It’s All About the Benefits
Submitted to the Union Newspaper
February 19, 2018, by Robin Davies

This month, the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 108th year as a Chamber of Commerce. In those 108 years this Chamber has endeavored to remain a leader in connecting the community, relationship building, education and training, promotional outreach, and sponsoring programs and events.

Today is no different. The focus of the Greater Grass Valley Chamber hasn’t changed and from the list of attributes that make a chamber of commerce relevant to any community here are my “Top Three.”

Relationships. Chamber sponsored networking events offer the opportunity to meet people from a diverse array of businesses and organizations, and to build relationships that support personal and business growth.

Visibility. There’s truth to the old adage, Out of Sight-Out of Mind. Nothing compares to face-to-face interaction with the community or having your brand positioned front and center.

Promotion. Through the benefits that chambers offer there are many opportunities to promote your business and organization either free of charge or at a modest fee.

Which brings me to what’s new at the Greater Grass Valley Chamber.


Building Relationships: Our Chamber has a diverse and fun Business After Hours Mixer Schedule that offers the opportunity to Network! If you attended the 2018 kick-off Joint Chamber Mixer at the Stone House, you know the power of bringing the business community together in a casual social environment. What a great turn out, and I’ve been told that significant connections were made that will be life-changing for one organization. So when’s the NEXT Mixer? You’re invited to join the Grass Valley and Nevada City Chambers on March 8th at the Center for the Arts, 314 West Main Street, Grass Valley, 5:30 to 7:00 PM- mark your calendar NOW!

Visibility: With the creation of the Friends of the Chamber tier in 2013, we realized a full complement of 20 Friends in 2016, going into 2017 with a waiting list. Why? The benefits of this tier of membership come with tremendous promotion and marketing benefits, and the “visibility” component is emphasized.

GV Chamber is pleased to announce that as we entered 2018, the board of directors approved two upper tiers of membership. Champion of the Chamber and Partner of the Chamber, which have been created to accommodate Friends of the Chamber who have expressed a desire to increase their annual financial contribution. Next month I’ll introduce you to our Champions and Partners, but first, a big welcome to Eskaton Village, who just became our newest Friend of the Chamber! Eskaton Village has waited two years to become a Friend and as the first Friend transitioned to a Champion, Paige Ryan, Executive Director of Eskaton Village Grass Valley immediately captured the slot.

Promotion: With business and communication modalities changing rapidly, the GGVCC endeavors to keep pace with technology and have the educational tools to assist members with navigating the latest marketing platforms.

While current marketing trends lean heavily toward digital, marketing in our rural community tends to favor a combination of both “Inbound Marketing” and “Outbound Marketing.” What’s that? Outbound Marketing is defined as “one-way” communication streams such as traditional newspaper, radio and television marketing, while “Inbound Marketing” has become the cornerstone to improving the customer experience, attracting new customers through “two-way” communication via social media platforms. Both are important components of promotional outreach in our community, and we have two new benefits in this category:

Machen MacDonald, ProBrilliance Leadership Institute, and Jon Katis, KNCO for Probrilliance’s 15 minutes in the Business Spotlight

Spotlight- 15 minutes of FREE airtime on KNCO. Each weekday at 3:45 PM the Business Spotlight is “on” a Chamber business or organization. We launched this new Member Benefit with KNCO on January 15th with Lucchesi Vineyards as our first guest. It was serendipitous as their familiar and distinctive label features a spotlight and the winery’s online buying options include an “In the Spotlight” Wine Club.

The benefit has been well received, wildly successful and is currently booked 5 weeks out. The Spotlight program is currently offered exclusively to Grass Valley Chamber Members, and appointments are booked through our office. Call Mary Ann or Sherry at (530) 273-4667 to learn more or to book your 15 minutes in the Spotlight!

To acquaint our members with the merits of “InBound Marketing,” we’ve created a new program called “Social Media Office Hours.” Stephanie Leishman, founder, and owner of Apiarity will provide one-on-one consultation at the Chamber office. Apiarity, a new member of the Chamber, is a Grass Valley-based company offering social media marketing services for businesses, universities, nonprofit organizations, startups, and individuals. Prior to relocating to Grass Valley, Stephanie was the first social media strategist for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, advising more than a hundred departments across the MIT campus.

Stephanie will take a look at your existing online social media presence, show you how to “get found,” convert your fans into prospects, and analyze the data to understand what needs to change in your online platform to improve results. Appointments are necessary, and the sessions are free. Each member will be given two hours total, booked in half hour sessions. Call the Chamber office at (530) 273-4667 for more information or to book an appointment.

As you can see, we are off and flying in 2018 – so if you’re presently not a member of the Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce, what’s your hesitation?  Whether you’re considering membership, or are an existing member, give us a call or stop in the Chamber because membership with our Chamber is all about maximizing the benefits for you!