This year was filled with exciting changes and achievements for the Chamber and greater Arlington. Carl Cravens, FY 2019 Chair of the Chamber Board of Directors, presented the annual report highlighting our accomplishments at the Annual Meeting & Awards Dinner. Together, we focused on membership research and engagement as well as expanding our convening power.
While presenting the annual report, Carl Cravens took pride in the accomplishments of the Chamber and the community. “Our Chamber is strong and vibrant – there is enthusiasm, and it’s contagious. We enjoy great partnerships and we are ambitious. We want the best for our community.” Carl Cravens emphasized that the future has never been brighter and that “together, we succeed.”
MEMBERSHIP RESEARCH – With the assistance of an intern from the University of Texas at Arlington’s Masters in Marketing Research Program, we were able to segment our member base into three categories. Our Chamber “Promoters” are from all levels of our membership and value Chamber activities as an asset to grow their business. They raise awareness within the community about the Chamber’s resources.
The research study indicated that more than 50% of new members join as a direct result of being recommended by an existing member. Additionally, members attend major events, leads groups, Business over Breakfast and other networking functions due to invitations from our loyal member base.
As a result, we know member engagement is pivotal to member satisfaction and renewal. We also gained valuable insights in member satisfaction, awareness of our services, and a clear understanding of intent-to-renew based on member expectation and engagement. Most importantly, the survey and the focus groups helped identify areas of enhancements and strategies for the future.The Chamber staff and various member councils are already crafting strategies to address new opportunities – to identify the needs of new market segments and implement suggestions to improve every aspect of membership.
MEMBERSHIP ENGAGEMENT – We take our goal of strengthening relationships within the community seriously. We are proud to say that there has been a significant increase in the number of individuals and businesses attending events to network and engage. More than 7,800 people attended the Chamber’s annual events, more than 10,400 attended our monthly and weekly events and 600 joined us for quarterly events. Last year, total attendance at Chamber activities was 8,800.
The highly anticipated launch of the Chamber’s new website, along with the benefits it will provide members were also announced at the Annual Dinner. Thanks to the Chamber’s partnership with Thrive Internet Marketing, the site will be launched in early October. The new website was created with members in mind and will be mobile-friendly, easier to navigate, and will have fresh content. Chamber members will have the ability to submit blog posts and be featured through our “member spotlight.”
EXPANDING OUR CONVENING POWER – Working in collaboration with our elected officials at all levels, our educators at the University of Texas at Arlington and Tarrant County College, and our local Board of Trustees at the Arlington ISD and other school districts, we have made positive change.
We made our voices heard in Austin. We supported the property tax abatement bill to keep the State of Texas economic engines churning. We are proud to say a large majority reauthorized the bill.
To help chambers, we worked to ultimately kill SB 29 that would have banned taxing entities from contracting or paying dues to Chambers of Commerce in our state.
Through HB 3 and the support of our legislators, we have revised public school financing and revolutionized education funding in Texas. School districts, teachers and students will all benefit from these sweeping changes.
The accomplishments of the Chamber would not be possible without the support from greater Arlington, our valued partnerships and dedicated members. The Chamber will continue to grow our members’ businesses, foster economic prosperity, advocate for all businesses and develop the community’s future.