Wow. Joined My Chamber Of Commerce And......

Business By Cakenicing4u Updated 31 Jan 2010 , 10:45pm by DelectabilityCakes

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Cakenicing4u Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 6:08pm
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icon_biggrin.gif Ok, so the saga of opening with two competitors on the block continues... This week, I decided to check out our local Chamber of Commerce to see what they offered--It was on my list.

OY. It's $30 a month or $350 a year. When you're counting pennies, it seems awful expensive!! My sister, the marketing guru was telling me to join, and I was resisting (FOR A YEAR!) finally, this week, I decided, what the heck!? May as well join... I need to get the word out as much and as fast as possible!

So, Tuesday I called to inquire about joining, and they called back and said, if you join this week, you'll be published in our new directory, but this is the last day... it gets printed next week.... so if you want to join, call us back and then we will set you up. Cool. I ran down to their office in the afternoon to drop off my app, and as I'm leaving the lobby, the membership rep calls me back to set up an appointment to go over the benefits of joining.. icon_rolleyes.gif I said, I'll be there in a minute! thumbs_up.gif

The benefits-- NETWORKING and a lot of it... free counseling, free seminars, many events... health insurance programs for the self employed, FREE Radio advertising offer -12 mentions in a week, FREE newspaper - 10" of column space! same offer for the small local newletters, complimentary ribbon cutting ceremony that gets photographed for the Chamber newsletter, and they send rep's to attend as well. 10% discount in the local magazine, Awesoome... but i'm double parked, so I took off in a hurry!

5pm Tuesday, their events coordinator calls... she wants to know if I would like to be a vendor icon_surprised.gif a what???? icon_surprised.gif in their Wednesday night 70's theme winter picnic event, at a location a block from my shop!! I was thinking of attending.. but I know me-- I'm happier to be behind a table of treats!! thumbs_up.gif Countdown starts... ran for groceries, then home-- 20 hours to make samples, display cakes, get ready etc.. icon_eek.gif

3 pm Wednesday, I pull up with 400 decorated mini cupcakes, 100 decorated favor cookies, one display cake and a handful of plates and things. 70's was a easy theme... peace signs, smiley faces, daisy flowers, tie dye, etc My sister dropped off a few new biz cards, and I set up. Phew!

4pm thumbsdown.gif table looks too plain!!! I ran a block over to the paper place to get some napkins and balloons... thumbs_up.gif perfect!

5-8 pm---Blurry icon_smile.gif Smile and Talk .... talk and smile..... give out lots of samples... RAN OUT of biz cards, magnets, postcards... everything but cupcakes and cookies, LOL icon_rolleyes.gif What a great night!! It was a 'winter picnic' where the food people in the chamber get to come and hand out samples and talk up their businesses.. and the people come to taste and check it out... I was one of about 30 businesses handing out samples, so no wonder I had leftovers!

Excellent event... worth the hour of sleep I got in those two days!!
icon_lol.gif the hotels that cater weddings and events talked to me...
icon_lol.gif The caterers that book weddings came to talk to me......
icon_lol.gif The hairdressers came to talk to me (women always want baked goods)
icon_lol.gif The DJ talked to me about putting a display in his office...
icon_lol.gif A bank officer talked to me about a biz loan.....
icon_lol.gif the borough managers talked to me about my shop.....
icon_lol.gif The local shops talked to me about their shops and my shop....
icon_lol.gif a few of the restaurants talked to me about desserts for their shops....
icon_lol.gif the March of Dimes is thinkin about my cookies for 'Blue jeans for Babies' time (I made bell bottom cookies)

And those leftovers? thumbs_up.gif The local women's shelter came around at the end of the night and collected everything, and gave out receipts too!!

I swear-- I think my jaws were more tired than any other part of me!

So-- There you have it!! JOIN YOUR CHAMBER!! icon_biggrin.gif

22 replies
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2SchnauzerLady Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 6:21pm
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Congrats - all the work of trying to network all in one evening - WOW! Sounds like everyone was there you needed to network with. That should give you the big boost all businesses need!

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Butterpatty Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 6:22pm
post #3 of 23

Sounds like a very productive few days!

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costumeczar Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 6:22pm
post #4 of 23

Excellent! Love the networking groups...

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Mensch Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 8:25pm
post #5 of 23

Well done!

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Peridot Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 8:36pm
post #6 of 23

WOWZA! I just got excited reading your post! And got tired too - I just kept reading faster and faster as if I were at the event!!

Good for you!! I am happy to hear that joining this group went to well for you. And all of those contacts!!

Keep us posted on what is going on with your store - your posts are always very interesting!!!

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letterpusher Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 8:48pm
post #7 of 23

That's AWESOME!!!!! Best Wishes to you.

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Mensch Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 8:48pm
post #8 of 23

LOL! me too. When I finished her description I was all out of breath! And tired!

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Cakenicing4u Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 8:59pm
post #9 of 23

icon_biggrin.gif Awww thanks guys... I am tired, but I don't want to complain yet!! This is the path that I choose, and If it means that there are many days like that coming up-- well, bring it on!! Honestly, when I'm in the zone, time just flies by... I have pictures up on Facebook... pictures of my table and the 2 hour display cake. TOTALLY not original, but I loved the design and knew I could pull it off.. and hey, it went over well! Thanks everyone... I love to share the joy!

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Mensch Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 9:00pm
post #10 of 23

in the zone...


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DDiva Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 9:02pm
post #11 of 23

Wow!! Wherever you are, you have a GREAT Chamber!!!
They are not all created equal. My city's Chamber dues are $400, payable all at once. They don't have any of the events that you listed. They do have a magazine. They have one Vendor's event that is held once a year at our almost empty shopping mall...and it's $300 for a 6 ft. table.

So, check to see what the Chamber actually DOES before you sign up.

Again, yours is GREAT!!

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snarkybaker Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 10:41pm
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I guess I am not at all sure why you are excited. What it looks like to me, is that you PAID to have the opportunity to GIVE away a lot of cupcakes.

We used to be members of our local Chamber, but in the year we were members the chamber bought one $25 cake from us and requested over $1100 dollars in donations at various times.( They didn't get them - They got cupcakes ONCE) And, our chamber charges by the employee, making our contribution something in the neighborhood of $600 a year.

Glad you had a good time, and I hope you get some business from the event.

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thecookieladycc Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 10:55pm
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Evoir Posted 29 Jan 2010 , 11:14pm
post #14 of 23

Sounds very promising icon_smile.gif

Please keep us updated on how the business goes now that you have all the new contacts!!

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LaBellaFlor Posted 30 Jan 2010 , 2:16am
post #15 of 23

Thats is so great! I love when I hear people having success!

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sweetartbakery Posted 30 Jan 2010 , 12:46pm
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Classycakes Posted 30 Jan 2010 , 12:56pm
post #17 of 23

Way to go!!!! Congratulations and best of luck!

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Cakenicing4u Posted 31 Jan 2010 , 12:13am
post #18 of 23

I guess that there are two ways of looking at it--yeah I spent money to make and decorate the stuff I gave away, so yeah, I lose money that way... but I met 200+ people I never would have any other way, so if it takes $50 in baked good to put me in front of 200+ people, it's worth it! Had I attended the event instead of participating... I would have been in and out of there in about 20 minutes... instead of making all the connections that I did!! You have to pick your poison... I am very happy with the decision I made to participate. Will I make as much next time? Probably not... I'll do more displays and less sampling icon_biggrin.gif and take twice as many marketing materials as I think I might need!!

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jewelsq Posted 31 Jan 2010 , 3:30am
post #19 of 23

I would encourage you to STAY involved in the Chamber and any other committees or organizations that might suit your interests.

Getting involved in both my chamber and my community has paid off immensely.

And about "paying to give away your stuff"...What you spent was probably less than one print ad would cost and nothing can sell you like the delicious taste of your product attached to a smiling face.

Well done!

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all4cake Posted 31 Jan 2010 , 3:45am
post #20 of 23

Sounds like less money than one would spend on one bridal fair(maybe two depending on the size) which is a one time advertisement arrangement...

Cakenicing4u, it does sound like ya'll's chamber has a lot to offer for the money. I'm glad it turned out well for you and hope it only multiplies your business.

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Kitagrl Posted 31 Jan 2010 , 3:58am
post #21 of 23

That's a great idea, I'm going to look into mine and see if it looks worthwhile...

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heavenlys Posted 31 Jan 2010 , 3:58am
post #22 of 23

So excited for you! Sad my chamber doesn't do things like that icon_sad.gif They try but fail miserably

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DelectabilityCakes Posted 31 Jan 2010 , 10:45pm
post #23 of 23

Awesome for you.. sounds like a hectic but rewarding time.

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