Thursday, May 18, 2017

Lake Chamber At Work: Speed Leads Networking Luncheons

At Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, our mission is to support the business community at the Lake of the Ozarks. We strive to do everything we can to support local companies and business professionals so that together, we can contribute to an ever-improving business culture. We host a variety events to give professionals an opportunity to come together for this purpose. This week, we're taking a closer look at one such event - our Speed Leads Networking Luncheons.

Speed Leads Networking Luncheons

Twice per year, we collaborate with the other local Chambers (Lake West Chamber and Camdenton Area Chamber of Commerce) to host our famous Speed Leads Networking Luncheons. Fast-paced and fun-filled, these events provide a great opportunity for local professionals to meet new people, exchange ideas, and generate new leads for their businesses. These events are exclusive - as an added benefit to our valued members, only Chamber members are welcome to participate!

How It Works

It's like speed dating for business professionals. Our Speed Leads Networking Luncheons are structured so that all participants will have a brief time to tell new contacts about their business, followed by another brief time to listen to their new contact share about their business as well. Participants rotate through the event so that everyone has the opportunity to meet as many new people as possible.

Since space is limited, we request that companies send no more than two representatives each. If you plan to send two representatives, we recommend that you have your team members collaborate ahead of time so that they can each plan to pitch different aspects of your company.

But First - We Eat!

Of course, we won't send you out to network on an empty stomach! These networking events are hosted during lunch hour for a reason - we begin each of these events with lunch provided by the chosen location for that day's event. Past locations include Li'l Rizzo's, Lake Valley Country Club, and Osage National Golf Course. Once we're finished with lunch, we dive into the networking event. 

What To Bring

Participants are encouraged to bring lots of business cards to pass out to their new contacts. Since your time with other participants is limited, it is also best to come prepared with a brief "elevator speech" you can deliver to your new contacts. Practice this speech in advance so that you are well-prepared for the big day!

We ask that general participants do not bring additional marketing materials, as this privilege is reserved for the sponsor of that particular event.

Mark Your Calendar!

These fast-paced, high-energy events are held only twice per year, so it's important to take advantage of the opportunities they present! Our next Speed Leads Networking Luncheon will be held on Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM. Location and additional details will be announced later. Mark your calendars now so that you can plan to join us!

If you'd like more information about our Speed Lead Networking Luncheons, call Lake Area Chamber of Commerce at (573) 964-1008. In the meantime, be sure to keep up with everything happening at the Chamber by liking our Facebook page!

Contact Your Lake Area Chamber Of Commerce!

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

5 Success Tips For Nervous Networkers

Networking is the art of expanding, building, and strengthening your network of business professionals. In addition to furthering your connections with people you already know, networking involves approaching strangers so that you can forge new relationships with new opportunities. For some people, networking comes naturally and easily. For others, the concept may seem intimidating (to say the least).

The Importance Of Networking

Here at Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, we are huge believers in the power of networking. People want to do business with people - one of the best ways to help your business grow is to build a strong network of people who will not only use your products or services personally, but who will refer your business to their friends, families, and coworkers.

In order to help our members take advantage of the potential that networking has to offer, our Lake of the Ozarks Chamber of Commerce hosts monthly networking socials for both existing and prospective members. These socials are designed to give individuals a chance to come together and share business ideas, goals, products, and services with local like-minded professionals.

However, we recognize that the idea of networking may not be everyone's cup of tea. For some, the idea of approaching new people and striking up conversations with perfect strangers may seem like a daunting prospect. In an effort to make networking less intimidating, we've compiled a few simple tips and suggestions to help people get past their hesitations so that they can take advantage of all the benefits networking has to offer.

5 Tips For Nervous Networkers

If the idea of approaching strangers at a networking event puts a knot in your stomach, these tips may help you overcome this hurdle.

1. Use The Buddy System.
If networking seems scary to you, it's probably not because you're afraid of talking about your business - it's more likely because you're afraid of talking to people you don't know. You can ease this transition by going with a friend who can introduce you to their contacts. Having a friend along is also a helpful way to foster new relationships altogether, since the two of you can approach strangers together. Just be careful that you avoid giving in to the temptation of squaring off and exclusively speaking with your friend all evening.

2. Look For Small Groups
If you're trying to join a conversation with people you don't yet know, you'll likely have an easier time joining small groups of two, three, or four people. Groups of five or more tend to be harder to break into (and much more intimidating).

3. Ask Questions
Asking questions is the secret to networking success. Not only does it provide you with a valuable opportunity to learn about your new contact's business - it takes the pressure off of you from having to talk about yourself while you get your bearings. Once you have broken the ice, you can share some information about your own company in return.

4. Practice Breaking Out Of Your Comfort Zone.
Sometimes, taking an indirect route may just as effective. Rather than psyching yourself up to talk to a stranger at a networking event, start by tackling a different one your fears. Once you've learned (or at least attempted several times) to talk on the phone, deal with spiders in your house, or face one of your other fears, talking to new people at a networking event may seem much less intimidating in comparison.

5. Wear A Name Tag & Bring Business Cards
Name tags and business cards are networking staples. By wearing a name tag, you will automatically make yourself much more approachable. By bringing business cards, you will be able to easily exchange contact information with people you meet. You can also use them as a cheat sheet for yourself by scribbling impressions and other notes about your conversation on the back of your new contact's card.

Hone Your Networking Skills At Our Next Social!

Ultimately, all the preparation in the world can't possibly compare to the act of actually putting yourself out there. It might be scary at first, but as with everything else, it gets easier the more you do it. All it takes is a little practice.

Our next networking social is coming up on Tuesday, May 16th from 5:00 - 7:00 PM. The event will be held at Camden on the Lake, which is located at 2359 Bittersweet Road in Lake Ozark, Missouri. Specifically, the social will take place in Toad Island, a new Jamaican-themed restaurant at the resort. Free appetizers will be served, and a cash bar will be available.

For more information, contact Lake Area Chamber of Commerce by calling 573-964-1008. You can also RSVP to the event on Facebook.

See you there!

Contact Your Lake Area Chamber Of Commerce!

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Magic Dragon Street Meet Nationals 2017

CALLING ALL CAR ENTHUSIASTS ... and everyone else, too!

If you're looking for something fun to do this weekend, Lake Area Chamber has got you covered. You are officially invited to join us at one of our favorite annual events: Magic Dragon Street Meet Nationals!

The Magic Dragon Car Show

The Magic Dragon Car Show is one-of-a-kind. The show brings together cars, trucks, and motorcycles of all makes, models, and years. Last year, the Magic Dragon Car Show drew 1,000 participants and nearly 10,000 spectators. With a spectacular forecast lined up for the weekend, we anticipate this year's event to be just as successful - and possibly EVEN BIGGER! 

The Magic Dragon Car Show is hosted by Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by several local businesses. View a complete list of this year's sponsors at Special thanks to all our volunteers who come together to help make this event possible!

29th Annual Magic Dragon Street Meet Nationals

This year marks the 29th anniversary of the Magic Dragon Car Show. With nearly three decades of show experience, this car show has something for everyone. In addition to the hundreds of impressive vehicles on display, spectators will get to enjoy...
  • Aces High Poker Run
  • Shopping
  • Dining
  • Arcades
  • Helicopter Rides
  • Chance to Win a FREE Muscle Car!

The Strip closes to normal traffic during the car show, so spectators are able to explore the streets freely. Family and friends of all ages are welcome and encouraged to attend!

WHEN:  May 5-7, 2017
WHERE:  The Historic Bagnell Dam Strip in Lake Ozark, MO
WHAT TIME:  Morning through Late Night

For a complete overview of the schedule of events for this year's car show, visit

Don't Miss Out!

The Magic Dragon Car Show is in a league of its own. If you've ever attended before, you know that the atmosphere on the Strip during show hours is absolutely electric. If you haven't attended before, you don't have to take our word for it - join us for this year's show and see for yourself!

Stay up-to-date with everything happening at Magic Dragon Car Show - sign up for text alerts by texting LakeCarShow to 40691 and like the Magic Dragon Car Show on Facebook.

With hundreds of participants and vendors - PLUS an outstanding weekend forecast - this year's event is sure to be one for the record books. See you on the Strip!

Contact Your Lake Area Chamber Of Commerce!

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Friday, April 28, 2017

Become A Young Professional At The Lake!

  • Passionate about the Lake community?
  • Interested in connecting with like-minded peers?
  • Under the age of 45?

If you answer YES to any of these questions, then we've got the PERFECT opportunity for you!

Young Professionals At The Lake

Young Professionals At The Lake is a Chamber-sponsored organization designed to connect young adults who are working within the local community. Young Professionals at the Lake is essentially a subgroup of Lake Area Chamber of Commerce open to any and all working adults ages 45 and under. Their mission is simple:

Connecting young professionals to foster community engagement, exchange ideas and support the Lake Area Chamber of Commerce’s mission and activities.

Does this sound like something you'd enjoy? We'd love for you to join us!

What We Do

In order to further support our mission, Young Professionals at the Lake hosts a variety of events and activities throughout the year. Examples of some of our past activities include:

  • YPL-Sponsored Lunch & Learns
  • Family-Friendly NFL Party / Social
  • Volunteering at Lake Area Chamber's Events
  • YPL Trivia Night
  • Shoreline Cleanup with Adopt-A-Shoreline
  • Annual YPL Dodgeball Tournament

As our biggest event of the year, The YPL Dodgeball Tournament is a particularly big hit. Businesses all over the Lake of the Ozarks sponsor teams and work their way through the tournament, competing for first place - and ultimate bragging rights! Every year, a portion of the proceeds are donated to a local charity. The first year, donations went to Ozark Coast Kiwanis. This year, donations supported Lake Area Big Brothers Big Sisters - we raised a grand total of $1,500!

Join The Fun!

If you are interested in expanding your network and connecting with local peers who love engaging with their community, we would LOVE to have you!

Young Professionals at the Lake is designed to be a low-maintenance organization. As young professionals, most of us have a lot on our plates. In addition to furthering our careers and (for some of us) starting/managing our own companies. many of us are also raising families with young children. In recognition of the multiple roles we're currently juggling, Young Professionals at the Lake makes a point not to burden our members with too many additional responsibilities.

Our meetings our held over lunch every other month at Willmore Lodge in Lake Ozark. Our additional events scattered throughout the year. 

A personal or company membership with Lake Area Chamber of Commerce is required in order to join Young Professionals at the Lake, but the membership cost for YPL is extremely affordable - only $50 per person, per year!

Contact Us For More Information!

If you would like more information about Young Professionals at the Lake or are interested in joining our great organization, contact Lake Area Chamber of Commerce by calling 573-964-1008. Don't forget to keep up with Young Professionals at the Lake by liking the Facebook page!

Contact Your Lake Area Chamber Of Commerce!

Lake Area Chamber Of Commerce                           Like us on Facebook
#1 Willmore Lane                                                      Follow us on Twitter
P.O. Box 1570                                               Connect with us on LinkedIn
Lake Ozark, MO 65049                                             Follow us on Google+

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

COME PREPARED! What To Bring To A Networking Event

As "Lake locals," we foster strong connections with each other by coming together to host and volunteer for community events, attend business socials, and supporting one another however we can. Lake Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to play our part by hosting monthly networking socials, thus creating an additional opportunity for local professionals to forge new connections and strengthen existing ones. 

Our next networking social will take place tonight at Topsider in Osage Beach. We're here to help you prepare for a successful evening of networking and fun by offering these quick reminders.


In order to prepare for a successful networking event, you need to bring several things with you. Some of these things are tangible items that you will use during your conversations. Others are intangible concepts that are nevertheless crucial components of preparing for a successful evening of networking. 

Here is a checklist of intangible things to bring to a networking event:
  • A clear understanding of what you and your company have to offer
    • You'll only have a few minutes to create a lasting impression. Practice your elevator speech ahead of time so that you know what to say.
  • A smile
    • People are naturally drawn to people who are approachable and engaging. Donning a smile for the entire event will give you a significant advantage.
  • Authenticity
    • In order to last, the connections you make at networking events must be built on authenticity and trust. Prepare to be completely honest about what you and your company have to offer.
  • Engaging questions
    • Don't waste precious time gabbing about the weather. Come with a mental list of engaging, open-ended questions to encourage new contacts to open up about their businesses.
  • Listening skills
    • Effective communication requires a willingness to actively listen to what the other person is saying. Be prepared to listen more than you talk.
  • A firm handshake
    • Good or bad, your handshake will leave an impression. Be prepared to offer a firm handshake to form a positive impression.

Here is a checklist of tangible items to bring to a networking event:
  • A pen
    • You never know when you may need to jot down a couple notes. Bring a pen so that you can write down a few general notes and impressions on the back of someone's business card after meeting with her.
  • Business cards
    • This the most obvious - and perhaps most important - thing you can bring to a networking event. Bring lots of business cards and be prepared to pass them out to each new contact you meet.
  • Breath mints
    • That garlic cheese dip might be amazing, but your breath afterwards probably won't be! Bring a couple breath mints so that you avoid turning off potential contacts. Avoid gum - consistently chewing while you talk won't do you any favors.
  • Your cell phone
    • Exchanging business cards and jotting down notes on the backs of business cards is helpful, but sometimes exchanging contacts virtually may be even easier. Bring your phone, but avoid pulling it out unless you are going to specifically use it for networking purposes.
  • Name tag
    • Wearing a clear, easily legible name tag is a crucial component of making yourself accessible and approachable. 

By packing these items ahead of time, you'll be able to set yourself up for an evening of networking success.

See You Tonight!

Join us tonight for our April networking social. Details are as follows:
  • Date:  Tuesday, April 18, 2017
  • Time:  5:00 - 7:00 PM
  • Place:  Topsider Night Club
    • 4877 Osage Beach Parkway
    • Osage Beach, MO 65065

Tonight's event will focus on volunteer appreciation as well as networking opportunities. Free appetizers and a cash bar will be available. 

We look forward to seeing you there!

Contact Your Lake Area Chamber Of Commerce!

Lake Area Chamber Of Commerce                           Like us on Facebook

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

TIME IS RUNNING OUT - Don't Miss The Spring Membership Drive!

Spring is a time of rebirth, new growth, and exciting changes. As a Lake of the Ozarks business owner, spring presents the perfect opportunity for you to brush any dust off your marketing and business strategies so you can prepare for the influx of business you are likely to receive this summer.

In anticipation of the upcoming busy season, Lake Area Chamber of Commerce is offering a Spring Membership Drive to help you position your business for success during the warm summer months. Keep reading to learn how participating in our Spring Membership Drive may help propel your business to the next level.


If you are already a member of Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, the Spring Membership Drive is the perfect opportunity to help us help you! All existing members who participate in our Spring Membership Drive have the opportunity to win a free year of membership with Lake Area Chamber of Commerce (a cash value of $260)!

Not only will you have this chance to win - you will also be:

  • Helping grow the Chamber and supporting all of its efforts we put forth into our community.
  • Helping another business get some phenomenal exposure and helping them grow their business connections.

For every two new members you refer to the Chamber, you will receive one entry into a drawing for a free year of membership.

As you are well aware, helping others is a powerful way to enhance your company's reputation and build your credibility. People like to give their business to companies that give back. By demonstrating your commitment to helping other businesses succeed, people will be more likely to help YOUR business do the same.


If you are looking for a way to BUILD your network, GROW your business, and ENHANCE your company image, joining Lake Area Chamber could be exactly the opportunity you've been looking for. Our Spring Membership Drive is the perfect time to join our Lake of the Ozarks Chamber of Commerce. 

By joining Lake Area Chamber during the Spring Membership Drive, you will receive a:
  • "Welcome to the Chamber" boosted post on the Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Facebook page, which has over 2,600 fans (and counting!)
  • Complimentary promotional e-blast to our mailing list of over 1,400 subscribers (cash value of $75!)

The complimentary e-blast may be used at any point during the 2017 calendar year. 


Time is running out to participate in the Spring Membership Drive - it will only last through the end of this month! In order for both existing and new members to take advantage of the benefits offered by the Drive, applications and payment for the first year of membership must be submitted to Lake Area Chamber of Commerce no later than April 30th, 2017.

Don't miss out on this valuable opportunity to expand your business! Visit our website for more information about the 2017 Spring Membership Drive. We would happy to answer any questions you may have!

Contact Your Lake Area Chamber Of Commerce!

Lake Area Chamber Of Commerce                           Like us on Facebook
#1 Willmore Lane                                                      Follow us on Twitter
P.O. Box 1570                                               Connect with us on LinkedIn
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Thursday, April 6, 2017

5 Tips To Grow Your Business At The Lake Of The Ozarks

As the owner, you are the heart and soul of your company. While your team members each play a crucial role, the success of your business ultimately depends on you.

This responsibility isn't something to fear; rather, it is something to celebrate! Under your effective supervision and leadership, your business can thrive. As a business owner at the Lake of the Ozarks, you have a myriad of resources available to help your company succeed. Lake Area Chamber of Commerce is here to do our part by offering a few simple tips to help you grow your business.

1. Dedicate Every Morning To Generating New Business.
Juggling paperwork, going to meetings, overseeing payroll, monitoring cash flow... there's a lot that goes into keeping a business running. Once their businesses are off the ground, many entrepreneurs find that they become so focused on keeping up with their current workloads that they forget to dedicate any extra time to growing their businesses. Make a point to spend your first 1-3 hours every morning focusing exclusively on generating new business. The results will likely speak for themselves.

2. Hire Good People.
As the company owner, keeping up with everything that goes into running a successful company is ultimately your responsibility. If you don't have time (or choose not) to do certain tasks yourself, it is up to you to appoint someone reliable to fulfill them for you. This probably goes without saying, but it essential that you hire trustworthy, reliable, high-caliber employees. Ideally, your team members should treat your company with the same respect and attention to detail that they would give to their own business. Self-motivating team members will become an invaluable asset as you continue to grow your business.

3. Be Consistent...
Consistency is a key component of any successful business venture. Your customers and clients expect you to continually deliver the same level of high-quality service they received on the first day they came to you. If you are unable to be consistent, they may look to your competitors to provide the services they need.

4. ... But Adaptable.
Consistency is crucial, but adaptability is a must. Nothing ever remains the same for too long. Just when you have found a comfortable rhythm and everything seems to be flowing smoothly, something will inevitably disrupt the process. Whether this disruption stems from an internal source (one of your employees announces that she is pregnant) or an external one (you learn that your top contractor is moving out of state). Regardless of the source of the disruption, the success of your business will depend on how quickly you are able to adapt to your new circumstances.

5. Get Involved
People want to do business with people they know, like, and trust. One of the best ways to generate new and repeat business is to establish a people-centered presence in your community. Sponsor community and non-profit events, volunteer your time, and encourage your team members to get involved as well. Engaging in this manner will demonstrate to your customers that you are accessible and committed to the health of your community.

Lake Area Chamber Of Commerce Is Here To Help!
As your trusted Chamber of Commerce at the Lake of the Ozarks, Lake Area Chamber is here to help you and your business succeed. Joining Lake Area Chamber can be a great way way to get involved, as a membership opens up multiple volunteer, sponsorship, and networking opportunities. We also offer a wide variety of resources to help our members become more successful.

For more information about what Lake Area Chamber of Commerce can offer you, give us a call at 573-964-1008 or visit our website:

Contact Your Lake Area Chamber Of Commerce!

Lake Area Chamber Of Commerce                           Like us on Facebook
#1 Willmore Lane                                                      Follow us on Twitter
P.O. Box 1570                                               Connect with us on LinkedIn
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