Does your chamber do lunch mobs or cash mobs? Results?
Nice work Matthew Bott on this one.
A chamber event lunch mob is an informal lunch gathering at a member business. Those in attendance pay for their own meal.
This benefits the chamber because it’s a fun activity that focusses on connecting members without a lot of the formality (or selling) of an evening networking event. It’s also a boost to the local business that gets a lunchtime rush thanks to the chamber’s efforts. It may also introduce new customers to the restaurant. Some member businesses will offer specials just for the group.
A cash mob encourages people to shop at a local business at a certain time and day. The concept originated in Cleveland to help a struggling independent bookstore and now cash mobs are making national news.
Some sponsoring groups ask that participants spend a minimum of $20 at the store. Others just encourage supporting them.
Most cash mobs are stoked through social media. They have the same benefits as a lunch mob — they’re fun, helpful and provide great PR.
Tips for Starting a Chamber Cash Mob
Tell their story. Pick a local business with a great story. Since you’ll be inviting the community, choose a local business with something to say. You’ll want the kind of story people hear and immediately want to support such as a veteran-owned business, a mom and pop that’s fallen on hard times, etc.
However, make sure it is their story not just one you’re choosing to tell. You don’t want to inadvertently cause any hard feelings.
Use social media. Post it everywhere. Ask people to share. Tell the member business’ story.
Use traditional media. Create a press release. Use your local newspapers or press, if possible. (This will largely depend on the size of your town.) Make the conversation about supporting this business, other local businesses and the chamber’s mission of being an advocate for local business.
Ask for an offer. This is not something you have to publicize, however, if word gets around that your member businesses who are part of the cash mob offer discounts during the mob, this may drive attendance for future cash mobs.
Highlight an area. If your town has pockets of shopping areas, do a cash mob for the street, much the same way people organize bar crawls. Create your own cash crawl, shop ’til you drop.
Pick the right business. Cash mobs work best for businesses that have an array of affordable products that appeal to the general public. If you want to host a cash mob at a business that does not fit this description, think about including it in an area/strolling cash mob not as a standalone.
Don’t lose momentum. If this is something you want to do on a regular basis, listing upcoming cash mob businesses or asking members for nominations for the next business can be done on your website or on a social media profile.
If this becomes enormously successful for your cash mob businesses, you may have more requests than you’ll know what to do with, so consider putting a business selection policy in place before hand. Give some thought as to whether you’ll take nominations or chose randomly. The last thing you want is alienating a member because he or she doesn’t get a cash mob on his/her desired schedule.
Guest post by Christina Green
Image via Flickr by downtownelgin