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Using a Chamber of Commerce To Grow Your Network and Your Practice. Laurie Wieder President Prince William Regional Chamber of Commerce. What is a Chamber of Commerce?. Mission: To Promote A Strong Business Environment Help Individual Businesses Grow

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using a chamber of commerce to grow your network and your practice

Using a Chamber of CommerceTo Grow Your Network and Your Practice

Laurie Wieder

President

Prince William Regional Chamber of Commerce

what is a chamber of commerce
What is a Chamber of Commerce?
  • Mission:
    • To Promote A Strong Business Environment
    • Help Individual Businesses Grow
  • A Place to Network – Events, Events, Events!
  • A Place to Make Connections – Through Events and Activities, With Other Businesses
  • A Place to Demonstrate Leadership
informal survey
Informal Survey . . .
  • Member of a Chamber?
  • Attend Events?
  • Participate in a Committee?
  • Serve on the Board of Directors?
  • Examples
  • Perceived Benefits
the chamber environment in the greater washington area
The Chamber Environmentin the Greater Washington Area
  • 16 Virginia Chambers
  • 2 District Chambers
  • 9 Maryland Chambers

Washington is an Association Town!

the decision to join
The Decision to Join
  • What’s your Goal?
    • Reach your Target Market
    • Develop a New Market
    • Build Relationships with fellow Professionals
    • Reach Decision-Makers
    • Make a Difference in your Community
  • Research
    • Visit Websites
    • Experience an event, committee meeting
    • Speak with members
    • Speak with Chamber staff
the decision to join1
The Decision to Join
  • Once you’ve seen one Chamber, you’ve seen one Chamber!
    • Focus: Economic Development, Advocacy, Small Business Programs, Networking, Community Outreach, Tourism
    • Are events well attended?
    • Is involvement encouraged?
    • Dues cost?
    • Sponsorship Opportunities?
  • Consider Joining More than One Chamber!
things to consider
Things to Consider
  • The Membership
    • How large – size can equal diversity
    • Business scope – localized or regional
    • Is your existing market among the membership?
    • Is a target market among the membership?
    • Do you want to increase your business in a geographic area?
    • Are their members with which you can partner?
    • Can members help you reach decision-makers?
things to consider1
Things to Consider
  • The Programming
    • Business Resources
    • Industry Councils
    • Openness to Service
    • Board Possibilities
you ve become a member
You’ve Become a Member
  • Orientation
  • Individual Consultation with Staff
  • Develop an Involvement Plan
    • Based on Your Goals
    • Based on Chamber Programming
your involvement plan
Your Involvement Plan
  • Committees – Service, Recognition, Credibility
    • Business Consulting to fellow members
    • Expertise Sharing with Chamber organization
  • Events
    • Presentation Possibilities
    • Expertise Sharing through Planning
  • Visibility – Sponsorships
    • Highlight yourself before your target market
    • Displays
    • Verbal advertisements
the prince william chamber a case study
The Prince William Chamber:A Case Study
  • Three Line of Business Committees
    • Business Growth
    • Public Policy
    • Quality of Life
the prince william chamber a case study1
The Prince William Chamber:A Case Study
  • Support Committees
    • Ambassadors
    • Programs
    • Strategic Planning
    • Finance
the prince william chamber a case study2
The Prince William Chamber:A Case Study
  • Business Councils
    • 11 Industries
    • We segment for you!
the prince william chamber a case study3
The Prince William Chamber:A Case Study
  • Events
    • Signature Events
    • Monthly Membership Luncheons
    • Special Events – Trade Shows, Golf Tournaments
    • Pure Networking – Business Before/After Hours
    • Brown Bag Luncheons
      • You speak
      • You learn
      • You sponsor
    • Committee/Council Meetings
the prince william chamber a case study4
The Prince William Chamber:A Case Study
  • How to Network
    • Practice your “elevator speech”
    • Bring plenty of business cards
    • Set a goal
    • Arrive early
    • Survey the room
    • The “approach” – ask questions first
    • Don’t sell – build the relationship
    • Trade cards
    • Agree to follow up
    • Go on to the next person
the prince william chamber a case study5
The Prince William Chamber:A Case Study
  • Sponsorship Opportunities
    • Mailers
    • Ribbon Cuttings
    • Displays
    • Event Sponsorships – Table to “Named”
    • High Level Sponsorship Programs – Chamber Partners, Vision Sponsors
  • You Achieve Name Recognition, Visibility
the prince william chamber a case study6
The Prince William Chamber:A Case Study
  • Leadership Opportunities
    • Committee Involvement
    • Sharing Your Expertise
    • Committee Leadership
    • Business Council Leadership
    • Board Service
    • Executive Committee Service
  • You Make Contacts, Gain Access
the self serving membership
The Self-Serving Membership

You Deserve to Benefit

Involvement that Benefits You Benefits the Organization

top chamber pointers
Top Chamber Pointers
  • Define Your Goals
    • New Business Clients
    • Professional Growth
    • Community Outreach
  • Research Chambers and pick one or more
  • Identify involvement “fits”
  • Chose 1-2 committees
  • Commit to attend 2 events monthly
  • Identify sponsorships
  • Consider leadership
  • Assess and Redefine: Achievement, New Goals
thank you
Thank You!

QUESTIONS

DISCUSSION