A chamber pro recently asked a very interesting question:
“What have you done at your chamber in the last year to be considered more relevant?”
Turns out there are a lot of chambers doing some very innovative activities and programs. Many of their ideas are easily implemented. Take a look:
Innovative Ideas for Chambers
Improving Communications and Technology
Thomas Kern shared that his chamber “Created an organization within the community to bring fiber optic broadband directly to homes/businesses.”
Working with the Future Workforce
The Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce focused some of their innovation efforts on the future workforce. They created a scholarship fund and partnered with vo-tech to introduce the future workforce to career options. This program was inspired by the Missouri state chamber’s campaign of “Dream it. Do it.” and Manufacturing Day. They schedule visits for students interested in related fields like welding and technology to local chamber member manufacturers.
For those already in the workforce, the chamber restructured their monthly luncheons to feature more substantive topics like a mini health & wellness expo, social media how-to’s, speed networking, and emotional intelligence in the workplace.
Expanding Community Involvement
The Smithville Area Chamber of Commerce spent this year working on many innovative ideas to improve their community. They worked with the Workforce Commission to expand the Career Fair and include more local businesses, built out community beautification projects, created and expanded their economic development efforts, and doubled their governmental affairs engagement.
Leading from the Top Down
Allison Blake, a new ED, shared a very simple change she has made that created a stir in her community. Like most chambers, they have a shop local program. Allison took it to heart and does nearly all of her shopping locally as well as going to most local events. As Executive Director of the Chamber, she is the face of the chamber and that face shops locally and supports the community whenever possible. She has built connections within her community and built up word of mouth in doing so.
Are you innovating in your chamber? Share it with the group.