The Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce holds the national record for new members recruited during a three-day membership drive and hopes to top it this week.
From Tuesday through Thursday, volunteers will be calling businesses with a goal to recruit 700 new chamber members. The drive will kick off with a grand entrance into the chamber building's Genevoc Room, 315 N. Broadway Ave., at 8:10 a.m. Tuesday, and volunteers will start making calls to potential new members at 8:38 a.m.
For the next three days, they will call people throughout the day, from 8:38 a.m. to 5 p.m. and ask them to join the chamber. A wrap-up celebration, with an announcement of how many new members joined, will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday at Rick's on the Square.
Kim Morris, assistant vice president of marketing and communications for the Tyler Convention and Visitors Bureau, said when the last membership drive was held in 2009 by the Tyler Chamber, 647 members were recruited in three days to raise $144,025 in annual membership dues for revenue for the chamber.
She said the chamber supports itself by yearly membership dues, which allows it to provide community programs without holding many fundraisers.
This year, there will be 12 teams made up of at least five people, and teams will rotate working three-hour shifts.
Tyler Chamber Chief Operating Officer Henry Bell estimated that in 2009 there were nine teams and an estimated 250 volunteers.
Since 1997, when Your Chamber Connections began helping the Tyler Chamber organize the membership drive, the Chamber has brought in 2,163 new members and $479,313 in revenue, Ms. Morris said.
Jessica Bravo, representative of Your Chamber Connections, reported that a typical chamber membership drive does a good job when 150 new members are recruited and a phenomenal job if 300 new members.
Your Chamber Connections works with cities of all sizes and Tyler has by far the highest number of volunteers and involvement, she said.