.