Bringing a Chamber of Commerce Into the Digital Age


Chamber of Commerce

A chamber of commerce typically provides a primary connection point for small businesses and companies in a particular community. That purpose has been instrumental in bringing together businesses with multiple industries, services, and purposes, all sharing the same focus on trying to grow a shared geographic market and profitability in a region.

Modern technology is now making it possible for a chamber of commerce to also proactively reach out to members and provide better information opportunities, as well as gather, support, and advocate for issues that affect members. Doing so allows better representation in a combined manner by a chamber of commerce to legal authorities, making a case to entities like a state legislature, the local city council, or even the federal government.

Considering an App Outreach

One big tech leap that can be easily started today is implementing a mobile app for chambers of commerce priorities. A mobile app is a type of software that works on a mobile device, whether that’s a phone or tablet, and it allows easier connection for those who are already on the go, usually carrying a mobile device with them, and would like to have a direct connection with a source of information. However, unlike the Internet, an app is targeted; it avoids having to look things up, using a browser, and typing in an address through a complicated process of searching.

App features that a chamber of commerce could take advantage of would not only be the collecting of membership information in terms of member profiles, but they can also provide coordinated services and go-to locations for event information, such as for conferences and meetings and hearing agendas, etc. It can also provide a member directory so that members can work and connect and generate new business by defining synergies. 

Better Product from Workgroups

An app allows chamber of commerce groups and subcommittees to coordinate their work for special tasks, such as white papers or major advocacy movements that affect a particular area or a couple of industries instead of the entire membership. App features can provide a forum for discussion where members can share ideas as well, discussing concerns or crosscutting policies that people want to develop. There is also the financial aspect. More specifically, it is far easier for members to maintain their membership through an electronic payment collection tool that can be incorporated within an app. 

Easier Administration Benefits

Finally, there are the standard app features that people enjoy that can be oriented towards a chamber of commerce, such as an electronic calendar of events, dates, and issuing proactive notifications to members, as well as reminding members what type of benefits they have including discounts. There is the ability to leverage sponsorships or support from the chamber as a whole or other members who are participating in similar activities too. Apps can also be shared with the public for chamber outreach.

An app also makes it very easy for a chamber of commerce to collect information from its members in the form of surveys and polls that allow the chamber to put out ideas or questions to the group and get feedback. Topics can be easily surveyed on how the membership feels about new change proposals and representation strategies, for example. There’s also the ability to create a resource library of static information. New members in particular will need direct access to resources and information to get up to speed and understand where they are regarding a chamber. This covers what’s expected as well as what advantages can be provided with membership. An online library connected to an app by a chamber of commerce can provide all of that information when the new member needs it 24/7. 

Networking Matters

Most importantly, an app enhances the ability of a chamber of commerce and its members to connect and stay connected as needs arise, as benefits are provided, and as the whole community works together towards improving the business climate for their region and for their community.

Leave a Comment