Are local chambers of commerce worth the membership fee?
I have received several messages from our local chamber of commerce to join. It costs several hundreds of dollars for an annual membership. We have a lot of free events in our area and I am wondering the value of joining the chamber. Curious if others are members of any chambers and if they find value. Thank you.
Do not hesitate to meet the business owners already registered to the chamber . The chamber should have a website with a list of local businesses . You should , over the conversations , get answers to some of your questions
Being a part of your local chamber of commerce come with quite a few benefits that pays off in starting and growing your business. However, there are ways around paying those hefty fees and still enjoy those benefits. Feel free to message me personally if you would like to find out how.
We have several Chambers of Commerce here in the Albuquerque metro area. I attended any number of their free events when I was first in business and determined my target audience was not among their membership. As a result, I saw no value in joining.
They are usually full of small businesses trying to sell you their services but are too small to afford yours - or in my case!!
It really depends on the size of your business, your target customers and if you like small talk!!
Not a fan of CoC.
As with many things, it depends on the Chamber.
As a long time member of several Chambers, I will say that the several hundred dollar fee is a great investment towards the tens of thousands of dollars I get in business every year through my networking efforts.
So yes, I definitely find value in certain Chambers of Commerce.
Though it did take some work and time to develop the relationships that lead to this sort of value. In other words, I wasn't getting tens of thousands of dollars in referrals the first year I joined.
It can still be a very worthwhile investment.
Here's a quick video I did on how to decide if a Chamber is right for you, and how to maximize the value of the Chambers (or other networking groups) you already belong to: https://youtu.be/gGjyeUZSO9M
Feel free to message me privately if you want to discuss further.
My Personal Experience: Local Chamber
- Joined 1996 - Cost $250 Per Year - Now - It's Over $750
- Membership Events Were Good Networking BUT
Everyone Was After The Same Objective - Sale Their Stuff To You!
- It's Like: Going To A Free Advertising Site And Everyone Is Hoping
You'll Buy From Them When They're Not In The Market At All, To Buy From
- Open Chamber Events (i.e.Expos, Community Events) Good For Leads Outside Members.
- Advertising Offline Directory/Online Site: Again, Everyone Looking To Sell, No One Looking To Buy.
- Over-All: Over Rated - Over Priced - Under Delivered.
Sure the Chamber Will "Romance" You With Their Benefits And Their Reach, But, It's Really A Social Club, Of Smiling Folks Hoping To Sell You Something, Not Buy From You.
Hope That Helps!
P.S. Remember the Chamber Is There To Help People Moving In The Area. And Showing Visitor What's Available To Them And Hand Out Information. If that's your market, you have a chance...
I have been a member of my local Chamber for about 8 years. I have found it to be worth the cost. But your situation may be different than mine.
First of all, don't expect to join and get business quickly. It takes time to build relationships. Don't be the person that hands out cards to everyone at meetings. Rather talk to a few people and get to know them and how you may be able to help them grow their business. When you show you are a giver and not a taker, you'll begin to get referrals. I have built fantastic relationships this way.
My chamber has sub-groups within the chamber that offer educational presentations each month related to certain industries or levels of business, and I have found these helpful as well. For instance, we have a small entrepreneur program, health and wellness, technology, financial, etc. I find the information shared in the specific meetings I attend are helpful to me and my business.
So to make a long story a bit shorter, you may get referrals once relationships are built, and you may have other ways your investment can pay off, but it depends on your specific chamber, the members, and how involved you are. If you go only once in a while, you may find it isn't worth the cost.
In my opinion and experience, there are without any doubts many benefits when joining a local chamber of commerce and especially if you relocate to a new town or country. Among these benefits, it is a quick manner to have an easy access to the local business community through which you can develop your own local network, exposure and business. They also help a lot to allow you to better understand your business environment receiving key information (market information, suppliers/buyers, participation in trade fairs and events,...). They also organize, through their committees many events, seminars on specific topics inviting panels of experts in this subject (HR, Legal, Digital Marketing, ...)
I wish all you a lovely end of week.
There will be hundreds and thousands of these kind of group who would want you to join them in return of few $ but if you will join all of them you will be spending more then you are earning and it will result you nothing. Instead there are lot of these free clubs which you can join