Designing an Event that Serves Chamber Members and the Community
Designing a chamber event or program that is effective and delivers results is a tall order, but it can be done. Follow the ChamberMaster blog series on innovation and discover inspiring ideas on how to run an event or program that stands out, produces results, and makes an impact on your community.
As part of the 2014 Innovation Award Competition. Chambers of Commerce across North America submitted an overview of their most innovative (and successful) event or program. In return they were in the running for the $1000 grand prize, awarded by ChamberMaster.
Submissions were judged on creativity, community impact, and chamber value. The competition was powered by StartUpLocal.biz, the provider of an online business competition platform packed with simple tools and expert resources.
This innovative idea is from a 2014 Chamber Innovation Award finalist, the Willoughby Western Lake County Chamber of Commerce in Northeast Ohio.
Their idea? “Think Manufacturing Student Expo”
THE FUTURE STARTS NOW IN WESTERN LAKE COUNTY
The focus of Chambers of Commerce is supporting and growing businesses in the communities they serve. So what better way to make a difference than by promoting the area’s largest sector of business to its future workforce?
The Willoughby Western Lake County Chamber of Commerce decided to think outside the box when creating the “Think Manufacturing Student Expo.” By collaborating with the three other chambers in Lake County, as well as the area’s consortium of manufacturers, an event was created where manufacturers were able to meet and greet area high school students in hopes of having them consider a career in manufacturing.
“With many Lake County manufacturers struggling to find trained youth to replace those who are retiring, we felt it was crucial to support them in their efforts to educate about the viable, well paid jobs in manufacturing,” said Karen Tercek, President & CEO of Willoughby Western Lake County Chamber of Commerce.
Nearly 30 manufacturers had booths at the Expo and were given an opportunity to talk with students about careers, internships, co-ops, and part time jobs with their companies. As a part of the Expo, the chamber also hosted a teachers‘ reception, which included a roundtable discussion on how manufacturing careers and the environment have changed over the past 20 to 30 years. Not only were students and parents being educated at the Expo, so were the teachers who play a critical role in students’ career paths. All in all, it was a great idea that was well executed. And the manufacturers of Lake County couldn’t be more excited about the future.
The way in which chambers provide value to their members is constantly evolving. As demonstrated by the Willoughby Chamber, collaborating with other organizations and chambers to meet the needs of the community can be a win-win.
Keep an eye out for details on the 2015 Chamber Innovation Award competition (coming soon) and win $1500 for your chamber!