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Business to Business Expo to focus on e-mail marketing

Businesses struggle with keeping up with Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Mail Chimp, Constant Contact and many other social marketing tools.

Which one is best for my business? How can I use them effectively? What kind of online marketing campaign is best for my business?

Zak Barron, regional development director for the Colorado Area for Constant Contact, is a guest speaker slated for the Business to Business Expo on Wednesday, June 6. Zak will talk about the power of e-mail marketing — how to use it, how to develop a clientele list, how to make your e-mail campaigns pop and get the biggest bang for your buck. Zak will also touch on ways to simplify social media marketing and tell you how to collect client data.

Along with Zak, there will be two other guest speakers. Marc Willson, restaurant and retail consultant for the Virginia SBDC will be the lunch keynote speaker. Marc specializes in working with communities that are expecting the arrival of a large format retail store. He travels throughout the country and works one-on-one with business owners to help them combat the “big box” attack. Marc will also be available on Thursday, June 7, for private consultations. Call the Chamber to book an appointment.

Cinda Baxter, owner of Always Upward and creator of the 3/50 Project, will be the day’s closing speaker. There will be no lull in the day as Cinda will have you on the edge of your seats wanting to start implementing her suggestions with other individuals and businesses. She is uplifting, energizing and cuts to the chase. Her 3/50 Project went from a blog to a viral phenomenon in 2009. She has been a guest and topic of interest on many major shows and in magazines, including Oprah, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal.

Attendance at the Expo is only $25 for the whole afternoon. This price allows you to enjoy lunch and all three guest speakers, gives you time to network at all the vendor booths and during the evening reception. This price also allows you in-and-out privileges if you cannot stay for the whole half day. The low cost for this exceptional Expo is due in part to the sponsorship of the Pagosa Springs Community Development Corporation and the Bank of Colorado. If your business is interested in having a booth at the Expo, the cost is only $50 and this entitles you to all the attendee benefits as well as a booth space. You can register for the event as a vendor or an attendee through the Chamber website at www.pagosaspringschamber.com or at the Chamber offices. You can also direct your questions to me at 264-2360.

Business owners asked for help earlier this year in dealing with the Wal-Mart coming to our community. In response to those requests, we have planned a very exciting 2012 Business Expo. How can you not invest $25 in your business when there is so much valuable information to take away? Can you lessen the threat of a “big box” to your business? Come to the Business Expo and find out.

Business Bites

On Tuesday, May 15, Gail Elmore, health inspector with San Juan Basin Health Department, will conduct our May Business Bites luncheon.

This session is targeted at restaurant, catering and non-profit organizations that perform offsite event catering, especially in the outdoors. Weather affecting holding temperatures, sanitary conditions, and food preparation varies in an outdoor environment. If you participate in outdoor cooking functions, with a booth or portable unit, you must adhere to the guidelines and inspections conducted by San Juan Basin Health. This session will set down the expectations from San Juan Basin Health and make temporary food site inspections easier for you and your organization. They are making this training available to you to minimize any health or facility problems. The class will be held at the westside Visitor Center from noon to 1 p.m. on May 15. The cost is $7 for Chamber members and $10 for non-members. Lunch will be provided. Please R.S.V.P. to the Chamber by Friday, May 11, so enough food can be ordered.

Circus time

Lions, tigers and elephants — oh my! The Carson and Barnes Circus is coming to Pagosa on Wednesday, May 9, at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. on Hot Springs Boulevard. Watch the circus tent go up as they arrive in town the morning of the May 9. This affordable event has something for the kid in all of us.

Advance adult tickets are $14 and children are $6. There are also $4-off discount tickets available, making the adult tickets only $10. You are able to obtain discount tickets all over town and online, so there is no reason to pay full price for adult tickets. Tickets are available at the Chamber, Wild Spirit Gallery and Ski & Bow Rack. Pagosa has not had a circus in town for many years, so now is the time to get out and enjoy this memorable event.

If you are interested in sponsoring a children’s class to attend the circus, the cost is $150. Please contact Jennie Green at sales@visitpagosasprings.com for more information. Your generous donation will allow about 25 children to attend the circus. Make this a special day for your family that you will remember for years to come.

Hanging baskets

The Chamber’s annual Beautify Pagosa campaign is in full swing with our sale of colorful 12-inch hanging baskets and gorgeous, show-stopping 16-inch baskets. The 12-inch baskets are planted with drought-resistant flowers and greens and will be coming from Ponderosa Lumber. The 16-inch baskets will come from Chamber member Bayfield Gardens. A limited number of baskets has been ordered in each size category.

The 12-inch baskets will be delivered the Friday of Memorial Day weekend and the 16-inch baskets will be delivered the next week by a Chamber staff or board member. There will also be some fertilizer included, to remind you to water your flowers regularly (the wind can beat them up) and to thank you for “Growing With the Chamber.” We are accepting cash, check or credit card when ordering. For more information or to place your order, call the Chamber at 264-2360.

Car raffle

Raffle tickets for the 2001 Jeep Cherokee Laredo will be available for the next couple of weeks.

The car will be awarded to one lucky winner on Saturday, May 19, at 2 p.m. at the Car Show on Lewis Street. This 4-wheel drive Jeep is in excellent condition and has new or renewed almost everything, including new tires courtesy of Piedra Automotive and a fantastic detail job performed by Mud Shavers Car Wash.

Tickets are $25 and may be purchased from the Chamber and any board or staff members at locations all around town. The winning party is responsible for taxes, licensing and title. For more information, contact the Chamber or stop by and pick up your raffle ticket. There are only a limited number of tickets available. You do not need to be present to win the car.

Membership

This is a thank you to all the members who have taken advantage of the free, monthly Maximizing Your Membership luncheon class. The Chamber conference room has been filled to capacity the past several months with existing and potential Chamber business owners wanting to get the most from their membership and hard earned dollars. If you haven’t taken a class yet, watch for the next session.

We have one new member this week — the beautiful and talented weavers at Tierra Wools in Los Ojos, N.M. Tierra Wools is located in the heart of the historic sheep country of our region where they do their own dying, spinning, weaving and designing in their 100-year-old studio. They also offer classes, and lodging is available. If you have family or friends coming in this summer, I highly encourage you to take them to Tierra Wools; it is a beautiful drive and an educational and relaxing outing. For more information visit their website at www.handweavers.com.

We have a large number of renewals this week: The Pagosa Source Real Estate Advisors; Farrago Market Café and Colorado Cowgirl Enterprises; Bank of the San Juans; Colorado Dream Homes; and Rainbow Gift Shop. Our nonprofits renewing include the Western Heritage Event Center, the San Juan Water Conservancy District and the St. Francis Sanctuary and Wildlife Rehabilitation facility. From outside the area we have the Historic Strater Hotel in Durango renewing. Individual members John and Carrie Weiss renew this week.

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