How Chambers of Commerce Can Leverage Mobile to Generate Non-Dues Revenue
Once upon a time, chambers of commerce could depend solely on membership dues to sustain their programs and provide benefits for local businesses, but those days are behind us now. With competition at an all-time high, the business community is expecting more from chambers, from enhanced networking opportunities and legislative action to more exposure and SMB benefits - and all of those programs and the resources needed to run them require additional funds. So looking for new ways to generate non-dues revenue, while also staying relevant in today’s tech and mobile-centric ecosystem has never been more important for chambers of commerce.
Luckily, chambers have quite a few options at their disposal for building non-dues revenue, some more modern than others. Golf tournaments, educational events, affinity programs and traditional print publications still have their place in the non-dues revenue toolkit. Looking to digital products that both drive new non-dues revenue while also providing member benefits is a growth opportunity for the successful chamber of commerce of the future.
Mobile solutions can form the backbone for non-dues revenue initiatives, creating synergies to support existing efforts as well as open the door to new opportunities.
Non-Dues Revenue Options on Mobile
A flexible mobile solution can support non-dues revenue in a variety of ways -
1) Support for existing non-dues revenue initiatives - Whether it is a legislative trip, golf tournament or educational course, mobile solutions can offer an easy way for members to register, pay, get reminders/updates and access digital tools such as interactive maps, calendar integration and programs.
2) Enhanced sponsorship and advertising opportunities - You may already have advertising and sponsorship options on your website or e-newsletter, but with more and more traffic on mobile, it only makes sense to extend your digital options via a mobile solution.
3) Taking your member directory to the next level - Printed directories and standard online listings are limited in terms of interactive multimedia that really connects with the community and displays all that your members have to offer. Mobile solutions include integration with smartphones so that GPS mapping, links to social media profiles, digital coupons and interactive elements place members in the spotlight and connect users in meaningful ways.
4) Opportunities for new partnerships - Mobile solutions are flexible enough to provide new ways for chambers of commerce to lead the way in partnering with other major organizations in the community such as the city, county, CVB, ISD, economic development corporation and local medical center to create comprehensive community portals. Mobile solutions offer a way to meet all of a community’s digital information needs in a complete mobile package.
How to Choose a Mobile Solution for Your Chamber
Mobile platforms run the gamut from “plug and play” systems to fully custom build-outs. When considering a mobile platform for your chamber and community, you will want to evaluate the pro’s and con’s of the vendors and solutions in your consideration set.
Some things to consider when shopping for a mobile solution -
- How flexible is the solution in terms of branding, navigation and features?
- How much does the solution cost? Is there a start-up fee? What is the cost for ongoing maintenance?
- How long will it take to develop and launch the solution internally in your chamber, and to the public?
- What resources in time, promotion and upkeep will your chamber need to devote to the project to make it successful?
- What opportunities for non-dues revenue generation are included?
- What support does the vendor provide for CMS integrations, data imports, sales and marketing tools?
Once you start evaluating all of your options, you may find that going with a full-service solution that encompasses mobile technology but also app launch support, integrations with your other software systems and even sales support is the best way to go.
If you’re looking for a benchmark for mobile solutions that delivers “the works” at a reasonable price, our zCivic division offers a comprehensive platform and service for chambers of commerce that checks all of the boxes. From ChamberMaster integration to ad sales and marketing support, our customized solutions deliver.