Find out how Timely assisted the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce attract new members and serve their community in a better, more responsive and reliable way.
PETE BOURKE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE COLUMBIA VALLEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.
Located in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada, the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce serves 10 diverse communities within the Columbia River Valley Located in the Kootenay Region of British Columbia, Canada, where the Purcell, Kootenay, and Rocky Mountain ranges meet, the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce serves 7 diverse communities within the Columbia Valley. The region is known for its breath-taking scenery, a lively arts community, and world-class golf, winter sports, outdoor adventuring, and cultural activities.
The Chamber supports businesses, organizations, non-profit groups, and all community partners within the Columbia Valley.
Key benefits of being a member include, among other things, business support and advocacy, network opportunities, listing on their online business directory, marketing and advertising, job posting, training and education, and sponsorship for chamber events.
In addition to hosting their own events, the Chamber supports the many local organizations and businesses that organize community and professional development events. These events make the Valley a great place to live, work and visit.
For this case study, we talked to Pete Bourke, the Executive Director of the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce. He explained us how the Chamber has been using Timely Event Calendar Software for Non-Profit Organizations to promote events, serving their community and attracting new members.
According to Bourke, for years, the Columbia Valley region lacked a centralized, comprehensive and up-to-date calendar of events.
“Without a reliable community calendar, events would be double-booked on the same date, which led to low attendance, a shortage of volunteers to run each event, and competition for limited service providers and event resources. For example, two events would need tent rentals on the same date, and there wouldn’t be enough tents to go around”, said Bourke.
One of the biggest challenges of running a successful community calendar is to manage logistics to accommodate all events that are happening around the region. The influx of events, if not managed correctly, can also affect businesses, especially the ones that depend on visitors for most of their income.
“While sometimes we had too many events at the same time, on other weekends nothing was scheduled. So, there were situations where we had a wave of visitors come to town, but there wasn't any events for them to attend. This challenged our visitor-dependent businesses - like hotels and restaurants. It made it quite hard for them to plan and manage their staffing and capacity limits”, Bourke stated.
A single online community calendar that could be kept up-to-date and included every event taking place in the Valley seemed like a great solution.
The Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce's goals were:
Managing a centralized community calendar is much easier for the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce, as they can aggregate all relevant events happening in their region. They can integrate all local event schedules into the calendars and manage everything from one single platform with ease.
Timely makes it easy to create a striking and engaging chamber calendar. The platform is user friendly and have many customization options. Using Timely's tools, the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce was able to build a beautiful and interactive white-label calendar of events for their website.
For years, the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce tried different solutions, but no sustainable option was found, and most calendars failed. Except for one, Timely Event Calendar Software, which has been their official online calendar since 2019.
After Timely, the Chamber saw their events page become one of the most visited pages on their website. It not only attracts more traffic to their page, but also new members to the chamber who want to attend and promote events.
In the summer of 2021, for example, visitors to their chamber calendar spent more than half of the time on this page compared to their website’s average.
Indeed, 3 minutes and 19 seconds on the calendar page versus 1 minute and 28 seconds on the whole website.
Moreover, Timely event management tools has resolved many of the issues the community faced. Organizations and businesses now have a single resource to check when planning their own events, and can avoid double-booking.
In order to increase the sense of belonging within the community, now the Chamber advertises the online events calendar in their local welcome packages to new residents. It is a way to encourage them to find and attend events that suit their interests, meet new people and feel welcomed.
"The calendar includes events for all demographics, including young families, seniors, teenagers, Indigenous residents and those who identify as LGBTQ+", continued Bourke.
In sum, Timely has helped the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce in many ways, including:
“Our community events calendar is the most popular page on our website, after our home page.”
- Pete Bourke, Executive Director of the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce.
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