The events world has been transformed by COVID-19. With change comes the opportunity to evaluate, rearrange, and take risks. Fortunately, the mission of chambers to support and promote businesses and communities has never been more relevant. The resources offered are meant to assist you in evaluating your events to identify what supports and promotes your chamber’s mission, what can be tweaked, and what should be set aside for the time being.
The skills of event professionals – planning, details, problem-solving, pivoting quickly in response to new situations – are more relevant than ever today. Below are examples of chamber professionals supporting and bringing together their communities through events.
On April 21, the Arlington Chamber of Commerce held its 21st annual Arlington Chamber Volunteer Day, which provides opportunities for local nonprofits to develop relationships with Arlington businesses and for businesses to give back to the community. This year’s event format was revised to be consistent with social distancing requirements and the changing needs of the community. It began with a virtual kickoff, including a message by Congressman Don Beyer. Following the kick-off, over 100 volunteers participated in 16 volunteer projects arranged by local nonprofits. All work was done in accordance with the CDC guidelines to ensure proper social distancing.
On May 6, The McKinney Chamber of Commerce hosted a #McKinneyStrong celebration of Small Business Week. The Mayor, Police, Fire, mounted police, bicycle cops and community partners traveled the city together for 40 miles to wave and shout out to members lined up along the route of the Virtual Parade sporting #mckinneystrong T shirts and signage. This recap video was posted by the McKinney Police Department and shows one of the highlights of the event, in which the Blue Angels flew over the local medical center in a salute to front-line health care workers.
The Wayne County Chamber of Commerce brought the community together through its “Caring for Our Community” project, which supported small businesses and provided meals for our hospital and care facility frontline workers. Over 1,000 meals from chamber member restaurants were delivered as a result of this initiative thanks to donations from corporations, mid-size businesses, and individuals. The chamber also created a video with personal messages from businesses, along with a chamber banner hung in the hospital to thank the staff.