If you’re looking for a new chamber event idea to get your community excited about the future try an economic forecast event. With an economic forecast event can bring in major (or local) speakers to educate the town about upcoming opportunities and projects. But since the mere phrase of “economic forecasting” makes most people think of a very dry Ben Stein impression, it’s best to let your audience know what to expect.
Hosting an Economic Forecast Event
Here are a few tips to take the ho-hum out of talking about the economy:
- Help attendees see the connection and value in what they’ll learn. Don’t just talk in nebulous concepts about the economy and what a new bridge will mean. Tie it in for them. For instance, if there’s a new festival coming to town help member businesses prepare with ideas of how to market to that crowd and create offers they may enjoy.
- Tie it in with an economic development survey. At the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, their “economic forecast breakfast draws a crowd. It’s sponsored by a local bank who invites employees and clients along with us inviting members. They do a survey each year of employers and employee feelings on the economic climate. The survey results are part of our presentations. It’s a 2-hour long breakfast with presentations from local, state, and federal-level economists. We’ve had the federal reserve the last few years, someone at the state level (most often from our state university system) and then someone to speak on a local topic area such as real estate, education, tourism, etc.” says Maria McCaffrey.
- Invite a dynamic speaker. Your state likely has a state economist or a local professor who can talk with your group. Just make sure they understand you expect them to address local trends too. Many times state leadership will draw its own crowd.
- Personalize the talk to your demographic. Citizens have different concerns at different stages in life. Take a look at your chamber member demographic before hosting an economic forecast event. Is your demographic young? If so, the future of jobs may be on their minds. They may be considering a career change into a hotter market. Or maybe most of them are on the verge of retirement and are wondering what their quality of life will be like in the years to come. Address their needs and you’ll have stronger attendance.
Have you hosted an economic development event? If so, join the conversation here.