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DC Chamber of Commerce solves the 3 big roadblocks to member-centered virtual events

Virtual stage-fright is nothing to play with. You have to make people comfortable.

“Our members were “Zoomed-out!”

About the Washington DC Chamber of Commerce

The Washington DC Chamber supports economic development honing the city’s competitive edge and connecting members to vital business and investment opportunities. Working collaboratively with their network the Chamber promotes DC as a great place to do business.

The Challenge

“Our members were “Zoomed-out!”

DC Chamber of Commerce members were drained after long workdays of Zoom calls and they needed a change from information-heavy presentations and meetings. They wanted to actively network with who they wanted when they wanted.

On top of that, the DC Chamber event team was battling with how to attract sponsors. Sponsors were critical to support the Chamber’s event budget. The Chamber team needed to create a virtual sponsorship package that delivered the same engagement and benefits available in a real event.

  • “Sponsors and exhibitors need to feel like it’s worth their time to be there...(as a sponsorship option) a slide in a PowerPoint presentation is not going to be enough” – Natalie D. Harris, Membership & Business Development, DC Chamber of Commerce

This roadblock was a giant hold-up. The chamber couldn’t start their fundraising and planning for events until they knew they could provide real value to their sponsors.

And the final hurdle was having a tiny team of just 5 to support 1400 members remotely. Finding reliable event partners that could understand the Chamber’s mission and goals was almost impossible.

The first two problems - not having a virtual solution for members or sponsors - were hurting the Chamber’s event schedule and the bottom line. The Chamber was off-course to reach their goals, and the calendar was marching on.

Fighting to take back control, the Chamber team tested numerous virtual event tools including big names that boasted the “best” interactive experience.

Unfortunately, what the Chamber team ended up with was the nerve-wracking experience of trying to indirectly run an event through an expensive production team with complex technology.

  • “Trusting an event management team to organize and produce our event wasn’t great. Our team needed to be involved hands-on.”
    – Natalie D. Harris

The Solution

The members wanted to get back to intentional networking. Something that would let them make the business connections that they were coming to events for!

  • “It’s important that our participants have some sense of control. We’re asking for 4 hours of their time! We want them to feel really comfortable to navigate the event and do what they came to do...Network and connect with other businesses.”
    – Natalie D. Harris

Free-flowing networking with members bouncing from table to table meeting new people was exactly what the Chamber needed. Remo was a perfect fit and it helped the chamber in 3 more surprising ways.

3 Delightful Discoveries

Members were networking on their own terms again: From the very first event, with just 60-70 people, members were thrilled to get comfortable with digital networking. They plugged into conversations freely and moved to the next table when they were done. The post-event survey was resounding with positive feedback and praise for how easy Remo was to use.

Sponsorship Packages that delivered: Sponsors could create their own interactive displays - they were given their own tables which they could name, and set up interactive experiences for members stopping by. Downloadable digital materials, videos, interactive whiteboards - sponsors enthusiastically got creative and discovered fun ways to engage members.

Easy-to-manage events: The chamber team was able to directly run their events again. Without additional event-management staff or a whole technical team, Natalie, the event coordinator could execute a whole event with just the chamber team. Remo’s easy-to-use features such as “run of show” to pre-arrange videos and presentations meant that the team could take care of the whole event.

  • “We could do it ourselves instead of having to trust someone that’s not an integral part of the team!” – Natalie D. Harris

Helping guests get comfortable with Remo was easy too. Simply attaching Remo tutorial videos to guest registration emails gave members and sponsors a sense of familiarity, comfort, and anticipation with the platform.

  • "Members were excited to get on Remo and explore. And who doesn’t want to try out a new toy?” – Natalie D. Harris

DC Chamber of Commerce Solves the 3 Big Roadblocks to Member-centered Virtual Events.

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