At the beginning of this Rotary year, I challenged our Public Relations Committee, chaired by Johnny Whitfield, to increase local awareness of Rotary and to maintain a presence on social media. In September, the committee suggested we host a Business After Hours event in conjunction with the Roxboro Area Chamber of Commerce to increase awareness and recruit potential new members. The chamber holds 10-12 Business After Hours events each year, each in cooperation with a local business or industry. The events draw local business people; our target group for membership.
Our event was held on Thursday, Nov. 16th, at The Gathering Place (where our club normally meets for lunch). The chamber sent out multiple email invitations to it’s’ members and our club members invited people as well. We served heavy hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine to a crowd of about 100!!
During the evening, I had the opportunity to address the group with information about our Rotary Club and the positive impact we make in our community. In addition, guests could view a video slideshow that played continuously throughout the evening and a large display of the paper products we sell during our annual paper drive. Rotarians wore their name badges and worked the room throughout the night to make sure we greeted guests and gave our elevator speeches. We are proud to say we had a packed house and came away with several names of potential members with whom we are following up.
We accomplished the event with minimal cost by letting the event serve as our regular weekly meeting and using the money we spent for our normal lunch to pay for the food served at the event.