What is a Business After 5 event?
It is a series of member-hosted member-exclusive monthly events that present opportunities for casual networking for our members. Hosting a Business After 5 event is your chance, as a member, to put your best foot forward and leave an impression on a large number of your fellow members.
These events should be considered an “open house”, an opportunity to show off your products, services, and facility to Chamber members. We know you want to make a great impression, which is why is extremely important to create a positive and memorable experience.
Members are always curious about hosting their own great Business After 5 Events. Start with the information below and then give us a call or email to book your date!
So, how exactly do you organize a fun and unforgettable experience?
You can start by doing the following:
1. Book Early with our Director of Membership and Stakeholder Relations, Dan Sakaki
The Chamber’s calendar can be very busy, and events are planned months in advance. If your member business is interested in possibly hosting a Business After 5, please contact Dan Sakaki to review the criteria and see if it’s a fit. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Have Great Business Card Draw Prizes
People love free things! It is a great incentive to encourage them to attend the event and leave a lasting impression. The winner will always remember where and how they won a prize, always keeping your business in mind. The Chamber can often supply a prize or two as well.
3. Memorable Food and Beverages
You’re the host of this party, and every good party host knows that great food and drinks keep your guests happy, and incentivize them to visit. This is also an opportunity for you to collaborate with other members to ensure equal success. We recently had a member host a Business After 5 and arranged to have fellow Richmond Chamber members provide the catering, wine, beer, and coffee! Some even donated business card draw prizes. This is an example of how the Richmond Chamber community can work together!
4. Serve Alcohol
While not mandatory, it is surely an added bonus and liked by many of our attendees. It is often a great idea to provide drink tickets (2 is most common) to keep track of alcohol. Wine, Beer, and/or Champagne are usually the most popular options. Again, much like food, free alcohol is bound to be a motivator for members to attend the event. You may need to apply for a Special Event Permit.
5. Provide Tours of the Facility
Whether you have been in business for a long time or are just starting out, it is a great idea to give tours of your facility to familiarize your fellow members with your business. This is also a great way to pitch your business to the attendees and show them how things are done at your business.
6. Have Engaging Staff to Interact with Members
Your staff is representing your business for the night. Part of the strong impression you will make on your guests is through a fun and engaging team. A fully engaged and energetic staff is a strong indicator of the kind of service members can expect when they do business with you!
7. Keep Speeches to 2-3 Minutes
Every Business After 5 event has a brief presentation. This includes a brief welcome and introduction by the Chamber staff. After which, the hosts have a chance to speak, followed by announcing the business card draw winners. We encourage hosts to keep their speeches to 2-3 minutes. This should be sufficient time to tell your story, keeping in mind that personal interactions will take place between guests and staff throughout the evening.
8. Hire a Photographer
Your event will be remembered through photographs. It is likely that you will be posting photos of the event on your social media and some attendees may repost them, including the Chamber staff. Therefore, it is essential to tell a memorable visual story and the best way to do it is by hiring a skilled professional.
9. Ensure Ample Parking
Many guests will be driving to your venue; therefore, it is extremely important to make sure you can accommodate parking for at least 80 people nearby. Please also provide clear instructions for accessing your venue on transit.
And that’s it! If you do all these things, you are guaranteed to have a successful event.
Remember The Chamber delivers the crowd and you provide a memorable experience!
Ask yourself what takeaway do you want to leave with our members?
Interested in hosting? Please do not hesitate to reach out to our Director of Membership and Stakeholder Relations, Dan Sakaki. He will be more than happy to discuss with you what’s expected and how to create value for you and Chamber members.
He can be reached at email@example.com or 604-278-2822. We are always here to help and ensure you pull off a successful event.
*The number of Business After 5s is limited. As a result, opportunities to host are at the sole discretion of the Chamber Board and staff.
**Hosts must have been a Chamber Member in good standing for a minimum of one year before being considered for hosting a Business After 5.
Attend our networking events to familiarize yourself before you host your own!
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"At Scotiabank, we believe that every customer has the right to become better off. Our partnership with the Richmond Chamber of Commerce enables us to connect with and understand our community; and provide support to hardworking local business owners through financial advice and solutions to help them achieve success."
Christine Lim, Branch Manager - Scotiabank Richmond Financial Centre