Does Your Chamber Charge for Business After Hours?

A member of the Chamber of Commerce Professionals Group asked:

Chambers, do you host Business After Hours Events? #HarleyDavidsonIf you are still doing Business Before/After Hours networking events, can you please let me know what you charge for a business to host these events?

As you would expect, the responses from Chamber professionals ran the gamut. Here are some suggestions:

Charging Businesses to Host Chamber Business After Hours Events

 

What is the business responsible for? If they are only providing the facility and someone else is handling the catering, a paid sponsorship is in order.

Are your members paying to attend? Is this a free event for members or is there a nominal fee to attend? Do you allow nonmembers to attend at a higher charge? Chambers who charge attendees were less likely to charge the sponsors.

What to Charge

For chambers that charge sponsors in addition to providing food and beverages, the sponsorships ranged from $40-$700. Some chambers required sponsors to cover the food, some door prizes and some beverages, or a combination of all of them.

Why Charging May Help Sell Out Sponsorships

Most of the chambers that charged their sponsors reported having waiting lists to sponsor the events. Some were sold out through fall of 2015. While insisting the host cover the food and beverages is a nice contribution on their part, adding an additional sponsorship fee does two things for the chamber:

  • increases revenue from the event
  • levies a price  on what it’s worth (This makes the member think this is not a free event. It has value.)

By creating this sort of value in the sponsors’ minds, you drive interest. Interest becomes action and action leads to selling out. Selling out and wait lists create scarcity, which drives sales. It makes members think, if all of those other businesses are interested in hosting, this must be a very good investment. I want to be a part of this too.

 

Guest post by Christina Green

Business After Hours – Gengras Harley Davidson, East Hartford Chamber of Commerce Image via Flickr by Barbara Bresnahan

 
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