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Catalyst, Champion, Convener - It’s Time To Tell Your Chamber’s Story

Our coronavirus induced remote world has brought face-to-face events and gatherings to a halt. Unfortunately, live events will likely be slow to return.  And even when they do return, attendance may take some time to rebound.  As such, membership reps can’t lean on events and networking as a key selling point of chamber membership.

In spite of the challenges that COVID-19 has handed chambers of commerce, we see a silver lining. This new normal gives you an opportunity to shift into doing what we think you should have been doing all along, selling your chamber for what it really is – a catalyst, a champion, and a convener for the business community. 

Everything you have done to help your business community survive and recover over the past five months clearly proves that your chamber is an indispensable resource for your community.  You now have a very compelling story to share with prospective members about what you do and how your chamber can be an essential resource for their business.

Each chamber’s story is going to be different, but you can start framing yours by considering those roles mentioned above – catalyst, champion, and convener, and connecting the dots between those roles and the direct actions that your chamber took when COVID-19 became an issue for your community.


For example, when COVID-19 closed communities across the country, many chambers quickly assumed the catalyst role, identifying what needed to happen to help local businesses survive the blunt force of the shutdown. They got the ball rolling with their local governments and other community organizations to put plans into action.


You need to look no further than your chamber’s website to see how you took on the role of champion for your business community. The valuable resources and information you provided to help local businesses access operational guidelines and learn about financial help, the webinars you hosted to connect your business community with experts who could guide business owners through the complexities of the SBA’s emergency funding programs, and the one-on-one calls you took from members who needed some personal attention, made a significant difference for individual businesses and your business community as a whole. You were there when they needed you. That sometimes difficult-to-describe role of advocacy was clearly defined.


From the first stages of shutdown to whatever phase of re-opening your community is in now, your chamber has undoubtedly been a convener in this crisis. You have been the organization that has brought all others together for the greater good and recovery of your community. You have not only been at the table, you have invited the guests and set the table for the tough conversations that needed to happen to make the right choices to balance public health and economic recovery.

Your chamber has always been a catalyst, a champion and a convener, but the crisis of COVID-19 has amplified your response and made the work you do much more visible to the naked eye. It’s time to tell your chamber’s story and to shift the way prospects, members (and maybe even you) define your chamber and its role in your community.

We encourage you to try telling your chamber's story to prospects and members and let us know how it goes. Remember, we’re easy to talk to, and we want to help.

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