We all know first impressions matter. Period. And that customers research you online. In today's digital world, how do you truly create a high-end experience to help attract, engage, convert, and retain customers? No matter your company, for your customers and your employees, it's important to be your best online. At the March Business Lunch, Jeff Dance, CEO of Fresh Consulting helped us discover the 7 key ingredients of a high-end website experience. Check out his full presentation.
Posted By Sara Garner,
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Updated: Friday, September 9, 2016
A Message from Outgoing Board Chair Tanya Fraioli, Rocketfix
Dear Friends, Colleagues, and fellow members,
Thank you for an amazing year at the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce! It’s hard to believe that my year as Chairman of the Board had already finished. I have truly enjoyed serving our community this past year.
I have realized how much our Chamber has grown and changed even in this past year. We still have a lot of important work to do together and can do so with combined leadership and the pursuit of common goals. I appreciate all of you that have shared our vision and worked to achieve our goals to be the leading catalyst for the business community in the areas of developing business growth, transportation issues, and educational goals for both businesses and those that reside on the Eastside.
The Bellevue Chamber has been around for over 70 years and that success is in part due to having a strong community behind us. As I mentioned when I first assumed the position as Chair I stressed the importance of getting involved and being a part of our community. We have seen record attendance at our events and new members walk through our doors with the goal of being something more than just the businesses we run. The power behind the Chamber is just that - all of us working together to better ourselves, our business and our community - and for that I thank you!
I cannot stress enough the importance to keep this work going. In the age where technology has changed the way we communicate there is one thing that can be said…technology isn’t communicating - we are. We must continue to be able to engage with our peers, business associates and community much deeper that a quick text, email or blog. Nothing beats communication real-time with live back and forth discussion. The Bellevue Chamber is the leading organization that provides this platform in addition to all the bells and whistles of cutting edge technology.
I encourage you all to continue to be in front of your community by being involved and then change will continue, relationships will be formed and business will grow. With this in mind I invite you to join me at the Eastside Annual Dinner on October 6 at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue to make great business contacts and celebrate all our business community offers.
May you all find much success for the remainder of 2016 and a prosperous 2017!
By Valerie Thomas, Bellevue Chamber of Commerce Intern
Social media to me sometimes feels like a whole other world. The beauty of it is that it can be used for many different purposes. As a teenager, my time on social media is spent watching 30 second recipe videos on Facebook, posting Instagram pictures of my latest adventure, or re-tweeting my favorite brands to win a giveaway.
In contrast, as an intern at the Bellevue Chamber this summer, I’ve learned that posting for a business is totally different than posting for my personal account. I’ve noticed that when you’re posting for a business, there’s usually a marketing strategy behind every post. Whether it be attracting more customers to your page, highlighting your customers, or promoting your business/event. I didn’t realize how much thought goes into a business’ posts in comparison to a personal post.
When people post from their personal account, they usually don’t check for grammar mistakes, and don’t always have a motive when they post something. When posting for a business page, the way you type and the things you say can really have an impact on your brand. There’s a motive behind every hashtag and every tag. Companies want their posts to be relevant and they want to be able to engage with their followers. Judging from what I’ve done, and what I see my friends do, hashtags and tags on a personal account are used for comedic purposes or to chime in on a trending topic.
In order to be able to profit from your social media channels, here are a few things I’ve learned:
Use a Visual: if you attach a picture to any post, your post will receive more engagement.
Use tags and hashtags: using tags are great, your post will be viewed more and you are interacting with the community. Don’t overdo it though, and hashtag your entire post.
Change up words: posting the same thing on multiple channels can be tricky; you want to make sure you’re switching up the words.
Know your audience: when switching up the words between channels; tailor each post for the specific channel you are using. For example: don’t put hashtags on Facebook.
After learning a bit about social media, I’ve noticed a lot of those marketing strategies when I’m scrolling through some of my favorite brands. When reading an article on Forbes, by Sujan Patel, his focus on humanizing social media really stood out to me. When you’re posting for your business, it is really important that you take into account who will be viewing your posts. Patel mentioned “You have to show your followers that you actually care about them and their problems.” If you want more tips on how to use social media for your business, click here.
To help students with ongoing learning opportunities, the Bellevue Chamber has established the Bellevue Chamber Foundation. Funding for our 2016 scholarships is made possible through the generous support of Delta Air Lines, our Presenting Sponsor of our Spirit of Bellevue Run/Walk, and other community partners who support education including KeyBank, offering one named scholarship. This year, $6,000 was awarded to four deserving Bellevue graduating seniors.
from left to right: Jimmy Ng, KeyBank; Sara Garner, Bellevue Chamber;
Layla Jamil & Elly Connett-Porceddu, 2016 Scholarship Recipients;
Erika Shinpaugh, Peterson Russell Kelly PLLC, and David Masin, Bellevue
Chamber Board Chair-Elect and Seldens Designer Home Furnishings.
Jimmy Ng, Vice President, Sr. Business Banking Relationship Manager at KeyBank, presented the scholarship awards at the Bellevue Chamber Business Lunch on July 14. “We have amazing students in the Bellevue School District. I know this first-hand by participating in all the interviews this year,” he said. Erika Shinpaugh, Attorney with Peterson Russell Kelly PLLC and Valerie Laird, Bellevue Chamber of Commerce Board Member and Director of Sales at ARC Document Solutions joined him on the scholarship committee. “We had a chance to learn a little bit about their hobbies, including finding cures for illnesses in third-world countries and community activism,” Jimmy commented. “My hobbies were playing Nintendo, or in today’s terms Pokémon Go!”
Congratulations to this year’s scholarship recipients!
Elly Connett-Porceddu is a graduate from Sammamish High School, and is awarded the Delta Airlines Scholarship. Elly has selected Western Washington University to further her education in English and Theatre. She also has hopes to pursue either a master’s degree or a post-baccalaureate degree in secondary education. She is an active leader in her school by being a part of the Thespian Society, coaching and mentoring other students in acting and singing, and being a National Student Leadership Conference invitee for two years running. Elly has demonstrated her ability to help and lead others in a positive way.
The KeyBank scholarship has been awarded to Layla Jamil, a graduate of Interlake High School, and will be attending University of Washington in the fall. Layla has shown she is a leader at school by welcoming incoming students, and a Math tutor for her peers. Most importantly, she has a desire to dedicate her life to helping those who struggle with health problems. Her motivation to become a neurologist is driven by her life threatening experience with a brain tumor. Because of this she feels inspired to go to medical school and help other people get the chance she had.
The Ralph James Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Emily Sun, a graduate from Interlake high school. Emily plans to attend the University of California, Berkeley and hopes to study Chemistry and Biology. Emily says her motivation to study science is driven by her desire to “uncover the magic behind our world.” Emily spends a lot of her time on music; she is the Student President of Interlake Music Association and the Concertmaster of the Interlake Orchestra. She was selected to participate in the All-National Symphony Orchestra, Honors Orchestra of America, and the All-State Symphony Orchestra. Along with her achievements in music, Emily has also participated in two varsity sports, Cross country and Track. In addition to sports, she was also accepted into the National Honors Society.
The Bellevue Chamber Foundation STEM Scholarship was awarded to Jennifer McKeon, a graduate from Sammamish High School. She will attend the University of Washington with hopes to become a biomedical engineer. She explains that she “hopes she will be able to improve the quality of life for both developed and emerging communities with my future in biomaterials and bioengineering.” Her sister’s hospital experiences, in third-world countries, have inspired her to develop sustainable and affordable treatment options. In addition to her contribution to multiple clubs, Jennifer organized and coordinated a middle school STEM camp for young girls.
With tremendous economic growth and expanding commerce around the Puget Sound area, the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is poised to be the center of all the action. In fact, Sea-Tac is now the fastest growing airport in the country (aircraft operations increased 12.9% from 2014- 2015).
The Port of Seattle has appointed Lance Lyttle as the new managing director of Sea-Tac Airport. An experienced airport director, Lance has previously held executive positions at the Houston Airport system and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. Now, he is applying his experience to implement the Port's Sustainable Airport Master Plan (SAMP) to further help serve travelers going through Sea-Tac and to address congestion in the current airport infrastructure. Lance spoke to Chamber members at the Business Lunch on July 14th to talk about upcoming changes to Sea-Tac over the next decade.
The master plan for Sea-Tac includes the following:
New baggage system ($325 million)
North Satellite Renovation ($615 million), to be completed by 2021
International arrivals facility with a brand new skybridge ($608 million), to be completed by 2019
35 additional gates
These expansions will help Sea-Tac serve the projected 66 million passengers that will travel through the airport by 2034, as well as over 540,000 aircraft movements (a takeoff or landing of a plane).Along with these groundbreaking changes, Lance was excited to introduce two new airlines into Seattle: Xiamen Air (the first service to North America by Xiamen Air), which will begin services to Shenzhen on September 26, 2016, and Virgin Atlantic, which will fly to London Heathrow starting March 26th, 2017.
On top of the current developments, the Port has made many efforts to give back and make Sea-Tac Airport a responsible organization that contributes to the environment and the community. For example, the Port of Seattle’s Century Agenda includes its mission to create 100,000 jobs with livable wages. To promote sustainability, Sea-Tac has recently started funding biofuel research. Lyttle has also said that Sea-Tac is the first airport to receive “salmon safe certification,” which verifies that Sea-Tac facilities do not affect the salmon wildlife or ecosystem.
All of these initiatives need broad community support to be successful, and with that understanding, the Port seeks input and constructive criticism. If you have input on the SAMP or questions about how you can weigh in contact Bellevue Chamber Government Relations Director Chris Johnson at 425.213.1208.
As we're are preparing to enter the selection process for our next summer intern, I'm thinking about Lucia Dorantes from Ballard High School and Michaela Rutschow from Chief Sealth High School (exciting for me since Sealth is my alma mater - how cool is that?) our stellar interns from the previous two summers. I recall the initial concern that having a high school intern would create more work to manage. I couldn't have been more wrong. While they did require supervision, they added much fun and energy to our office and helped us get more projects done including things that have been in the "parking lot" (you know what I mean).
Michaela's reflection of her time with us is below but before we get to that, I'd like to ask your business to consider hosting a student intern. The Seattle Public Schools Academies Programs: Academy of Finance, and Academy of Hospitality & Tourism, the excellent program that made it possible to have our interns is now accepting applications. This is a great opportunity to benefit your organization with a low-cost, high value worker for the summer, and at the same time provide a learning opportunity for a student. To find out how your company can host an intern, contact Joanne Patrick, Academy Coordinator at 206-252-0745 (she's great to work with too!).
Michaela Rutschow, Chief Sealth International High School
FromthemomentLucia [Lucia Dorantes interned with us the previous summer] talkedabouttheBellevueChamberofCommerceonapanel,Iknewitwassomethingspecial.Shespokeasifitwasthebestthingthatcouldhave happenedandIwantedsogetacloserlookatwhatshespenthersummerdoing.IknewthatI wasgoingtoapplytoaninternshipthattheacademyprovided,Ijustdidn't knowwhichone.I'm goingtobe honest;financeisn'tmypassion.Idolovetheideaofbusinessethicsandthe entrepreneurialsideofthings,butnumbersaren't mystrongsuit.WhenIheardtheChamberwas infactofferinganinternshipandSealthstudentswereallowedtoapply,Iwasecstatic!They werelookingtohireaninterntocontinuetorevamptheirwebsite,workontheirsocialmedia, andofcourseothergeneralofficetasks.I knewthatIhadashotattheinternshipbecauseIhadabriefbackgroundinmanagingweb materialandworkinginanoffice.
“Consumers have never been more connected – but it’s never been harder
to connect with them.” – Tom Daly, Coca-Cola
Social Media as a way to connect with your customers can offer your business greater returns and more insights into their needs and interests than any other method. Jared Nieuwenhuis, Marketing Director at Her Interactive, recently spoke to Chamber members about the pervasiveness of social media (3 out of 4 people use social media at least once a month and 73% of the US population has at least one social network profile)
First, a few trends to get you thinking about the where and how – video is taking over the social landscape and is a powerful way to tell your story, mobile is king, and there is a lot of shared content that goes into a void or what is called dark social (SnapChat grew by almost 57% in 2014). Jared advised each business to first decide their overall goals to achieve through social media, second, decide which channels to use for the greatest return. This doesn’t mean your business has to be everywhere – understand where your audience wants to interact with you. Wherever you are be sure to make the most what the social channel is designed to do, which leads back to connecting with your customers.
Jared has these 20 tips on your way to creating a social media strategy to ultimately grow your reach and add more value to the bottom line (see more details in Jared’s presentation):
#1 Your #1 goal is engagement
#2 It’s not about your spam
#3 Think of people as part of your brand and not as consumers
#4 Think strategic first
#5 Align strategy with your goals and metric – i.e. do you want to achieve more site visitors? Subscribers? Get more engagement? Drive revenue?
#6 Create a social media calendar – a roadmap is essential for success
#7 Quality post and daily updates – be sure you are using your channel(s) with enough frequency they do not get stale
#8 Engage in real interactions and respond to everything in 24 hours – show that yours is a brand that cares
#9 Be authentic and human – have a personality
#10 Zero in on customer interests, needs and suggestions
#11 Help users find you content with hashtags (they are not just for Twitter)
#12 Use consistent branding for all channels
#13 Always be growing your advocates
#14 Always be rewarding your advocates
#15 Empower video influencers
#16 Know your data
#17 Know your influencers
#18 Measure ROI – Social Annex will help you measure ROI whether that’s $$, calls generated, web visits, or inquiries generated
#19 Learn from your competitors
#29 Don’t be afraid to take risks
Credits: Jared Nieuwenhuis, @JNinsight; linkedin.com/in/jaredn; email@example.com
Competition and playing games run deep in Jared Nieuwenhuis’ veins. As a child he was a dedicated soccer player, ultimately playing in college and professionally in Europe. He now embraces that love of gaming as marketing director of Her Interactive, where he sets the global marketing and communications strategy for the company’s mystery adventures games aimed at females, and executes new product launches of the company’s popular Nancy Drew titles.
The Value of “I” is all about you! As we begin the New Year take a few moments to see how you can increase your “I” value. The Bellevue Chamber provides a collective platform that allows members and their employees to take advantage of a variety of options. Pick one or select them all. You decide what matters most to keep you connected and in the know.
Information: Take advantage of our new Data Driven market metrics. You can use this unique source of information to find customers, compare yourself to others in the industry. Information is continually updates and available for a one-time use or subscription pricing. Click here for more information.
Issues: Support a thriving local economy. Join a policy committee to learn more about issues that can enhance or impact your business. Committees focus on top priorities for the Eastside and the region. Help tackle the issues and be a community builder for the future. Click here to be in the know.
Impact/Influence: Influence a business-friendly environment. Join us on a trip to Olympia for candid conversations with our legislators. This trip offers a great opportunity to see our lawmakers at work – and gives them the opportunity to hear from business leaders on our top priorities (transportation, education and positive business operating environment). Click here to join us.
Insights & Intelligence: Get face to face with key executives at The Business Lunch. In addition to learning about an amazing company it is a great opportunity to meet other key movers and shakers in the room without having to get an appointment on their calendar. Insights are also gleaned on business approaches to thrive in today’s marketplace. Save the Date for the next Business Lunch January 28.
Introductions: Create opportunities to build a local network. “90 minutes every Wednesday morning” the Business Builder breakfast provides you access to business, the opportunity to toot your own horn and leave with everyone’s business card without having to ask for one. These introductions turn into a great referral source. Click here to join us at an upcoming Morning Business Builder. Here's what one of our members is saying...
Investment without participation: Gain visibility via marketing channels that offer great reach (our popular e-newsletter boasts an impressive open rate) to a business audience. Take advantage of advertising and sponsorship opportunities that can advertise and market your business without involvement. Click here to learn more.
So, if you want to know what’s in it for you – check out these easy options that can return the value of “I” to your company.
Posted By Gary Guenther,
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
A Message from Outgoing Board Chair Gary Guenther
A short twelve months ago, the theme of my incoming Chair letter was "Collaborate for Success." Viewing the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce from the Chair's seat for the past year, I've been able to see this collaboration in action, and now more than ever believe that the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce is an outstanding way to surround yourself with, and connect with, the right people, expertise, information, and tools to take back to your companies and ultimately leverage to your company’s success.
I also believe that by getting involved in the Chamber's rich array of offerings, you can find tremendous tangible and intangible returns for yourself and your business.To paraphrase Victor Frankel, youcan't aim at success, it must ensue as a side effect of a cause greater than one's self.I believe that the Bellevue Chamber is a cause through which you can find numerous rewards. We have so many ways for you to engage, and through this engagement you have a great opportunity to bring success to your professional and personal life.
Over the past year, the Chamber Board of Directors and the Chamber staff have been working hard to provide our members many opportunities for personal and professional growth via many outstanding programs.A few that I would like to highlight include:
The Eastside Leadership Conference.Once again we were educated and entertained by a variety of extremely smart and talented speakers. If you want to be enlightened and stay ahead of the latest technological trends, this is an event that you must have on your calendar.
Our Spirit of Bellevue Run/Walk had a record number of participants, and not only provided an outstanding health and wellness opportunity for the community and businesses, but also helped provide college scholarship opportunities via the proceeds.
Via our Advocacy Group, the Bellevue Chamber continues to be a leader in Eastside public policy discussions affecting the business community and provide a voice for our members on a wide range of issues at the local, regional, state and federal levels of government.
Our Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is an incredibly rewardingopportunity to give back and help mentor students in grades 6-12 who are working on their very own startups.
Additionally, we are continually working on business solutions and programs that will help you grow and prosper in a fast-paced, technology-focused economy.
The Chamber is an extension of your business; its tools, resources, and people can help success ensue for you and your company.I encourage you to get involved, and along with other members grow your opportunities for success.
Posted By Sara Garner,
Friday, September 11, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, September 7, 2016
A Message from 2015-2016 Board Chair Tanya Fraioli, Rocketfix
"It’s not called netsitting, or net eating, it’s called networking. You have to work at it." ~ Dr. Ivan Misner
The Bellevue Chamber is many things to many people yet the primary role of the chamber is simple - to help us as businesses get strong and stay strong. The Chamber does this in many ways...From championing our causes in Olympia, to being our voice when construction and roads threaten our business. It doesn’t stop there...the Chamber helps us connect to each other whether it be by holding community social events or recognizing leaders in the community at business events throughout the year. From mentoring our teens and shaping them into entrepreneurs to mentoring our businesses in all aspects from networking to training to showcasing...the Bellevue Chamber is constantly working for you!
This leads me to my story and how I ended up representing all of you as your Bellevue Chamber Board of Directors Chair for 2015-2016.
I was 26 years old and was given the opportunity to take over a family business. Having lived in Boston for almost a decade prior to moving back to Seattle caused me to lose many connections. At 26 I had virtually no business connections whatsoever.
As I embarked on building my business back up, I tried to find and surround myself with the right people that could help me do this. I think I joined almost every group that was out there. One day I stumbled upon the chamber of commerce. There I found myself surrounded by people that were just like me – people who wanted to grow their business and were looking for sounding boards in addition to getting different kinds of training in areas unfamiliar to them.
And this is where the Chamber taught me a valuable lesson - if you are not willing to put in the effort, don't expect anything in return.
At first I would just show up to events, listen to the speaker, pass out a few cards to the friendly faces I saw and then leave. I did this repeatedly with no return on my time investment. Finally after many months I said to myself, I'm around all the companies I want to do business with, what can I do differently? That was the “aha” moment I decided to change things up. I decided how I was going to spend my time. At the next event I said to myself, I am just going to seek out three people from companies I want to work with. I want to pursue these three, get to know them, see if I can help them and make these quality exchanges.
It worked! Over the year I connected with over 50 businesses and ended up doing business with almost half of them eventually. My company grew from a million in sales to just south of ten million in five years before I sold it to a firm that took it public in 2003.
Today, as I write to you as the new Board Chair - a position I am grateful to have and have worked towards for the past 20 years of my Chamber involvement - I encourage all of you to get involved to be successful. First, you have to be visible in the community, you have to get out there. I encourage all of you to work at it with me this year. I’m looking forward to meeting as many of you as I can and am honored to represent you!