4 Ways You Can Improve Your Chamber Of Commerce
Your chamber of commerce has a clear purpose, to help your local business community grow and prosper. It’s a worthy goal and anything worth doing is worth doing right.
Member Jungle has recently worked closely with the Rockingham Kwinana Chamber of Commerce as they implemented our management software. Their system is live and they are really loving everything it has done for them and the amount of time they are saving. During the process of helping these chambers, we have learnt a lot about how they function and what makes them great chambers of commerce. Now we are passing on that knowledge to you.
So, let’s talk about four things you can do to improve your chamber of commerce and add value for your members.
- Foster Community Engagement
- Local Fairs
- Charity Events
- Expand Membership Diversity
- Increase Networking Opportunities
- Networking Events
- Workshops and Seminars
- Social Media
- Embracing Technology
- Membership Management Software
- Primary Members
1. Foster Community Engagement
Your local community is an integral part of your chamber of commerce. It’s probably a large part of the reason you started your organisation in the first place. In fact, your businesses probably wouldn’t be able to survive without them, so keeping them engaged is massively important.
There are a few great ways you can help foster community engagement.
Try hosting or partially funding local fairs. This is a great way for smaller businesses and individual sellers to sell their merchandise to the community. This will also allow your members to sell and promote applicable goods and services.
Helping local businesses like this, whether they are in your chamber of commerce or not, will cast you in a great light, help the local economy and foster a real community spirit. This community spirit can go a long way in encouraging the local community to shop locally.
Hosting a charity event for a good local cause can do wonders for building goodwill within the local community. People are much more likely to support your businesses if they know that those businesses will support them too.
These events can include charity auctions, benefit concerts, or charity runs.
By being an active and visible presence in the community, your chamber of commerce can strengthen its reputation and influence. Which all build towards a better business market for your members.
2. Expand Membership Diversity
If you expand your membership and increase the opportunities for your members to network with one another. You will improve your chamber of commerce and add a lot of value for your members.
If you recruit new members from different industries and backgrounds, you can increase its influence and better represent the local business community. This can also lead to a better and fuller understanding of the local business environment. This is valuable information for you and all of those in your chamber of commerce to have. So, try working out what segments of the local business market aren’t represented in your chamber of commerce and go about recruiting them. More points of view on the current business and economic environment can never hurt.
3. Increase Networking Opportunities
Expanding networking opportunities for your members is an important goal for any chamber of commerce. Especially one who wants to improve and add extra value for their members.
All networking events are a great opportunity for your members to meet and connect with other professionals in the community. This can help foster closer connections, new friendships and even new business opportunities. If your members feel as though they are gaining knowledge and opportunities from your chamber of commerce they will be much more likely to continue to pay their membership dues and remain a part of the chamber.
Hosting networking events such as mixers, formal dinners and luncheons can be a great place to start, but let’s look at some other great networking opportunities.
Workshops and Seminars
Workshops and seminars can not only provide members with opportunities to learn new skills but allow them to connect with others, and build relationships.
Like it or not, social media is here to stay, at least until it is replaced by something even more horrifying. For now, though, any business or group like yours cannot reach their full potential without a social media presence.
Social media can be used to engage with members, share information, and promote events. Not to mention the power social media advertising can have when it comes to recruiting new members and getting your members new customers. Most importantly social media can be another medium for your members to network and build relationships with one another.
4. Embracing Technology
By embracing technology and taking your chamber truly online, your chamber of commerce can provide members with a variety of online networking resources. Such as an online directory, discount codes and the ability for them to connect and network with each other remotely. We have all lived through covid and had to embrace the challenges of working from home, businesses had to adapt to this new normal and your chamber of commerce should too.
Membership Management Software
We have already talked about a lot of great ways to improve your chamber of commerce and add value for your members. Now, let’s talk about something that can help with this and do a lot more too. Membership management software isn't just for hobby clubs it can also be an invaluable tool for chambers of commerce.
Here is a quick list of things that membership management software can do for your chamber of commerce:
- Get a new custom website made especially for your chamber of commerce
- Communicate with members via a mobile app (which is integrated with your website)
- Automated membership renewal process
- Online gateway to take payments
- Each business can have a primary member and add their staff as members too
- Businesses an setup and manage their own business directory listing
- Location services through the app so your members can check to see if there is an in-network business nearby
- Set up exclusive discounts for your members
- Plan and promote all events through the software
- Sell tickets and merchandise via the website and app
- Automatically issue tax receipts for all purchases made
- Gain access to customisable email campaigns
- Give your members a private online forum to meet and network
- Stay in touch with your members through
- Push notifications
- Email campaigns
- Public campaigns
- App and web chats
Being able to set a primary member for each of the businesses in your chamber of commerce can save you time and take the stress off your admin. Primary members can easily manage and maintain active members/staff within their business. They are in charge of adding and removing chamber of commerce members that are within their business. This means that if an employee of a particular business leaves the business it is the primary member's job to remove them from the chamber of commerce membership. Rather than the responsibility of the chamber of commerce administrator.
This can save your administrator a lot of time and let them focus on running other chamber of commerce business. Of course, your admin can still manage individual members if they want to, but most importantly they don’t need to. The primary member gets the membership renewal notification for their whole team. The primary member can manage their own business directory listing in their membership area and view statistics.
If you want to see how our membership management system has already helped a chamber of commerce, have a look at our interview with the Rockingham Kwinana Chamber of Commerce.
The truth is that other chambers of commerce are innovating, they are digitising and they are improving their operations. If you fail to do so you run the risk of being left behind, maybe even losing members and influence.Your chamber of commerce is doing great things for your local businesses and community. Make sure you can continue to do so by continually innovating and evolving. Your business needs to keep up with our ever changing world and so does your chamber of commerce.
If you want to know more about membership management systems you can help your chamber of commerce, How Configurable is Member Jungle to suit my Club Needs?
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