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Cape chamber to conduct focus sessions

By Staff | Feb 5, 2011

The Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce is planning on launching a series of focus groups, an effort they hope will encourage former and current members alike to communicate their wants and needs to the chamber itself.
President Mike Quaintance said the chamber usually uses surveys to find out what its members are thinking and feeling in that regard, but the surveys don’t offer the “richness” of a focus group.
“The chamber board wanted to create these groups to determine what people value for their community, their business and their customers,” Quaintance said. “We’re going to be asking those questions … how do you perceive a business advocacy group like the chamber is serving your needs and the needs of the community.”
The focus groups will consist of 6 to 10 people, along with a facilitator, for each session.
Quaintance said the facilitators will not be affiliated with the Chamber, and include Florida Gulf Coast University Business Professor Tom McNulty, Assistant City Manager Carl Schwing and former Cape Coral EDO Director Mike Jackson.
The first focus group is scheduled for Feb. 23 at the Hampton Inn on Southeast 47th Terrace.
“All these folks have experience with conducting focus groups. They’ll be there to keep people on track, to perceive what what they need …. they won’t be there to answer questions about the Chamber,” Quaintance added.
The Chamber of Commerce hopes to learn something new from the business community, according to Quaintance, who said there no longer is a “pure understanding” of the value of a chamber membership.
“I’d love to be shocked,” Quaintance said of the focus groups. “This is going to be an opportunity for us to improve what we bring to market.”