Community Engagement Breeds SuccessApril 30, 2013 By: Alissa Ponchione
Integrating your businesses in the community helps build rapport and social engagement. From hosting charities to working with businesses down the street, bar and nightclubs prove they’re not meant only for weekend nights and happy hours but as an integral part to community successes.
Untitled, a restaurant and lounge in Chicago, hosts events for many businesses in the community, explains Chelsey Mortenson, special event manager at Untitled. “In addition to other businesses, we host events for charities, non-profits and other organizations,” she says. “For our establishment, planning typically involves a food-and-beverage component, audio/video presentations, as well as entertainment as we are a live music and entertainment venue as well as a restaurant and bar.”
All of these things contribute in providing unique experiences for other businesses within the community. Part of Untitled philosophy has always been to be a good citizen with Chicago, not within the business community or the River North neighborhood where the establishment is located but to be a stalwart in the hospitality industry, as well.
“It was important for us to enable other members of the community to use our establishment we built to achieve their goals, whether it’s a charity trying to raise money or a company needing a great space to do a presentation,” she explains. Even though Untitled is relatively new to Chicago, but it didn’t struggle to build relationships with neighboring businesses. Additionally, Untitled is a member of the River North Business Association and destination marketing organization Choose Chicago. This helped them to reach out to the community and become an active member.
“We also have a team that regularly networks and does outreach to business organizations so that we have an active presence in the Chicago business community,” she says. With one-off or annual promotions, marketing often involves using social networks, posting flyers or table tents, sending out emails, etc. But when it comes to growing in the community, Mortenson says the team at Untitled works hard to grow those relationships.
“We do a lot of networking and professional events, as well as aggressive digital marketing to reach new clients,” she says. “Our current strategy and outreach has been very effective, but we are always open to changing things to reach new customers and clients.”
Any bar or club can host promotions to garner new, loyal clientele, but to differentiate itself from the competition requires more thorough and thoughtful planning. Community engagement brings the business to the forefront and “is essential to our brand and business reputation,” Mortenson says.
“Creating goodwill helps any business, and it definitely helps ours in terms of people wanting to patronize our establishment,” she adds. But it’s competitive in the River North neighborhood where there are so many great restaurants and other businesses. “But the benefit is that the business we get from other businesses is a huge driver of revenue, and I think positions us well for long-term success.”