Did you? Because I sure didn't until I brought up the idea I had for members only, rattling around in my head like a dry pea in a can.
So here is my idea: what if we had a scavenger hunt on our social media sites (Instagram and Facebook, mostly, and announced in the Connections Newsletter) that was for members only. They could win cool stuff like free coffee, free lunch, free stuff. Good stuff. Not just any stuff. And what if the scavenger hunt was to identify the location of the Chamber mascot at another Chamber member's business? What a great idea right?! Who doesn't like free stuff.
So I thought, what would be a great Chamber mascot? A coyote would be appropriate for the area, but maybe not very endearing. An eagle would be cool but I feel like that's been done before (how and where I do not know; don't ask me tough questions like that). Ooh, river otters are totally adorable. Maybe...I got it! A wildebeest. I found a really cool one too.
I almost don't even have words to type for you. But I feel like I owe it to my fans (I know you're out there) to describe what #RBIS16 was like. If you followed us on Instagram and Facebook, you got to see my nerdy self going live at the event. That is about as close as I can bring you but let me try to recap.
First, the people. We had an amazing turn out at this year's event. So. Many. People. It was fantastic, all the ideas and learning and networking flying around were almost tangible. We had amazing exhibitors. I think I might have made a few friends for life. We had terrific speakers. You met a few on the blog, but they have layers you just can't express in a mere five minute interview. The food was amazing. My feet had their own pulse from all the running around and my face hurt from all the smiling. It was so much fun.
But now it's over. The posters are recycled. The soda cans are empty. The flyers are outdated. The social media posts gather no more likes. And I have that sort of after Christmas morning feeling...where have all the pretty ribbons gone?!
Imagine, if you will, that you are about six foot, eight inches tall and that your name rhymes with…LeCron Rames. At six foot eight, finding a suit…or even casual clothes…with some style might be a bit of a challenge, amiright? That’s where Athlete’s Brand comes in.
Meet the founder of Athlete’s Brand, Kyle Mauch. Growing up in rural Klamath Falls, Oregon has a lot to do with the success of Kyle’s endeavors: a small town, where sports rule and those who excel at sports are the kings of the county. But how much of that has anything to do with Kyle’s success in the big world outside of insular Klamath Falls?
(click the sideways triangle or you end up at YouTube's website and not reading my blog which is a travesty)
By now, I would hope you have heard of the Rural Business & Innovation Summit 2016. We have been calling it #RBIS16 because it's much shorter and kinda catchy.
If you don't know, #RBIS16 is a gathering of business minded folks who can learn, collaborate, and participate in workshops geared toward making business in the Basin successful. We have some amazing speakers lined up for the two day event, and I was lucky enough to chat with one of our speakers, Ruth Miles.
Ruth works for the Office of Small Business Assistance, Oregon Secretary of State, as a small business advocate. Here is a picture of her so that when you go to #RBIS16, you know whose autograph you are asking for:
How many visitors do you think we have calling us here at the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce every day? Let me tell you, the number is more than the size of a Hobbit's bread basket. In fact, our top two viewed businesses this month on Klamath.org/directory were hotels. But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s start with Reason Number 1 why hotels should be Chamber Members.
By now, you've probably figured out that there is some new person at the Klamath Chamber, posting all these strange things on Facebook and the Chamber blog and a few other places, too. At least, I hope you have noticed! It's a lot of work being this weird.
A little about me: I'm the same age as Heather, so if you don't know how old she is then you don't know how old I am. I have a Bachelor's degree in English. I'm a published author (hence the reason I have taken over this blog for my own nefarious purposes). I am a painter (nothing you've seen, I'm guessing). I'm a knitter. A dreamer. A candlestick maker (okay, technically, I haven't made candlesticks yet but it's on the list). I'm a wife to an amazing husband and the mother to two fantastic daughters, ages 21 and 11 (I love to use parentheses even though I know I shouldn't use them as much as I do and all my professors would be so annoyed with me right now).
I bring my wits to the table*, and the ability to turn a neat phrase. I have extensive customer service and marketing experience, and I love showing others how they can use social media to their own advantage. I'm excited to work for the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce and implement some of the ideas I have on how to market our members, build relationships, and provide a measureable asset. I'm a bit quirky, love to laugh, but know how to work hard and get things done. (*try to)
Restaurants need diners, which means they need to make people aware they are open. The Klamath County Chamber has access to a large audience. It’s a natural fit. Here are the top three reasons, in no particular order, why your restaurant should be a member:
- Do you have any idea how many times a day we (here in the Chamber offices) are asked where a good place to eat is located in town? Both on the phone and in person, tourists and townfolk alike contact us for eating suggestions. As a part of the Chamber’s member directory, your business information is provided to tourists and visitors to the region who are looking for the best in dining experiences. Of our top ten viewed businesses this month, two of them are restaurants. Is one of them yours? Are you in our business directory? Take a look here; this is where we at the Chamber look to refer our members to those daily questions regarding gustatory satisfaction. If you’re not a member, call us or click to learn how your business can be part of the Borg Collective…I mean the Klamath Chamber.
- Social media is one of the most effective tools restaurants have at their disposal because the medium is extremely friendly to their business. Visuals go a long way. The Chamber can help you maximize your social media presence. Are you having a special event at your restaurant? Is the lead singer of a popular band leading your first ever karaoke tournament, or have you just started offering a free puppy with every latte? These are the things that social media was made for! If you’re not sure how to utilize social media to your advantage, call the Chamber and let us know. We’re here to help!
- Catering, sponsorship, and event hosting opportunities are opportunities you should definitely not miss! If you sponsor an event, such as, say, the Klamath County Chamber’s annual Golf Tournament, guess how many people are seeing your business name? There are many opportunities to host events; you could contact the Klamath Chamber to host a Greeters networking meeting, which is a great opportunity to also provide a taste of what your restaurant has to offer. Word of mouth (if you’ll pardon the pun) is just as effective as social media when it comes to spreading the news that your restaurant is full of culinary delights. Do you offer catering services? Inquiring minds...and stomachs...want to know!
I don't know about you, but I always find myself feeling a little like a proud mama when I hear that someone from my hometown has gone out into the world and grown up to be someone who is successful in their chosen field. How success is measured can be a somewhat subjective topic, but I think we can all agree that Kyle Mauch, Klamath Falls and Founder and CEO of AthletesBrand.com, fits that category to a tee (if you'll pardon the sporty pun).
I'm hoping that you've at least heard of the Rural Business & Innovation Summit by now. If you haven't, then you should check it out here at the website. At RBIS, on Thursday, September 15th 2016, participants will have the opportunity to hear Kyle give his presentation titled “Living Life with Purpose”.
Currently hanging his hat in Scottsdale, Arizona, Kyle grew up here in rural Klamath Falls. Now, he is the host of the Success at Success podcast on iTunes, founder and CEO of AthletesBrand.com, heads the Athlete Mastermind with the world’s top athletes in business, and speaks at the top conferences and Universities around the country. Including RBIS!
Who among you hasn't heard of RBIS? It looks like misspelled ribs, but actually, it's more exciting even than BBQ! RBIS stands for "Rural Business & Innovation Summit" and is a two day long event packed full of exciting presentations, award winning speakers, informative workshops, and valuable networking opportunities. Still not convinced? Check out Vince Adams, Extension Educator, director of the Rural Communities Explorer (RCE) (a web based tool that provides data and contextual information about communities in Oregon), and one of the speakers at this year's RBIS.
On Wednesday September 14th, Vince will lead a workshop titled “Latinos in Oregon: Challenging the American Dream”. The workshop will focus on the importance of including the growing Latino community in economic and business development. The workshop will touch on some of the social and economic challenges facing the Latino community.
The annual Rural Business & Innovation Summit 2016 event will held at Klamath Community College on September 14th and 15th.