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Chamber Advantage Nights

Advantage NightsOld is new again: Advantage Nights


By Jesse D. Smolin
Record-Journal staff


SOUTHINGTON — Greater Southington Chamber of Commerce President Art Secondo believes telling people about the benefits of networking starts with the name of the networking event. That is why the chamber has changed the name of its occasional evening net working sessions from Busi ness After Hours to Advan­tage Nights.

Advantage Nights include social events, seminars and grand openings, often at a member’s business. The first Advantage event is tonight at the twin grand openings of Shelly & Company, a salon, and Art Rich Photography’s new digital production facility, both at 30 Eden Ave.

“Advantage” was chosen to remind members and prospective members of the benefits of joining the chamber. Membership allows business owners access to insurance, piggyback mail ings, network events, marketing assistance, Web site exposure, economic devel opment resources and over all visibility, Secondo said.

“I think it is a big advan tage. I joined when I opened in April after a friend told me it would be a great way to attract clients,” said Shelly Fournier, the owner of Shelly & Company.

Secondo said people have become so familiar with the old Business After Hours name that it no longer served its original purpose, which was to promote events that allow members to network with other busi­nesses.

“It is a long-used cliché that has been around forever, and people have gotten too used to it,” he said.

Although it will take time for members to get accus tomed to Advantage Nights, Secondo said the name change would differentiate Southington’s chamber from others.

“I don’t know if it will in crease membership, but it will set us apart. It will say Southington is a proactive chamber,” Secondo said. To complete the change, a new yellow and blue Advan tage logo will be unveiled, along with the chamber’s new official logo at a press conference in a couple of weeks Secondo said the change in logos would keep the chamber’s image fresh and signify the changes it has gone through. In the last three years, membership has increased from 342 to 520 businesses
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