If you’re a business owner in Greater Bangor, you’ve probably experienced the friendly reception from locals when you open your doors for the start of the business day. Bangor is a great place to live, for children to grow up, and for starting a business.
Because we’re such a tight-knit community, it’s important for small business owners to get involved with local networking events and organizations. Thankfully, there are quite a few to choose from.
Bangor offers a variety of opportunities to network with other business owners and potential customers. According to Search Engine Land, connecting with customers in your area “has the potential to help brands answer the immediate needs of their prospects.” By using local networking events to connect with customers in your immediate area, you can better understand their needs and wants – after all, Bangor is a small city and word travels fast, so you want to be sure you’re meeting the needs of the people who keep your business in business.
In addition to connecting with customers, local networking helps you connect with other business owners and important members of the community. Here are a few initiatives to get you started:
A family-friendly event with great beer, plenty of locals, and a good cause? Color us impressed. Bangor Greendrinks focuses on growing sustainable local businesses and provides the opportunity to network with other professionals and potential customers. Events are held every second Tuesday of the month at various locations in Greater Bangor, and all funds raised go back to the community in the form of Green Grants – monetary awards given to those trying to make our region greener. Best of all, you can volunteer to host a Greendrinks event!
“As a host, you have the opportunity to market your business or nonprofit to a large targeted crowd of green-minded people. Greendrinks events in Greater Bangor have drawn up to 200 people throughout the course of a night,” the Greendrinks website states. “After the host requirements are met, Bangor Greendrinks largely steps out of the way and it is up to the host to take over. Greendrinks events are intended to be totally owned by the host to do what they please – give away prizes, educate the audience with videos and pictures, send people home with literature, etc.”
The possibilities are truly endless if you choose to host an event with Bangor Greendrinks. Think of these events as a hyperlocal marketing initiative – if done well, you can not only capture new customers, but also start a conversation about your business through the grassroots marketing campaign Greendrinks will help you build. Their Facebook page reaches over 1,500 locals, while about 500 people are subscribed to their email list, according to information on their website. Plus, Greendrinks will provide you with publicity even after the event is over by promoting your events on their social media – all you have to do ask!
Business After Hours with the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce
Looking for a way to connect with other business owners in Greater Bangor? The Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce is a great place to start. The BRCC holds events called Business After Hours, popular gatherings that give business owners the opportunity to network with other professionals.
Connecting with business professionals helps you build relationships and become part of the fabric of a close-knit community. Each business owner has their own network of customers – customers who trust their suggestions and listen to their opinions. If you make a good impression, you’re bound to become part of their memory bank – something they might pull from later when speaking with their customers.
If anything, Business After Hours events can help you learn. Each event features raffle prizes, and some events have a speaker who has become an important pillar in the community. If you’d like to take it a step further, think about becoming a host. You have to be a member of the chamber to do so, but you’ll get the chance to invite other professionals into your place of business and show them exactly why you’re such an important part of the community. For example, if you run a local brewery, host an event, and meet the owner of a local restaurant who tries a sip of your beer and decides they want it on tap at their bar, you’ve just gained more business and a new connection.
FUSION: Bangor is a group of young professionals in the Bangor region who help members become more involved with the Queen City. Meeting new friends, building connections, volunteering, local networking and more are all important aspects of the group. It’s overarching goal? Transform the region into a great place to live, work, and play for young residents.
So how can you get involved? If you’re a professional in the Bangor region, try out a Newcomers’ Night – FUSION holds them every so often to invite new members to join the group and get involved. Meet some other local professionals, find out if there are any volunteer opportunities that would suit your business, and build a network from which to find new customers.
You can also get involved with FUSION by sponsoring their activities, such as their local dodge ball tournaments. Getting your name out there and having it recognized by a group of young people who are connected with the community is always a great idea.
These three local initiatives are only a start – there’s so much going on in Bangor, you’re bound to find other groups looking for hosts or sponsors for their events, or even new members. Remember that getting involved with your community is one way to better connect with your customers and figure out exactly what they want from you.