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Offering virtual connections for Langley business people

From meetings to workshops and networking, chamber keeps members connecting
Among the online meetings held by the Langley chamber, last July they had a virtual townhall featuring Minister of State for Infrastructure Bowinn Ma. (Chamber/Special to Langley Advance Times)

by Jim McGregor/Special to Langley Advance Times

An important benefit of a chamber of commerce membership is networking, interacting, and communicating with other members.

During the ongoing pandemic, face-to-face meetings have – in most cases – not been available.

Kristi Maier is the director of operations for the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, and she spoke to the shift for meetings brought on by COVID -19.

“With many of our events, we have had to go back to virtual meetings and presentations,” Maier explained.

“We were hoping to go live with a panel discussion in January, but with the changing guidelines that wasn’t possible. So it was held virtually.”

There have been a few in-person events, however.

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“It was very nice to be able to hold our December dinner meeting in person and everyone was pleased to see each other after so long, and we look forward to doing more of that in the coming months,” she shared.

Currently, though, the chamber is planning its meetings and events one month at a time.

“[We’re] hoping that by March we can once again have our dinner meeting in person,“ said Maier.

For the February meeting, the chamber staff is excited to have guest Amy Robinson, the executive director of LOCO BC.

“Amy will present the latest research on the importance of buying local, both from an economic and environmental perspective,” Maier said. “She will make the case for why local businesses need to market their local attributes, and will present three tools for promoting your business’ local attributes.”

The chamber is also planning to focus on its ‘Share the Love’ campaign with Tourism Langley. (See related story, page B5).

“Both of these provide great opportunities to show how members can promote themselves,” said Maier.

“We are also hosting six webinars in February, on various topics such as ‘How to Communicate on Zoom,’ ‘Bricks to Clicks,’ How to Work with E-Commerce,’ and we have many more planned for March, as well,” said Maier.

“Our webinars are well attended, despite some saying they are experiencing Zoom fatigue. But many of our webinar attendees are telling us they are getting a lot of value from the presentations,” she said.

“Once we got through the holiday season we saw an uptake in the members viewing the information.”

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The Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce is constantly bringing new and fresh ideas to keep the interest of its members.

“We have kept our office open during all this time and the majority of the staff are there to answer questions or handle any concerns the members might have,” Maier said.

“We go above and beyond to promote our members, and if there is ever a time a member needs a shout out or we can provide a splash on our social media, we are more than happy to do that,” she added.

“On our website we can promote members activities, as well as inform members of upcoming events – anything we can do to help their business survive and flourish in these times.”

Maier said that optimism is the key to operating a business in these challenging times.

“We’ve all been through a lot and staying positive is what will bring us through this.”


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Chamber director of operations Kristi Maier (above) and her staff have kept the chamber members informed with webinars and virtual meetings until they can once again meet in person. (Special to the Advance Times)