Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC) has unveiled its biggest membership review for years – with exclusive new benefits to meet the needs of all its clients in the fast-changing business world. The region’s largest business support network hailed the introduction of the new look 21st century membership packages as a major turning point in the long and distinguished history of an organisation whose roots date back to the Napoleonic Wars.
More than 200 years on from its foundation, the GBCC is marking its proud heritage with the introduction of a new 1813 Club offering businesses of all sizes the opportunity to raise their profiles and make new connections, increasingly through digital channels.
Patronage will remain the “top tier” package, offering a limited number of companies a large range of services, including access to national and local government figures, like the recent meetings with business secretary Sajid Javid and Birmingham City Council leader John Clancy.
The GBCC has over 2,600 member companies with ambitious plans to grow that to 4,000 over the next three years through innovation of products and strategies that will match the huge growth being generated in Birmingham. The 1813 members will be offered a free exhibition stand or dinner ticket, personal introductions to members of choice, and additional features in the popular monthly magazine Chamberlink and daily e-newsletter ChamberlinkDaily.
Meanwhile, Standard (formerly Essential) and Premier membership will still be available to ensure members are given the widest possible benefits package suitable to their individual needs in the modern business world. The concept was revealed today following months of extensive research undertaken since Paul Faulkner became chief executive of the GBCC in June.
This included work with two Premier members. Brand agency Orb Creative staged a branding workshop with a cross-section of staff at their offices in Alpha Tower and Elonex Outdoor Media will be advertising the GBCC’s new offering on their billboards across the city.
Rob Bloxham, founder of ORB, said: "The Chamber is a hugely important force in the region and to be entrusted by it to create a fresh, purposeful and vibrant brand that is set to play a crucial role in its future, while also reflecting its proud heritage, has been an honour.
“We've looking forward to working alongside Paul and the team to really drive forward the brand and help the Chamber realise its ambitions."
As part of the brand refresh, Future Faces will be fully integrated with the rest of the Greater Birmingham divisions and re-named the Future Faces Chamber of Commerce.
The whole new membership offer will be delivered by an integrated membership team, which has enjoyed great success over the past 12 months. The GBCC's membership base is currently eight per cent up on last year and the aim is for continual growth.
In addition to the new packages, a group-wide website will be re-launched this month and will include a new and improved Member Directory, a Member Marketplace where members can place offers and request services and to give members a wider voice there will be a Spotlight feature giving members the opportunity to submit a blog to be published on the website.
Mr Faulkner said: “Today’s launch marks the culmination of extensive research, examining our membership packages and our digital services, including the launch of a new group-wide website.
“We are reaffirming our position and purpose to ‘Connect Support and Grow’ local businesses whether through membership or our vast range of business support services, and are excited by what we will be able to offer businesses going forward.
“At the same time we have not lost sight of the Chamber’s rich heritage and prestige through which we have been creating partnerships for businesses going back over 200 years.
“This is an exciting time to be involved in business in the Greater Birmingham region, and there is a genuine sense that the area is experience a true renaissance, underpinned by a number of exciting plans and projects that are due to become reality over the next decade.
“The Chamber has ambitious plans for growth that we make no apology for, and we look forward to playing an active role in the continued success of the region in the years to come.”
Katrina Cooke, the GBCC’s marketing and communications director, said: “One of the GBCC’s greatest strengths is that we offer such a diverse range of services to businesses across the region. We were looking for a succinct way to summarise and position our offering and we feel that the new proposition to Connect, Support and Grow does this.”
As a thank you for their ongoing support and loyalty, the GBCC have applied a price freeze to existing members for their next renewal. There will be an option to upgrade and any members interested in this should get in touch with the membership team or visit our new website (www.greaterbirminghamchambers.com)