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Developing a Chamber Program

Challenge

Although Hollywood as a tourist destination continued to thrive in a poor economy, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce was losing members and aiming to remain relevant and valuable to local businesses. Chamber board members and staff devoted their 2011 leadership retreat to this topic.

Solution

As vice president of the Chamber’s Board of Directors and Co-Chair of the Tourism Committee, Tej Sundher felt that member businesses needed fresh, impactful cooperative programs that could only be possible under the auspices of the Chamber. Like Dine LA, a highly successful offering from LA Inc. (Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau), Sundher pointed out that the Chamber was in the unique position to facilitate these programs and had access to powerful marketing assets such as the Hollywood Sign. He maintained that developing a unified look and feel for programs using the Hollywood Sign in a hip, youthful and simple way would go far toward increasing exposure, sales, and opportunity for participating businesses.

Sundher and Tourism Committee Co-Chair James O’Callaghan of LA Inc. advocated for and developed a test program called Half Off Hollywood, which was implemented in May 2011. For a total investment of $21,000 in cash and the same in trade tickets, seven Hollywood attractions received $240,000 in advertising value and over 9 million impressions in the targeted areas of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura Counties. It was also the first time that Hollywood businesses joined to co-market on-line and via social media. Additionally, over 600 new e-mail contacts were secured from the Half Off Hollywood sweepstakes.

Half Off Hollywood was presented at the Chamber leadership retreat as a model beta program that will continue to grow and spawn other similar co-op programs, putting the Chamber in a stronger position to retain and recruit members.