A member of the Chamber of Commerce Professionals Group on Facebook asked:
Does anyone do anything creative to bring in revenue at your annual meeting/awards? For years, we have hosted an evening event with a social hour/silent auction followed by our business awards presentation. But the silent auction has run its course and we’d love to replace it with another revenue generator that’s fresh and more exciting. Would love to hear what you’re doing!
Non-Dues Revenue Ideas for Meetings
There were lots of great ideas from the group. Here are a few of them:
Table decorations. Allow businesses to sponsor tables. In addition to naming rights, this means they are in charge of the decorations as well. Bakeries could exhibit their wares. Bars could serve beverages. It’s a fun way to showcase member businesses. The chamber could charge for the sponsorships or auction off the right to sit at the table.
Tasting stations. Host a business expo but instead of business booths, the members offer tastes. These tastes could be beverage or food, whatever fits the chamber theme. It’s similar to allowing a company to sponsor a beer tent at a golf outing. They serve everyone at the event so the business sponsor gets a chance to network with every attendee, plus they have something non-business related to discuss, a great way to build relationships outside of the hard sell.
Bottle auctions. Auctions are popular and overdone in some communities but this is a new twist on an old favorite. Have sponsoring businesses wrap up a bottle of something that reflects their business. A masseuse might wrap up lotion, while a mechanic could do windshield wiper fluid. No one knows what they’re bidding on, only what the business does. This is a funny and enjoyable twist to traditional auctions.
If you think it’s time to ditch your silent auction, go for something more interactive. If you want to see more of the suggestions, or add your own, visit the Chamber Facebook group.
Guest post by Christina Green
Image credit: Norma Davey
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