How the Cirencester Chamber of Commerce has supported and enhanced my business?

Cirencester Chamber of Commerce finalists

I joined The Chamber in around 2009 and haven’t looked back since! 

In 2008-2010 my business faced its first recession; this was the first time I needed to network to generate business in three years. I tried a handful of networking groups in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire during that time, to work out what would be the best fit for me and my business.  

The Chamber had a commitment level and cost that I could realistically keep up. I found the atmosphere really relaxed and everyone really inviting.  

During my 15 year membership I’ve made over 22 collaborations with other Chamber businesses, had lots of fun and made a few chums along the way! 

So how has The Chamber been a benefit to my business? Firstly, the most obvious one is connecting with people that need photography work, secondly finding suppliers that I need to for my business and thirdly the annual business awards!

The business awards are a big feature in the Cirencester business calendar! Personally, I’ve been going every year since 2009 and sponsored the awards with my photography services since around 2010, sponsoring the awards has given my business additional visibility.

Entering and winning several awards has also been a huge boost to my business! Over the years I’ve won two awards and been a finalist three times. Winning The Creative’s Champion award led to an interview with BBC Radio Gloucestershire. Winning the Professional Services Provider of the Year led to bountiful press exposure! 

This year I’m a finalist in two categories, Self Employed Person of the Year and Professional Services Provider of the Year! I found out I was a finalist under some unusual circumstances… 

I was booked by Red Kite Solicitors to photograph the launch of their new offices… which also doubled up as The Chamber networking evening, where they were announcing this year’s finalists! I was beavering away taking “snaps” whilst they called out the varying finalists and suddenly, I heard my name called, followed by lots of cheering! Then much to my surprise I heard my name called AGAIN! Lots of people came up to me afterwards to congratulate to me, which was really lovely! Will I win? We shall find out July 5th!

Edit 6th July 2024: I won!

I was very fortunate to win the Professional Services Provider of the Year category! The only complication was I needed to very quickly hand my camera to one of my willing clients to take my winning photo!

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