There were twelve phenomenal entries.
Twelve chambers from across North America submitted their newly implemented innovative program ideas in Startup Local’s inaugural Chamber Innovation Contest. With this contest, Startup Local celebrates the chamber industry's most innovative chambers and showcases the ideas that are breathing new life and energy into communities throughout North America.
Peterborough Business Exchange (PBX) wins!
The judges had a tough choice to make, as several of the entries were scored incredibly close together. In the end, the 2014 winner was the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce with “Peterborough Business Exchange (PBX)”!
Chamber President and CEO, Stuart Harrison, explains how PBX has dramatically increased the popularity and success of their after-hours events by inviting a different group to join them each month:
“The typical Chamber After-Hours event is the same members talking to each other. PBX invites a different group of people to join us each month, thus creating a brand new opportunity to meet new people every month! So far we've invited the Downtown Merchants, other Chambers, the "Green" business community, The Family Business Group, the aerospace cluster, and meetings are booked with the Manufacturers Association, the Women's Business Network, and more. We meet in a different location each month and our numbers have doubled!”
A statement made by Karen August, the chamber's Manager of Member Services, in a late 2013 Press Release sums it up best:
"PBX will keep most of the popular features of BAH (Business After Hours) - but with one important twist. We will be inviting a different local group or organization to join us each month, giving people more chances to use the power of networking to grow and strengthen their business."
After-hours events are traditionally "members only". Providing exclusive access to these networking opportunities is often used as a key part of the membership sales pitch. The PBX program doesn't open the flood gates, but in a thoughtful and targeted way, opens the door to a wide variety of organizations (even competitors) to create an even more valuable networking experience. More than that, doing so cultivates a spirit of inclusiveness in the community while opening new opportunities for members to make life-changing business connections.
The Greater Peterborough chamber will receive a $1,000 cash prize from Chambermaster, the contest sponsor.
Want to see all of the entries?
Check out all of the innovative ideas here:
Business Walk Program from Marana Chamber of Commerce
CA$H Mob from Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce
Dancing With Prospect Stars from Prospect Area Chamber of Commerce
Health Links Workplace Wellness Program from Vail Valley Partnership
Healthy City Initiative -- Emergency Preparedness Backpack Distribution from Emeryville Chamber of Commerce
#Healthysaratoga from Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce
Monona Chamber's Craft Beer, Cheese & Chocolate Pairing from Monona Chamber of Commerce
Monthly Membership Meeting from Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce
Small Business Vehicle Convoy from Delaware Small Business Chamber
Think Local First from Tri-County Area Chamber of Commerce
"Think Manufacturing" Student Expo from Willoughby Western Lake County Chamber of Commerce
The contest is sponsored by: