January is typically thought to be a “slower” month in a lot of business settings. The rush to close the year on a high note is over, and the collective “deep breath” now that the Holidays are over is a welcomed intermission before the busy season gets under way in a few short months. Here at the Chamber, we’ve taken that deep breath, and with no time to spare, have entered into one of our busiest times of the year. It may not seem that way to someone driving past the office, or maybe even when stopping by. But, we are swimming in preparations for all of the events that are in the coming months and even securing details for those that are nearly a year away.
First up on the calendar, we take into account our Business After Hours. These are great networking events that showcase the host business. Several of these Thursday evening events have become annual affairs; including October at Golden River Orchards, November at First Community Bank and the long running Good Morning Cheboygan (breakfast) at Citizen’s National Bank. This month, on January 18th, we will be headed up to Fernelius Toyota for the first After Hours of 2018. We look forward to seeing many of our Chamber members there, and hope to see non-members who are looking to get connected as well.
Three of the major events we produce are the Annual Awards Dinner, which happens in March, the Business Expo and Taste of the Straits coming in April, and Waterways Festival mid-summer. These three events are all very different, and are all in the planning stages as I write this article. Committees have been planning since this past fall, entertainment has been secured and menus have been chosen. Decisions as simple as serving lemonade or iced tea with dinner, to what band would be best as a headliner for Waterways Festival are being made. We are making phone calls, returning calls, requesting quotes, and deciphering which vendors are the best value and quality for our needs. Brain storming sessions, careful organization and attention to detail are all happening at the same time.
As all of these events are in the planning stages, we are also taking care to make sure our Chamber members are seeing the value in their memberships. We are checking in with our members via actual visits, or through phone calls, we are tidying up all contact information and are preparing to submit the directory listing for the 2018 issue of Cheboygan Today. Weekly we are taking calls and emails to add articles and events into our newsletter, and scheduling requests for the marquee sign in Washington Park. We are looking back to see what we can improve on, and looking forward to see what we can add to keep our Chambers mission relevant. Cheboygan Area Chamber of Commerce LEADS Cheboygan. L- leadership, E- education, A- advocacy, D- development, S- support. These five words act as a guide for us when planning, making sure that each thing we do for our members and the community can trace back to our mission.
So as most you are relaxing after the Holiday season, and are enjoying this beautiful white winter we are having, we here at the Chamber of Commerce are hustling and bustling to plan and produce some of Cheboygan’s best events, and are continuing to lead our membership into the bright economic future of Cheboygan. We are poised and ready to tackle another year of positivity, forward thinking and growth.