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Morticia

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For those who belong to your local Chamber, how helpful have you found it? How much do you participate in events and other promos the Chamber does? I joined 2 of them this week. One just called and practically filled my entire calendar with things to do, people to meet and places to go. Wow! Now to see how well they market. They are slightly out of my area, but for me to extend my name into that area (for the price) seems to be worth it.
Just wondering if everyone has found that 'meeting and greeting' at the Chamber has helped them?
 

swirt

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Our town doesn't have a chamber, so we joined one that was in a larger city 40 minutes away. When we were getting started they had some get together things that helped us connect with other B&B's a bit and that was good. They have a nice visitors center but I don't think they sent us much if any business that way. We were just too far out of town for them to refer walkins to us...and we almost never have openings for walkins either.
They did put together a nice visitors guide and we got traffic from that. They used to have a decent website that gave us traffic and SEO benefit..then they hired somebody to redo it and made the business listings nearly worthless for humans and definitely worthless for SEO.
We also did it thinking we might need to buy in to their group rate on health insurance..but since we still have our day jobs, we didn't need that just yet. After a couple of years, we dropped it.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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I am in two chambers. The third I am not in is one block from here. Website is members only, they do zilch for tourism and it is pure small town politics and backbiting. Awards dinners and gala balls are not my thing, I am not out to impress anyone. In fact I despise that kind of stuff. I am not a Jones. When a flea bag highway hotel wins for lodging that should tell you somethin' right there. (Let me explain - they donate more rooms than I do that is the small town politickin' I am talkin' bout)
The other chambers have useful small business classes, plenty of meet and greets, and lots of events. Some things that I would LIKE to go to. But I don't go to any of those either, it is when we are super busy, and alwasy at check in time - so DH has to leave work early to get here and man the B&B so I could go. (ie 5pm)
So that is that. Altho I know some of those involved in passing. :)
 

Morticia

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I am in two chambers. The third I am not in is one block from here. Website is members only, they do zilch for tourism and it is pure small town politics and backbiting. Awards dinners and gala balls are not my thing, I am not out to impress anyone. In fact I despise that kind of stuff. I am not a Jones. When a flea bag highway hotel wins for lodging that should tell you somethin' right there. (Let me explain - they donate more rooms than I do that is the small town politickin' I am talkin' bout)
The other chambers have useful small business classes, plenty of meet and greets, and lots of events. Some things that I would LIKE to go to. But I don't go to any of those either, it is when we are super busy, and alwasy at check in time - so DH has to leave work early to get here and man the B&B so I could go. (ie 5pm)
So that is that. Altho I know some of those involved in passing. :).
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
The other chambers have useful small business classes, plenty of meet and greets, and lots of events. Some things that I would LIKE to go to. But I don't go to any of those either, it is when we are super busy, and alwasy at check in time - so DH has to leave work early to get here and man the B&B so I could go. (ie 5pm)
So that is that. Altho I know some of those involved in passing. :)
This gal today wants to introduce us at the breakfast. I said, 'OK, breakfast meetings are a bit tricky,' and I laughed. But I signed up to be introduced in March. I have to block the night before so no one is here. We have to be there at 6:30 AM. I'm not even AWAKE at 6:30, much less in the car and driving 40 miles!
 

gillumhouse

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I do not because up to now, politics has reigned in our County Chamber, but things are changing and I am considering it.
My friend that Socks refers to occasionally belongs to 3 Chambers - one in her city, one in the city 10 miles south (these are in Ohio where she lives) and she also belongs to the Weirton, WV Chamber. She has found membership to be helpful because of the exposure she gets (the 2 out of town) and has been very active in her own Chamber until recently Parent-Patrol Duty sidelined her (Dad lost both legs last Nov (1) and Dec (other) and Mom had a knee replacement this Oct. Mom is 90 in Dec and Dad already is 90).
 

YellowSocks

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I belong to mine. I'm on their website, which seems to actually bring me some traffic.
I haven't been to a meet and greet... would have to drag the boys along so I don't go.
They aren't great about creating local events (like the Chamber south of us is), but they do pull together a little bit of advertising... visitor's guides, town maps, etc., and I'm getting added to those as the new print dates come up.
Seems worth it to me, at least for now.
=)
Kk.
 

greyswan

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We are members of our local chamber - and we have jumped in with both feet - and are getting referrals for business. We're the Ambassador committee, so we get to meet new business that come to town and plug the chamber & our business while we're at it. The events range from casual to formal... the board meetings are at 7:30 am so Jim helps me get breakfast set up before he heads out to that- that hasn't been a problem so far.
 

Morticia

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We are members of our local chamber - and we have jumped in with both feet - and are getting referrals for business. We're the Ambassador committee, so we get to meet new business that come to town and plug the chamber & our business while we're at it. The events range from casual to formal... the board meetings are at 7:30 am so Jim helps me get breakfast set up before he heads out to that- that hasn't been a problem so far..
So far, all of the breakfast meetings they told me about are close to 30-45 minutes away, if not more. THAT could be an issue! I know hubs won't even go next door to a meeting, so this will strictly be MY meet & greet. Not that I'm good at it, but I'll actually go.
 

happyjacks

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We get enough referrals from the chamber to make it worth the price of admission, but they're not our top referrer. Since we're not right in town, we don't get as many walk-in guests from them (ie travelers walking in to one of their visitor centres looking for a place to stay that night), but we get enough to cover our costs.
We also get decent traffic from their two websites (one is more for tourists and one is more for locals or relocators).
Another perk is the chamber rate for credit card processing. They also offer group rates for insurance but we don't bother with those.
The networking events are primarily 'business after hours' at 5pm or 'business lunch time'. We went to many of these when we first moved to the area just so we could meet people and get the lay of the land. These networking events don't bring us bookings though. But we've won some nice door prizes!
 

seashanty

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i belonged for three years - the inn will continue to be a member. i was never able to get to the meetings or functions. and some of them looked like a lot of fun! hosted at various locations with food, too. oh well. i think it would have been really helpful to network. just another example of how it would have been a bonus to have a partner here so one could go meet and greet.
the area chamber i joined was very responsive to my questions. and they get a lot of folks walking in the door and/or calling looking for a recommendation for a place to stay. so i did get calls from them when they learned that folks were planning to take the ferry the next day. also, they send out emails asking for available rooms for things - the lobster festival, the jazz festival, things like that. and they keep the list available for folks who ask.
even though i didn't meet anyone through the chamber, i would look at the list of members for vendors i needed or to give guests a couple ideas of places to stay within the 'zone'.
 

Copperhead

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We have been members of our local chamber for 6 or 7 years. At first we went to everything we could, DH was an Ambassador, and we did some Co-op advertising. We were told from the very beginning - that you need to 'work' the chamber for it to work for you.
It was a really hard to keep juggling all this on our calendar around our business hours at the B&B as well as other associations we belong to. Breakfast meetings seemed to be the most valuable for us as we are not big on walking up to strangers and 'talking up our business' which is what most of the get-togethers are in the evening. (Good thing we are not in the used car business, we would starve!) The luncheons are easier to socialize as you are with seated with 8-10 others and after the initial intros, conversations start easy. But these are usually politically driven - in one way or another so we stopped going. And then dwindled down to really not being active.
Now to your other questions - Are they helpful? Well somewhat. We get a little traffic and tiny bit of business (would not pay my yearly dues). We are in their main publications, on their website with link, our material is always available in their office and in ALL their packets sent by request.
Promos - for us, they have not been benificial. It could be the area we are in - really not sure. I have seen
We mainly use it as a symbol of being a 'above board business' as there are several under cover B&B's in the surrounding area as well as 'vacation rentals' popping up everywhere. For us it is a sign saying we are legit. They also have some good educational workshops from time to time - at little to no cost. Being a member did land us a nice article in a regional mag. recently with 2 large color pics. This was the best yet as we have recieved calls and emails from many prominent people in the area. - Now lets see if it brings in $$$.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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One chamber I am in (for our lake - as our county owns half this lake) and the one with tourism in mind, for the most part, allows us to send out email blasts to all the members who have signed up for these. I have had zero bookings from them. I send them out to remind people we are here. Beats getting a bunch of flyers in the mail which I THROW AWAY. I don't get why they have to do this in this day and age.
I have hosted the volunteers at the center here for a get together. They have had many "before hours" meet and greets ie breakfast (of course can't go to any of those - always in warmer months) and also the 5pm (again 30-45 minute drive) means I have to leave before my kids are home from school and guests are checking in. Never works.
If there were two of us "involved" in this business, then I would go to more events. Many of them are booze ups. No real food, just presentations and drinks. Heavier on the drinks part. I went to a big annual tourism mag reveal and they gathered round me drinks in hand like vultures "Who are you? Where is your business? What do you do?" I was the newcomer and they all wanted a piece of me. It was pretty frightening. Not easy to go alone to these things... Yes I did pass out rack cards to all of them.
 

hawley

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One chamber I am in (for our lake - as our county owns half this lake) and the one with tourism in mind, for the most part, allows us to send out email blasts to all the members who have signed up for these. I have had zero bookings from them. I send them out to remind people we are here. Beats getting a bunch of flyers in the mail which I THROW AWAY. I don't get why they have to do this in this day and age.
I have hosted the volunteers at the center here for a get together. They have had many "before hours" meet and greets ie breakfast (of course can't go to any of those - always in warmer months) and also the 5pm (again 30-45 minute drive) means I have to leave before my kids are home from school and guests are checking in. Never works.
If there were two of us "involved" in this business, then I would go to more events. Many of them are booze ups. No real food, just presentations and drinks. Heavier on the drinks part. I went to a big annual tourism mag reveal and they gathered round me drinks in hand like vultures "Who are you? Where is your business? What do you do?" I was the newcomer and they all wanted a piece of me. It was pretty frightening. Not easy to go alone to these things... Yes I did pass out rack cards to all of them.
.
Beats getting a bunch of flyers in the mail which I THROW AWAY. I don't get why they have to do this in this day and age.
Because there are still many people out there that don't even look at a computer. (my dh for one)
 

gillumhouse

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One chamber I am in (for our lake - as our county owns half this lake) and the one with tourism in mind, for the most part, allows us to send out email blasts to all the members who have signed up for these. I have had zero bookings from them. I send them out to remind people we are here. Beats getting a bunch of flyers in the mail which I THROW AWAY. I don't get why they have to do this in this day and age.
I have hosted the volunteers at the center here for a get together. They have had many "before hours" meet and greets ie breakfast (of course can't go to any of those - always in warmer months) and also the 5pm (again 30-45 minute drive) means I have to leave before my kids are home from school and guests are checking in. Never works.
If there were two of us "involved" in this business, then I would go to more events. Many of them are booze ups. No real food, just presentations and drinks. Heavier on the drinks part. I went to a big annual tourism mag reveal and they gathered round me drinks in hand like vultures "Who are you? Where is your business? What do you do?" I was the newcomer and they all wanted a piece of me. It was pretty frightening. Not easy to go alone to these things... Yes I did pass out rack cards to all of them.
.
Beats getting a bunch of flyers in the mail which I THROW AWAY. I don't get why they have to do this in this day and age.
Because there are still many people out there that don't even look at a computer. (my dh for one)
.
Mine too. As a former printing industry employee, he looks at flyers as keeping printers working.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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One chamber I am in (for our lake - as our county owns half this lake) and the one with tourism in mind, for the most part, allows us to send out email blasts to all the members who have signed up for these. I have had zero bookings from them. I send them out to remind people we are here. Beats getting a bunch of flyers in the mail which I THROW AWAY. I don't get why they have to do this in this day and age.
I have hosted the volunteers at the center here for a get together. They have had many "before hours" meet and greets ie breakfast (of course can't go to any of those - always in warmer months) and also the 5pm (again 30-45 minute drive) means I have to leave before my kids are home from school and guests are checking in. Never works.
If there were two of us "involved" in this business, then I would go to more events. Many of them are booze ups. No real food, just presentations and drinks. Heavier on the drinks part. I went to a big annual tourism mag reveal and they gathered round me drinks in hand like vultures "Who are you? Where is your business? What do you do?" I was the newcomer and they all wanted a piece of me. It was pretty frightening. Not easy to go alone to these things... Yes I did pass out rack cards to all of them.
.
Beats getting a bunch of flyers in the mail which I THROW AWAY. I don't get why they have to do this in this day and age.
Because there are still many people out there that don't even look at a computer. (my dh for one)
.
hawley said:
Beats getting a bunch of flyers in the mail which I THROW AWAY. I don't get why they have to do this in this day and age.
Because there are still many people out there that don't even look at a computer. (my dh for one)
He is one in a million who is involved in a chamber then, this is chamber correspondence. I would hope those in the chamber look at a computer. The landscapers and dock builders use them, the booksellers, the fishing guides put out their daily fishing report...
 

Morticia

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One chamber I am in (for our lake - as our county owns half this lake) and the one with tourism in mind, for the most part, allows us to send out email blasts to all the members who have signed up for these. I have had zero bookings from them. I send them out to remind people we are here. Beats getting a bunch of flyers in the mail which I THROW AWAY. I don't get why they have to do this in this day and age.
I have hosted the volunteers at the center here for a get together. They have had many "before hours" meet and greets ie breakfast (of course can't go to any of those - always in warmer months) and also the 5pm (again 30-45 minute drive) means I have to leave before my kids are home from school and guests are checking in. Never works.
If there were two of us "involved" in this business, then I would go to more events. Many of them are booze ups. No real food, just presentations and drinks. Heavier on the drinks part. I went to a big annual tourism mag reveal and they gathered round me drinks in hand like vultures "Who are you? Where is your business? What do you do?" I was the newcomer and they all wanted a piece of me. It was pretty frightening. Not easy to go alone to these things... Yes I did pass out rack cards to all of them.
.
Beats getting a bunch of flyers in the mail which I THROW AWAY. I don't get why they have to do this in this day and age.
Because there are still many people out there that don't even look at a computer. (my dh for one)
.
hawley said:
Beats getting a bunch of flyers in the mail which I THROW AWAY. I don't get why they have to do this in this day and age.
Because there are still many people out there that don't even look at a computer. (my dh for one)
He is one in a million who is involved in a chamber then, this is chamber correspondence. I would hope those in the chamber look at a computer. The landscapers and dock builders use them, the booksellers, the fishing guides put out their daily fishing report...
.
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
hawley said:
Beats getting a bunch of flyers in the mail which I THROW AWAY. I don't get why they have to do this in this day and age.
Because there are still many people out there that don't even look at a computer. (my dh for one)
He is one in a million who is involved in a chamber then, this is chamber correspondence. I would hope those in the chamber look at a computer. The landscapers and dock builders use them, the booksellers, the fishing guides put out their daily fishing report...
The gal who called me placed a BIG emphasis on the meet and greets where I could 'get my brochures, etc' into everyone's hands. She was also quick to point out that my name would be on the website by today (which it is). BUT, there is no info on the website other than the name of the biz and who owns it. SO, it looks like those brochures are still the way they're going.
 

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