If you’re looking for another type of chamber non-dues revenue a walking map may be just what you need.
Before you start sketching out the neighborhood consider the following things:
- Do you want a paper version or an online map?
This depends largely on the demographic using your map. Do you currently have a lot of people asking about paper? If so, stick with it. If not, think about taking it online.
2. Will you charge for a copy?
Back in the day, you could charge for a map of stars homes and other exciting locales but today, everything can be Googled. It’s best to give it away for free and sell ad space.
3. Where will you distribute them?
If you go with a printed map, you need to decide where you’ll give them out. The chamber is the obvious first spot, but will you give them to chamber businesses as well? How about City Hall or the visitors’ bureau if it’s not housed in the same building as the chamber?
3 Ideas for Chamber Maps
Now that you know a few things about the how’s and where’s, it’s important to think about what kind of map you’d like to produce. Here are three options:
Members Only Map
This idea features only member businesses. The downside is that unless you have most of the businesses in town, your map could look very empty and not a great resource for visitors.
This map could showcase beautiful areas to walk (bike or jog) in your town and businesses in the general vicinity of those strolls. You can even list distances, estimated times at a stroll or fast walk, and elevations (if applicable).
Sculpture/Points of Interest or Murals Map
This map can be a lot of fun. In addition to businesses, point out your town’s claim to fame spots, sculptures, murals, fountains, or anything that would make for a nice stop and picture taking opportunity. Have fun with it and share some cool stories.
Add things for history buffs and gossip hounds. Sites like Atlas Obscura and Roadtrippers have huge followings because of the unusual things they cover. Don’t shy away from an interesting story.
No matter what type of map you decide fits your town and your audience best, you can use it as a source of non-dues revenue. Ask an area business to sponsor the printing of your map or create upsell opportunities to be featured. Charge businesses to have their coupons printed around the map border. Or charge businesses to be printed in color while all other businesses are in black and white. If you do an online version, you can charge for spotlights and hyperlinks.
A final word of brutal honesty about maps: the concept of maps as a source of non-dues revenue may be out of date. People mainly use their smartphones for geo-location. But the only way to know whether a map will work for your community or not is to think of your audience.
In the town where I live for instance, we get a lot of older travelers from other countries. Paper maps are ideal for saving data on international phones and they can be used as souvenirs. For older people, it’s also more comforting to have something that doesn’t rely on a signal. Before spending any money on printing, think about your audience.