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Everything is cancelled

Community leaders need community followers. And I was on a call with about twenty or so community leaders here in Salem, Oregon, last week. They were talking about events and gatherings that they had planned for their followers -- and they were using the word "cancelled" over and over again. 

Man that is depressing. What a bunch of quitters. But Kyle it's too hard. Hey I'm a Chamber People OK? We find the upside to stuff. We look for opportunities. 

Hey if you don't believe in your own cause then by all means, cancel that thing you never should have been doing in the first place. 

Quick story: There was a conference last week. It was supposed to be $3,000 to attend this two-day conference with about two or three hundred people in Nashville, Tennessee. The leader of that team said, "We will not cancel. Our people are counting on us to find a way." 

Not only did that show go on, but they wound up with 900 people in this conference. Because they...

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What should you do about invoicing your members right now? 


I get it: when the economic mood changes, sending invoices for membership renewals can make you feel uncomfortable. 

Three things you need to know before you delay your invoicing.

  1. Delaying your renewals is a bad idea. I've been through four of these shifts in my chamber career and if anything you should be thinking sending invoices early by a week or two. Don't be the last one to get paid. 

  2. Not every business is hurting right now. Grocery, McDonald's double drive thrus, shipping companies, delivery businesses and home improvement stores are all still busy. So are gun shops and many of the remaining local book stores, especially religious book stores. 

  3. You need to know about the Economic Recovery Grant. It's something my boss and I created in 2009 and it still works today. 

There are two situations where it's appropriate to use this valuable tool. 

  1. When a member reaches out to you to cancel their membership

  2. When a member is more than 30...

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What should you do next? 

What should we be doing next? Three things...

  1. Don't contribute to panic, doom or gloom

  2. Deal in facts

  3. Refuse to predict

Don't panic... When you add adjectives to your message, such as "unprecedented" or "crazy," you are piling on to the emotions of those we are trying to help. If you need to vent, or rant, make sure you're doing it privately. Your tribe needs you to be on your A-game. 

Deal in facts... There are lots of organizations who now believe they are in the business of sharing unfiltered information. The problem is that the information is buried in corporation-speak. Instead of passing along information they already know or are getting from somewhere else, be the filter. Pass on ONLY the directions they NEED to KNOW or the advice that only you can give. 

Refuse to predict... Everyone is a pundit, it seems. Don't fall into the trap of trying to predict an outcome here. Everyone is dealing with change. Not every business is suffering. If you don't believe...

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How can you keep your meetings during a stay-at-home order? 

  Your meetings can keep on happening -- and I believe they should. Here's what you need to know about virtual meetings. 

  1. Live Video has the best engagement, so if you're comfortable with it, I suggest you give it a go with Zoom or Facebook Live.

  2. Second best for engagement is to record your video, upload it to Facebook, and then do a watch party at a time where you would normally meet. 

  3. Many of our members are asking for ways to engage and connect with each other and not just your chamber. With that in mind, you should be thinking about creating a GROUP on Facebook for each of the different groups that you manage. Even better, when you broadcast live for that group's meeting, you can do your Facebook Live right inside that Facebook Group. 



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