Posted by Bill Miles on May 14th, 2013
I hope you enjoyed the weekend and celebrated the moms in your life yesterday for Mother’s Day. They’re a very special bunch who deserve our praise and recognition.
Last week was a landmark week for your chamber and there are some special individuals I’d like to thank– our membership event volunteers. Last Tuesday and Wednesday, the voice of business in our community was strengthened in a very big way. Last week 180 new businesses joined the chamber. It was a record-setting membership event and we couldn’t have done it without the 100+ member volunteers who made it happen.
The two-day membership event was energizing, positive and such a wonderful reminder that when the business community comes together, great things happen. Our volunteers reached out to others in the business community to let them know what the chamber has meant to their business and how it makes a positive impact on the Lowcountry. I am humbled by the effort and support of our membership event volunteers and by the 180 businesses who have joined us to enhance and grow their own organizations. Listed below are the names of the chamber’s newest members and the volunteers that brought them together. If you know them, I encourage you to pick up the phone and say two words that are often missed, but mean so much….”thank you!”
There are so many positive things happening right now in the Lowcountry. Real estate is on the upswing, $200 million in redevelopment efforts continue and this weekend we “christened” the S.S. CareCore shrimp boat. The chamber’s Leadership Hilton Head Island-Bluffton class raised a whopping $28,000 to build the playground structure in Bluffton’s DuBois Park. Congratulations to the leadership class on a project that will have an impact on so many children and families in Bluffton. It was great to walk down Calhoun Street on Saturday as people enjoyed the 35th annual Bluffton Village Festival. It’s a great reminder of what makes the Bluffton community so special.
I hope your week ahead is a positive and productive one!
Posted by Bill Miles on April 1st, 2013
Finally! We’ve all been waiting for a well-earned Spring and it appears that over the weekend, our weather finally decided to warm up and it’s just in time.
The RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing is right around the corner. Last year was the tournament’s first year with new sponsorship and what a year it was. Sponsor feedback was resoundingly positive, not just about the tournament itself, but about the community as a whole and the warm welcome they received. One executive with RBC noted that in all his years of handling sponsorships, he had never experienced an event as warm and welcoming as ours. We love this tournament and it shows.
It’s also our time to shine on the world stage. With millions of viewers tuned in to the tournament on CBS and the Golf Channel, it’s some of the best PR available. Visits to our website take a nice upward tick during tournament time. That’s the power of broadcasting at work for Hilton Head Island. When you consider that this is an event with an over 80 million dollar economic impact, we’ll take all the broadcast coverage we can get.
Whether you’re headed to Harbour Town just for a day or for multiple outings to take in the tournament, the place to start the “get your plaid on” process is at the chamber. Tickets are available at both our Hilton Head Island location and our Bluffton office.
Support the Heritage and have a great week!
Posted by Bill Miles on March 25th, 2013
It seems as though our headlines are riddled with the latest reason to bemoan what’s happening in Washington. Whether it’s at the local, state or federal level, government officials are often easy targets for criticism.
I’d like to change the conversation for just a moment and give kudos to our local leaders in Bluffton and on Hilton Head Island for some of the work they’re doing that qualifies as good news – something that’s rarely found in headlines.
The Town of Bluffton recently purchased 7.12 acres of land at Buckwalter Place to expand their presence in an area that’s becoming a cornerstone for attracting business to Bluffton. Taxpayer dollars were off the table when it came to paying for the purchase. It was accomplished through Rural Development Act funds in cooperation with Palmetto Electric Cooperative and Hargray. Bluffton has defined what it means to truly move forward in a public/private partnership mode. They’re always looking for new ways to remind the world that Bluffton is open for business and we applaud them for it.
The Town of Hilton Head Island has always been a model for responsible development. Hats off to them and the volunteer committee reviewing the Land Management Ordinance, for viewing it through fresh eyes as the recent economic downturn changed the game for everyone. It gave the Town and most of us in business as well, an opportunity to step back and really look at programs and priorities. The Town recently purchased land that is part of Port Royal Plantation. It was a prudent purchase designed to ensure that it is responsibly developed in the future. While we’re all proud to see how beautifully and carefully this Island has been developed, it’s just as important to note what hasn’t been developed thanks to the Town’s watchful eye.
I believe that serving in local government is an admirable role. No matter what decision you make, there’s always going to be a group that disagrees, many of them vocally. Our elected officials are thoughtful, concerned citizens just like the rest of us, that care deeply enough about the Lowcountry to want to make it better. Thanks to all of them for the role they play in this community.
Posted by Bill Miles on March 18th, 2013
If our roads and restaurants seem a little busier these days it’s because they are. Spring Break means travel time for many families and we’re fortunate that many of them choose Hilton Head Island and the Lowcountry as their Spring Break destination of choice.
We all know that there is inherent value in travel. The US Travel Association thinks so too, and was willing to spend a few million dollars proving it. The group launched The Travel Effect, a multi-year, multimillion dollar research and marketing campaign to study and publicize the benefits of travel, not just from an economic perspective but from an individual and overall family health angle.
They figured that if the wine and chocolate industry could tout the wellness benefits of their products, then surely the travel industry could do the same, and the research proved their case:
Travel strengthens families and relationships:
- 53% of youth participants say vacations bring their family closer together.
- 62% of the adults surveyed said their earliest memories were of family vacations.
- Almost 70% of youth see family vacations as an opportunity for experiences they don’t get at home.
Travel is a win/win not just for our Lowcountry business community, but also for our nation’s economy:
- Travel supports 14.4 million jobs. One in every 8 U.S jobs is related to tourism.
- There is a cost for business travel, but there’s also a cost to eliminating business travel. For those businesses that make the unfortunate decision to halt business travel, there is a 17% drop in profits in the first year.
- Face-to-face business meetings are worth the travel expense. According to Oxford Economics, for every $1 invested in business travel, businesses experience a $12.50 increase in revenue.
With The RBC Heritage just around the corner, and our busiest time of year following, it bears repeating that tourism is good for business. It’s nice to have the statistics from our partners at the U.S. Travel Association to show what we’ve always known, that it’s good for our overall health and our families as well.
Posted by Bill Miles on March 11th, 2013
What a great weekend it was in the Lowcountry. In addition to “chamber of commerce” weather, it was an especially wonderful few days for our arts and cultural scene.
Since its inception, talented pianists from over 40 countries around the world have been part of the Hilton Head International Young Artist’s Piano Competition. It’s astounding when you consider that these are accomplished musicians at the ripe old age range of 13-17. They are extremely talented, very dedicated and very entertaining not only for our Lowcountry residents, but for visitors from around the country, many of whom plan their vacations around this competition. It’s a first class event that has become one of the most prestigious competitions of its kind not just nationally, but internationally as well.
It was also an all-wine weekend. Residents and visitors had the opportunity this past weekend to experience the Hilton Head Wine and Food Festival. Now in its 28th year, it gets better and better each Spring. Over half of those who attend the festival are from out of town and 52% of those surveyed were overnight guests. So all that wonderful wine is actually good for our tourism-based economy.
One thing both of these events have in common is an outstanding team of individuals that help make it happen. Hat’s off to Mary Briggs, Tammy Bream and their teams who have set the bar once again for an incredible Lowcountry weekend!
Take advantage of the rich arts and cultural opportunities that are available close to home. And remember, none of it would be possible without the 2.3 million visitors each year that help support great theatre, our symphony, happenings like our Wine and Food Festival and the myriad of other noteworthy events in our area.
Posted by Bill Miles on February 19th, 2013
Chances are, you do some type of email marketing for your business. Are you doing it well? Are you delivering it to your customers when they’re most likely to read it? Do you know the biggest pitfalls in social media? Learn all about it at Business Expo 2013.
Whether you’re an employer or an employee, do you know what healthcare reform means for you? Will it cost you more to offer health insurance for your staff? As an employee will you be paying more in premiums than ever before? We have answers for these questions too at Business Expo 2013.
In addition to outstanding networking, connecting with clients and growing your business, the chamber’s business Expo always offers a chance to learn how to do business better. You’ve told us what you want to know more about, and we’ve responded by offering two top-notch seminars taught by some of the best in the industry. Your seminar entry entitles you to be our guest for Business After Hours at Expo next Wednesday night.
We’re also giving the term “bar-hopping” a whole new meaning. We’re offering a Social Media Bar where you can get one-on-one advice from industry experts who can take your social marketing efforts to a whole new level.
All the EXPO information is right here in your Monday Morning Briefing. Seminars fill up very quickly, so make your reservation now by clicking here.
Have a great week!
Posted by Bill Miles on February 4th, 2013
Saturday evening’s Chamber Ball was such a positive and powerful night for the Lowcountry. It was great to see so many in the community come out to celebrate and recognize the important contributors at what truly has become the “Oscars of the Lowcountry.”
This special evening was a shining example of what makes the Lowcountry such a special place for us all. If you didn’t have a chance to read the Sunday papers, Bluffton Today’s coverage and the front page Island Packet’s headline said it all, “Local stars shine at Chamber Ball.” Click here to read all about it.
While the theme for the Chamber Ball was an evening in Hollywood, the message that seemed to shine through was the momentum we’re continuing to experience as a thriving business community.
The Chamber Ball is so much more than just another community event and I’m so proud to be part of it. It’s an evening that renews our faith in what’s possible and reminds us of what’s important. Click here to view memorable moments from the Chamber Ball.
Posted by Bill Miles on January 28th, 2013
Reservations might just be the best thing to order up for dinner this week. Chamber Restaurant Week is off to a great start with 71 restaurants participating this year. Restaurants have embraced the week as the perfect opportunity to remind locals of all the wonderful dining options available in the Lowcountry. You have until Saturday, February 2nd to enjoy special prix-fixe value menus created especially for Chamber Restaurant Week. Check out the menus and vote for your favorite dining spot at www.chamberrestaurantweek.com.
It’s not only awards season in Hollywood, it’s awards season in the Lowcountry as well. Reservations are going quickly for the Chamber Ball this Saturday night, so save your spot as we honor our own community award recipients with a night of dinner, dancing and entertainment by Deaz Guys. It’s truly the Oscars of the Lowcountry complete with lights, cameras and action. If you haven’t already made your reservation, you can do so by contacting Connie Killmar at email@example.com.
I’m looking forward to a great week ahead. Make yours a productive one
Posted by Bill Miles on January 22nd, 2013
There’s something to be said for a great night on the town. When the evening includes a tribute to some of the best and brightest in the Lowcountry, what you have is a wonderful night of awards, entertainment, dining and dancing.
The Chamber Ball has become THE event honoring our very own heroes of the Lowcountry who go above and beyond in their commitment to making life better not just for today’s residents, but for tomorrow’s as well. We will honor the Zonta Woman of the Year, the Sue West Educator of the Year and honor Bluffton’s best with the Bluffton Regional Business Council’s Member of the Year. It’s also the place where two of the community’s most prestigious honors, the Organization of the Year Award and the Alice Glenn Doughtie Good Citizenship Award are bestowed.
When you look back at the long list of past honorees, it is a “who’s who” of the movers and shakers in the Lowcountry. If you looked at their collective contribution to the betterment of our community, you would be astounded by the positive impact they have had and the legacy they will leave for years to come.
Tickets and tables are selling briskly, so please make your reservations for an evening of old Hollywood glamour you won’t want to miss. For tickets and information for the February 2nd Chamber Ball, please contact Connie Killmar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Bill Miles on January 14th, 2013
How do you kick off the new year? If you’re the chamber of commerce you do so with bold aspirations.
It’s one of the busiest times of the year for your chamber of commerce. We’re setting our legislative agenda for 2013, reviewing the results of our membership survey to develop the programs you want, and planning for some your chamber’s most popular events.
• There’s no better time than now to set the standard of excellence for yourself and for your organization. Mitch Hart, who along with Ross Perot is one of the co-founders of EDS, will be talking about how to develop a culture of excellence, leadership and service for your organization. Hart is a dynamic leader who has served on the board of Home Depot, Southern Methodist University and who is the namesake of the Hart Center for Leadership at Duke University. We’re hosting the breakfast seminar in partnership with the Center for Service Excellence. Seating is limited for the January 16th event so I encourage you click below to make your reservations now.
• While the Oscar nominees were announced last week, we will be awarding our own “Oscars” at the 2013 Chamber Ball. It’s become such a special night of recognition for those in the Lowcountry who truly go “above and beyond” to impact our community in so many positive ways. Reservations are rolling in, so dust off your tux and gown and enjoy an evening of awards, dining and dancing. We’re bringing a touch of old Hollywood glamour to the Lowcountry.
• Did you know that the chamber’s Business EXPO rivals Columbia’s in size? It’s one of the largest business events in our region and it’s just around the corner. We’re planning more than a few new twists and turns to EXPO which brings together over 2,000 people to network and grow their business. New to this year’s line up will be a social media bar and speed networking event. We’re also offering up some great seminars on today’s hot marketing tips and how the healthcare changes in Washington will impact your business.
Thanks to so many of you who have taken the time to give us your feedback in the chamber’s membership survey. It’s a random survey developed in partnership with researchers at USCB. This is the final week to participate, so if you’ve received the survey please give us your input.