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Don't Forget Your Local Chamber of Commerce

Offline Marketing tips and techniques - how to market your online business OFFline. Also discussing Offline Business set-up and strategy.

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Don't Forget Your Local Chamber of Commerce

Postby Chris Bailey » Wed Feb 04, 2004 4:46 pm

Well, I didn't see any mention in this forum about working within your local CoC, so I thought I would throw this out as a reminder to take advantage of the benefits they offer to the small business owner at a reasonable yearly cost.

In my area, I belong to two separate chambers, one through work and the other with my own company.

Tomorrow, I'll be attending a "Progressive Lunch" that allows me to meet a minimum of 16 other attendees and give them a 30 second commercial.

I know in my case, it's a great opportunity to force myself out of my comfort zone and do what's best for my business.

Any other folks around that work through the local CoC?

Chris B.
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Postby giftsolution » Fri Feb 06, 2004 2:42 pm

Hello Chris,

Can you describe how this progressive lunch works? I am a member of our local Chamber, and would love to suggest it.

Thanks.
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Postby Chris Bailey » Fri Feb 06, 2004 11:18 pm

Sure Adriana,

This particular function was actually a joint effort with members from two local chambers, so we had around 200 people there.

It was a 3 course lunch. Soup, dinner salad, and dessert. :)

It's open seating when you go in. So you just find a seat and plop yourself down with the other members there. We had 6 or 7 people at each table.

Each table has a moderator assigned........usually. For one reason or another the table I sat at didn't have one. I was the last to be seated there, and sat in the moderators chair, so I was elected.

During the first course of the meal, we each took turns giving a 2 minute commercial about our business and what we do. We also pass around business cards and/or brochures. One of the organizers was in charge of keeping track of the time and letting us know when to move on to the next person.

After everyone finishes their commercials, and their soup :D, it's time to move on to the next table. On the table when you sit down is a card with 3 table numbers. The first number is the original table number you sit at. The other two are the next tables you are to go to for the next course.

After all the courses, there's time for some random socialization and networking. There's not a whole lot of time during the courses for chit chat, but you have people's cards to follow up with them if you think you have something that might help them or if they have something that interests you.

And that's basically all there is to it. I am by nature a very introverted person. This is just one more thing to force myself out of my shell, so to speak.

These types of lunches, as well as "After hours" events, are great ways to network within the chamber.

I hope that explained it well enough. If you have any other questions, let me know.

Chris B.
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Chamber of Commerce

Postby Eileen » Fri Apr 16, 2004 7:05 pm

I've built up my copywriting business mostly by networking, and my local Chamber has been a big part of it. I attend a Chamber networking event two or three times a month, and usually walk away with a couple of prospects to follow up with. I also joined the Chamber's marketing committee, which has helped me get to know the marketing movers and shakers in my community, which in turn has led me to great marketing ideas and a few referrals. In exchange for ghostwriting the executive director's monthly column, I get my own column, "Marketing for Small Businesses," with a photo, byline, and bio at the end. I've had a couple calls inquiring about my services from that, too. So, bottom line, if you work your Chamber, it can really work for you.

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Postby ElevatingYourBusiness » Sat Mar 26, 2005 8:45 pm

I joined two chambers of commerce and I found them boring. Way too much politcal stuff for me.

I tried to bring on some new networking events, however, that didn't work. I tried to get them to list our web sites in the directory, didnt work.

Very few of my clients report that attending COC meetings have helped them.

Why join? many have group health.
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Postby HowardH » Sat May 07, 2005 7:58 pm

The Progressive Lunch sounds a lot like a typical IBI lunch meeting, only the main thrust is to get your "elevator presentation" critiqued by the group. We do exchange leads occasionally, but mostly it's a training session.
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Postby ElevatingYourBusiness » Wed Jun 01, 2005 1:56 am

One of the things I've started at networking groups is a mastermind process. It's a 30 second commercial and then the person gets to ask for something they need, get suggestions to somewhere they are stuck, etc. They say what they have to say and then "zip their lips" as they write down all the suggestions they're being given. Then it goes to the next person.

It's a way to both give and take at a networking event, and it's a bonding process ;)

I created a form for this to occur and it's being used at other networking event (with my copyright intact of course).
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