Monday, September 27, 2010

Chamber BOBs--Why the Chamber offers the best networking opportunity in Clarkston

Since 1987, the Clarkston Area Chamber of Commerce has been uniting local businesses to work together to improve the business opportunities in the Clarkston Area.

One of the most popular and successful ways that we do that is by facilitating the introduction, connection and respectful relationship building between business owners, managers, sales representatives, service organizations and community.

Chamber BOBs--(Business Over Breakfast) are a key example of how this works. Strategically designed, these morning events are hosted by a different business each month.

Members, guests and visitors have a chance to see a new business, get a behind the scenes tour and familiarize themselves with another cornerstone business in our community.

We respect your time, and understand that we're all juggling many responsibilities during the day, so we start on time and end on time. Simple concept--but very important!

When you arrive at a BOB you're greeted by the smiling faces of Chamber staff and Chamber Ambassadors. We help introduce you to others during the social networking portion of the BOB.

Coffee and continental breakfast is offered while you mix and mingle. We don't offer tables and chairs because tables and chairs encourage you to stop networking. Once you plant yourself--you don't meet as many people.

Once everyone arrives we'll make a few announcements, hear from our host business and then move into a fun facilitated networking activity.

With years of networking experience, the Chamber has developed strategic systems, games and activities that increase the opportunity for you to meaningfully connect, reconnect and stay connected to referral partners.

You won't find yourself giving a one minute elevator speech and then sitting and listening to everyone else's speech (again and again) when you come to our events.

There's a place for elevator speeches, but to meaningfully connect, you need to find things in common, share ideas and inspiration. And you need to do it in ways that are fresh, exciting and interactive. You'll find yourself talking as much as listening when you participate in facilitated networking.

You'll have face to face time with business leaders and public policy makers.

Chamber BOBs take into account our natural desire to greet and talk to people we know at events--and the gathering time (social networking portion) lets you do this at the front end of our event. Then we mix and match, shuffle and reshuffle the group. Sometimes we break into small groups. Sometimes it's one on one. Sometimes we have large group interaction. Facilitated Networking is like a rototiller cultivating the fertile soil of business.

People do business with people they know.
People do business with people they like.
People do business with people they trust.

Chamber BOBs help you find out who you know, who you like and who you trust. And they help others find that out about you too.

Build your business by investing in Chamber BOBs.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fall Check List

Ah, September.
Back to school. Cleaning out closets to find the fall clothes that the kids haven't outgrown, setting alarm clocks for the entire family and creating the fire drill that is known as "the bus is coming!"

September is also start up time for many service clubs and organizations to kick back into full gear now that members and volunteers are no longer on vacation. Time is at a premium--there's just so much to get done--and a limited number of free hours left after soccer games, football games, band practice and church committees.

For the Chamber, September is turbo charge time. With so much happening here's a quick reference check list to help you navigate.

1. Register to attend the Chamber's Annual Meeting
This evening event is a great venue to bring your spouse. With a social hour prior to buffet dinner, the program of awards, recognition, fun and surprises is a great way to celebrate doing business in the Clarkston area.

2. Sign up to volunteer at Taste of Clarkston. Shifts run as early as 6 a.m. and as late as 8 pm. Give 2-3 hours, wear your business logo shirt and connect with other business leaders while you serve the community.

3. Get your registration in for the November EXPO. Earlybird discount registration is going on now--Save money by planning ahead.

4. Get your registration in for the October Bulls Eye Business Conference. Three keynote speakers will be at this multi-chamber event at the end of October. The agenda includes networking time--so you get the most out of this event.

5. Update your chamber profile at You can include a current photo, company logo, list of services, discounts and member to member offers when you log in to Members Only.

And take heart. It does get better once we move into October. The routine of a carefully scheduled family calendar starts to sink in--and we get an extra hour when daylight savings time changes.