No one joins the chamber solely for chamber ribbon cuttings, yet they are a nice perk of membership. But should they be?
What does your chamber do when a new business asks you to do a ribbon cutting but doesn’t want to join the chamber? What if that new business is connected in some way to a chamber board member or high-ranking local official and asks you to borrow your ribbon cutting scissors when you advise them chamber ribbon cuttings are for members only?
On this blog we’ve talked about the benefits of chambers viewing all businesses as members. Should that extend to ribbon cuttings?
Reasons Why You Don’t Want to Limit Ribbon Cuttings to Members
You don’t want to be known as (solely) the ribbon-cutting people because that’s probably something a business needs 1-2 times in its existence. If that’s all they want from you, they’ll join initially and choose not to renew the following year. Chamber ribbon cuttings don’t offer sustainable value. But that’s not the only reason you don’t want to make them a members’ only benefit.
Anyone Can Become the Ribbon Cutting People
There is very little cost of entry to take over that title. A pair of scissors, some ribbon, and a method to get the word out means someone can easily take over the reputation if that’s all you’re offering. Don’t make it tempting for them to do so by cutting off new business just because they refuse to pay dues.
Many chamber professionals charge for ribbon cuttings. Coincidentally, the cost of a ribbon cutting is often the same as the cost of membership.
It Makes a Great Impression
As Karen Teeters, the Executive Director of the Charleston Area Chamber of Commerce said, “We do ribbon cuttings for businesses whether they join or not. It’s a great way to make a positive impression on a new business. So for me it’s a nonissue. All we are out is a tiny bit of time and some ribbon. I don’t understand why a chamber would want to make a ribbon cutting a member only thing.”
What impression do you want to make to new business? Join the conversation here.
Get the complete guide to ribbon cuttings with our Beginner’s Guide to the Chamber Ribbon Cutting Ceremony