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Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber Ambassadors plan ahead for new season

By Staff | Aug 25, 2011

Pictured at the Sanibel Captiva Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors meeting are, from left, Steve Hatfield, VP of Finance at the Island Inn, Bridgit Stone-Budd, Marketing Director of the Chamber of Commerce, Blanaid Colley of the Coffee Bar @ Bailey’s, Chris Heidrick of Heidrick Insurance, Renee Cutaia of Hillgate Communications and Christin Collins of Lee Memorial Health System. Not pictured but part of the Chamber Ambassador Team is Barb Harrington of Royal Shell Properties.

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce hosted its key Ambassador’s planning meeting at Traditions on the Beach last week.

The Ambassadors, chosen from the 700-strong Chamber membership, work as a Welcome Team for new Chamber of Commerce members. Each Ambassador is assigned a new member and their role is to welcome them to the Chamber, explain how the Chamber works and to invite them to attend the next Chamber monthly business lunch and the monthly After Hours.

Ambassadors give new members a Chamber Welcome Pack, which contains a contact list of all members, the latest Chamber magazine and the upcoming events calendar.

The chamber’s Marketing Director, Bridgit Stone-Budd, hosts the meetings, presents the new members and the nature of their business.

“Ambassadors also tell new members about the marketing opportunities available,” said Stone-Budd, “particularly opportunities on our popular Chamber website, which gets more than 1.5 million unique visitors per year, and Chamber marketing initiatives such as Visitor Center advertising and our Hot Deals online coupon listings”

The Chamber has welcomed nearly 50 new members already this year. This month’s new members included Kevin James Digital Arts, Captiva Holiday Village, How & Associates, Island Scene and MacIntosh Books & Paper.

“With the help of our Ambassador team, we have seen a huge increase in our Chamber Member retention rate. They work very hard to keep all new members in the loop, and we find that it helps new Members get the best out of their new partnership with the Chamber,” Stone-Budd concluded.

The very popular Chamber Visitor Center, located on the right at the exit from the Sanibel Causeway, welcomes more than 180,000 visitors each year. The Chamber’s website – www.sanibel-captiva.org – gets an impressive 1.5 million unique visitors per year.