If anyone has ever showed up at your place – professionally or personally – with a completely unexpected something, you know how special it makes you feel. Almost better than when someone shows up invited, for a special occasion with gift in hand, because this one is completely unexpected. Your chamber of commerce can create this feeling with member gifts “just because.”
We bring this up because a member of the Chamber of Commerce Group on Facebook asked:
Does anyone have any ideas for inexpensive “thank yous” to drop off to active members just to let them know we are thinking about them? My coworker drops off a bag of popcorn with a note and her business card.
Ways to Make Members Feel Special
There were many great ideas shared, edible and non-edible. It’s hard to find something to appeal to everyone but the great thing about these unexpected gifts is that they are so touching, recipients almost don’t pay attention to the what as much as they do the why.
It makes a member feel appreciated by the chamber.
The one caution is to make sure – and since few of us have the budgets for it, it’s usually not a concern – that these gifts aren’t too extravagant. You don’t want a fiscal conservative wondering how his/her membership dues are being spent.
One chamber gets them from a member at cost because they allow the member to include a business card. Another chamber has a bakery make them with the chamber logo.
A chamber gave out Halloween candy packaged with the member directory and assorted business cards thanking them for membership. Another chamber delivers a Mason jar of hard candy with staff business cards attached via ribbon.
While we’re on the subject of candy, a chamber shared that they did a chocolate bar with a custom wrapper that had details about the membership and community in place of the nutrients. Who wants to see those pesky calories anyway?
Still another chamber gives out smarties with a message thanking members for “being a smartie and joining the chamber.”
With a note that said “just poppin’ in.”
Banana or Zucchini Bread:
Any brick-shaped bread or loaf would do for this idea. Wrap the loaf in red plastic wrap and attach a message thanking them for helping you build a “solid business foundation.”
If you’re looking for something with staying power try one of the following ideas suggested by fellow chamber professionals:
A packet of seeds or a house plant:
Include a message thanking them for “helping you grow the business community.”
With the chamber logo on it.
Of the community, the skyline or landmarks… with the chamber logo.
No matter what you decide, surprising your members with just because gifts makes them feel a part of a strong, friendly community.
Guest post by Christina Green