Networking Organizations We’re a Part of: Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce

 

The Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce is the largest and most effective business-to-business network in Merrimack including Andover, Lawrence, Methuen, North Andover, Greater Haverhill, Greater Lowell, and Southern New Hampshire. There are currently over 1,000 chamber company members benefiting from their many programs, services and events, including us! We have been members of this network for 3 years.  There are 100+ events hosted by the MV Chamber of Commerce each year. In the past there over 7,500 people have attended at least one of these events.

If you have thought about becoming a member of the organization but haven’t yet, here are the many reasons why you should join:

  •      They provide group rated health & dental insurance opportunities.
  •      They connect businesses and government affairs together through their business government affairs program, annual breakfast events, and more.
  •      They hold networking events to such as the Business Networking Mixer, Women in Business events, and their Annual Holiday Party, among many other events, to help promote businesses.
  •      They help small business start-ups with Free Business Counseling, Assistance to Start Up, Assistance to Women in Business, The Next Generation Leaders Program for young business men and women, and more.
  •      They provide members with mailing and promotional publications, like their “Membership Matters” quarterly newsletter, among others.
  •      They host family and sporting events exclusive to MV Chamber members, and more.

These are only a few of many membership benefits and events held by the MV Chamber. To find out more about their benefits click here http://www.merrimackvalleychamber.com/Membership_Benefits/). If you are interested in becoming a member, click here.

Networking Organizations We’re a Part of: The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce

This month we are highlighting the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, a networking organization we just recently became a member of! The Greater Boston Chamber currently supports over 1,500 organizations from all industries and of all sizes in the region. Their mission is to develop an economic growth throughout the greater Boston region as well as a vibrant and inclusive business community. By joining the organization, businesses are able to benefit from, not only networking opportunities but also, advocacy, leadership development, and innovation initiatives.

Strategic Networking Opportunities:

The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce offers networking events with top businesses and political leaders speakers in order for members to build professional connections, meet prominent business and government leaders, and engage in issues relevant to business community.

Business Advocacy:

The Greater Boston Chamber gives businesses a voice in economical and political situations through legislative efforts and policies, which help improve the region’s business climate and competitiveness. These advocacy efforts take place through the public policy committee, the “Advocacy Pulse,” a monthly update for all members, and “Growth Tracker,” an online resource with comprehensive economic views.

Leadership Opportunities:

The Greater Boston Chamber cultivates programs for the region’s business leaders. These include the Executive Leadership Institute, Boston’s Future Leaders, Women’s Leadership Program, and the Chamber Intern Connect, an internship website.

Innovation Initiatives:

Along with this, the chamber creates initiative designed to foster and promote the growth of the region’s economy. They also take initiatives towards showcasing innovative companies, and innovation-related advocacy.

Among all of these services, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce offers many other services. To find out more about the benefits and services available through this organization, visit their site here.

First Hand Opinion on Trade Shows

This year our company has attended a total of 3 trade shows. Sperling Interactive had a booth at the North Shore Tourism Exhibit, the North Shore Chamber of Commerce Business Expo, and the Small Business Expo in Boston. I sat down with our Sperling sales team to find out what the big deal on trade shows are.

According to team member Colin, business expos can be very successful because they create company awareness and make it easier to communicate and inform audiences on the services we offer, how we can help their businesses, and who we are as a competitive brand. Colin’s favorite trade show was the Small Business Expo for this particular reason. The team was able to bring awareness of Sperling Interactive to the audience while being among big brand name companies in Boston, which supports the team’s goal of expanding the business in the Boston area.

When reflecting back on these events, the team acknowledges what worked and didn’t work for them when promoting our services. The first thing they learned from the first trade show they went to was that these events are more about educating the audience about your business’ service and less about trying to sell it to them. They also learned that having informational products like flyers and brochures, as well as promotional products stimulates more conversations with the audience. By the time of the second trade show, our team was prepared with informational handouts and silly putty that said, “Let us mold your market” on the packaging as our promotional product. The uniqueness of this was a great conversation startup.

The team also generated conversations by creating an incentive for people to go up to our booth. For the last trade show they attended, our team came up with the idea of raffling a free 3 page website by having those interested drop their business card into a box. This turned out successful because now we have many businesses we can get in contact with as well as a new client. At the North Shore Chamber Business Expo, the team also offered professional head shots in order to start a conversation. This was perfect because photography is one of the services we offer and because they were able to communicate with people while they waited for their head shots. Because of this incentive, team member Max decided that this particular trade show was his favorite.

Some things that stood out to them from these trade shows were that many of the bigger brand name companies had a large amount of employees at their booths. A lot of the booths that were receiving the most attention were the ones with a variety of flashy products. They also noticed a booth that was offering consultations on the spot with a separate meeting area. Overall, they noticed that there was diverseness in company industries in all the trade shows.

Unique & Fun Promotional Products

Last month some of our team attended the North Shore Business Expo, and, like you can imagine a business expo to be, there were many diverse businesses at this event. Many, if not all, businesses had many impressive and creative promotional products to distribute. After seeing all the cool gadgets, we decided to give you guys some insight on unique and fun promo products.

We spoke to our personal promotional product expert, Annie Galvao, who has worked in her fieldl for over 5 years. Annie has told us that the most important factor to take into account when choosing the appropriate product for your business is to think about the best way to show the public what your business is about. You don’t just want to give away things that will end up in the trash. You want to be creative and choose something of value that is useful for your customers. The goal of a promo product should be to thank your clients and to solicit new ones.

For our promotional product, we decided to go with glow-in-the-dark silly putty. Now, you may think, “why on Earth would you choose THAT?” The answer to that is because it is a relaxing, fun product to play with. We tailored this putty to our business by having the container say “Sperling Interactive” and “Let us Mold Your Market.” What do you think now, creative?

Below are the most popular promotional products Annie finds herself selling:

  • Tech Gadgets:

This consists of micro fabric cloths, which has enough surface space to incorporate all the important details of a business, tablet holders, and many more.

  • Apparel:

This consists of bags, t-shirts, jackets, socks, and much more. These are great because they are, essentially, traveling promo products.

  • Wristbands:

These continue to be a hot item, especially when promoting a cause.

  • Reusable Cups:

Cups with fun colors have enough surface space to incorporate details about your business, or even a QR code that leads to your website!

  • Molskin Journals and Padfolios

 

Some more unique and fun promotional products are:

  • Waterproof Blue Tooth Speakers
  • Customizable Jewelry
  • Customizable Candy
  • Any pet gadgets:

This can be leashes, dog tags, toys, etc. They are perfect for any business because everyone either has a pet or knows of someone who does.

  • Zipper Pull
  • Luggage Tags:

There are some new tags with GPS system in them that connect to a cell phone app so that you never have to wonder where your luggage could be.

 

Some fun industry specific products are:

Health:

  • Sanitizers
  • Chilling towels
  • Shoe wallets
  • Light-up wrist bands
  • Fit bit- like gadgets

Home Security:

  • Light-up key adapters
  • Key ring safety alarm
  • Flashlights

There are many unique promo items. Insure a unique, fun, and creative one that represents your business!

Sperling Interactive Grand Opening- June 25, 2015

Sperling Interactive proudly announces the Grand Opening of their new office at 10 Derby Square in Salem, Massachusetts. Today’s Grand Opening marks a milestone in Sperling Interactive’s evolution from a fresh, new small business in 2008 to now a robust and flourishing business opening a new office in the beautiful historic district of Old Salem.

The story of Sperling Interactive’s  progress and success started many years ago when Co-Founders Mike and Jodi Sperling were young children.  Both born with a passion for photography, technology and the arts, they cultivated their talents and honed their skills getting respective degrees in Photojournalism and Fine Arts from Rochester Institute of Technology.  After gathering years of experience in the newspaper industry, Mike became known as a “Media Guru” for his skills at photojournalism and his ability to manage multiple websites for daily and weekly publications.  At the same time, Jodi was sharpening her leadership skills while working as the Program Director of the Salem Boys and Girls Club for many years.  Together they took the leap in 2008 to start their own business using their natural abilities and passion for design and technology.  Sperling Interactive prides itself on custom and unique designs of websites, multimedia and photography.  They have assisted hundreds of company’s, both local and from other countries, develop brand awareness through logo and website design, social media marketing, print design, and search engine optimization.  Join us in congratulating Mike and Jodi Sperling in the opening of their new offices.  Cheers and good luck as you continue your journey.

Marketing with School groups

In earlier blogs we have discussed how becoming involved in your local community is a win-win situation.  Your business becomes known as a “good neighbor” and the cause/charity or group gets support that they need.

This is especially true with school groups.  The heart of every community lies in the strength of their school system, sports teams and local events.  School budgets are constantly on the chopping block and could always use help with fundraising and sponsorships from local businesses.  Here are some simple steps you can take to become more involved in the school groups in your area in ways that will benefit your business image.

  1. Donate cash– If you can afford to do this it is the best way to throw your support to the local schools.  Schools will acknowledge your generosity as a sponsor in the event program, signage and elsewhere, getting your name in front of children and parents.
  2. Donate Products or Services – If you can not swing a large cash donation, offer to donate goods, or services towards events such as auctions, gift card events or fundraising nights.  Schools are always looking for prizes to give away at raffles, sporting goods to outfit the sports team, or sheet music for the band.
  3. Host a Fundraising Night.   Offer your business as a way to donate a portion of proceeds from a given day toward the school.  This will bring in advertisement for you and an easy way for the school to gain funds.
  4. Advertise – Buy advertisement space in a yearbook, fliers, booster packs, or play brochures.  Your ad will run during the play or sport season and will bring immense good will back to your business.

With some planning, a little thought and effort, marketing through schools or school groups can be a great way to not only grow your business, but benefit your local community as well.

 

Topsfield Fair 2012

The 2012 Topsfield Fair was a huge success! We produced thirteen videos and kept the website up to date during the 11-day event. The highlight was the video that we created of the new world-record giant pumpkin, grown by Ron Wallace and weighing 2009 pounds. This video was featured in a segment on CNN as well as CBS Evening News. Can’t wait for the 2013 fair!