BUCKSPORT — Does your business need a little attention? Consider hosting an event alone or with a neighboring business.
That was one piece of advice Nicole Ouellette, owner of Breaking Even Communications in Bar Harbor, gave to a crowd at the Bucksport Bay Area Chamber of Commerce annual meeting and awards celebration March 22.
Bucksport House of Pizza catered the dinner meeting, which was held at the Alamo Theatre.
Chamber Executive Director Leslie Wombacher recruited chamber member Ouellette a few hours before the meeting started when the guest speaker cancelled due to snow.
David Grima, an employment and training specialist for the Maine Department of Labor, based at the Rockland CareerCenter, had been scheduled to speak.
Ouellette gave the group ideas about hosting events, which could be as simple as a cash mob or as intricate as a parade.
“Events are so hot right now,” said Ouellette, who founded her business in 2008. Events are a way to get new people to visit a business and to re-engage longtime customers. Events are also a way to get media coverage, Ouellette said.
“It’s nice to co-host an event,” she said. “You get to piggyback on the other person’s audience and share the work. It’s like a no-brainer.”
Ouellette said “cash mobs,” where chamber members converge on a pre-selected business on a certain day, have become popular in Bar Harbor.
Coda Restaurant in Southwest Harbor is going to host an upcoming beer and yoga event called “Detox and Retox” with teacher Mary Kate Murray and featuring Urban Farms Fermentory Kombucha and Fogtown Brewery beer.
“Beer loosens you up and you try that pose you might not try otherwise,” Ouellette said.
The speaker asked for input from the audience about business promotion ideas.
David Weeda, who owns Williams Pond Lodge Bed and Breakfast in Bucksport with Dominick Rizzo, said he took his marketing plan on the road on a vacation to Ecuador. He played bagpipes on the beach and handed out a stack of cards with photos of the solar-powered B&B. Fishermen were among the recipients of the cards.
“I told them bring their fish to Bucksport and we’ll do something with it,” Weeda said.
BookStacks owner Andy Lacher, who is also the president of the chamber board, kicked off the awards celebration with a story from his childhood.
Attorney Bill Tymoczko served as master of ceremonies.
The following businesses and residents were honored at the Bucksport Bay Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting and awards celebration March 22 at The Alamo Theatre:
New Business of the Year
Verona Wine and Design
Business Person of the Year
Dino Kisamitakis, Bucksport House of Pizza
Nonprofit of the Year
Bucksport Heart & Soul
Hans Honders Award
Chamber Volunteer of the Year
Adele Berzinis, Camden National Bank
Longstanding Chamber Member
Jerry Harriman, Bucksport True Value