About 30 members and interested parties attended a workshop facilitated by Bernice Williams, from Intentional Connection and Ashton Rodenhiser of Mind’s Eye Creative Consulting. The workshop was a brainstorming session focused on identifying collaborative solutions for post-Covid recover.

The event was well received but there were some areas that we could have done better. We would love to build on this event by holding smaller round table discussions to take the high level discussions from last week to a more practical application for businesses. We need to switch timing to try to include a wider range of our businesses, set up for more interaction and yet still operate within COVID rules. It’s hard to balance it all but as a chamber we are willing to try.

The Board have listened to feedback and are also taking steps to start work on areas within our control e.g. improved digital marketing on behalf of members, collaborative working with wider South Shore business community etc. We have a long way to go but we have to start somewhere and that’s why we are putting together the building blocks now instead of waiting for international travel restrictions being lifted. We have a community here who need us all to stay in business and to grow together, we are more than just a tourist town we are a vibrant community ready to grow.

One of the biggest take-aways for us as a Board was recognising that we need to up our game in terms of communication and marketing. This did not come as much of a surprise as we had identified this at our last Board meeting hence our desire to refocus our efforts and really look at what we are doing. It was useful to have this endorsed by a broader membership group and we will be reviewing the ideas to see where we can make a difference for our members.

Next steps are to share the information Ashton captured with all members. We need to encourage collaboration across businesses to ensure there are fun attractions to keep our domestic visitors coming back and ready ourselves for the return of international travellers hopefully in 2022.

For the Board we need to continue our work on overhaul of our website and social media, introduce a robust newsletter system for visitors who have subscribed to our website and really push to get our message out and sell our community to anyone who will listen. We have made a start in preparing an RFP for the website and one of the attendees at the brainstorming session has stepped forward to help us with our social media overhaul.