One day you will start trading and all of your planning will come to fruition. It may be that you want to have a celebration on this day which can fulfill a number of functions.
For instance, you can use your opening day to market the co-operative and its products or build a sense of ownership and cohesion amongst members, customers and workers. You may also want to invite along those people who have helped you along the way, including advisors, other organisations, investors and funders.
Some co-operatives begin to trade and get up to speed and then hold an official opening day once they are a bit more organised.
Your opening event is ideal as a recruitment tool; it is also an ideal opportunity to obtain publicity through the media.
You will only open once (hopefully), so whatever you do, make sure that you devote enough time and resources to the planning of it, to ensure that you get it right.
Are you ready? What needs to be in place before you start trading?
Should you start cautiously, building up the enterprise or should you start with a bang?
Are you legal? For example, are your premises registered if they need to be? Do you have public liability insurance?
Have you registered with HM Revenue and Customs? etc.
Advertising –Who? Where? How much?
How are you going to get people there? Free Food? Discounts? Entertainment?
What do we want to get out of the day? Members, Trade, Publicity etc? Make this the focus of your planning.
What else is going on locally on that day?
Is there another event worth coinciding with your opening day?
For instance, why not open in Co-operatives Fortnight?