Nearly 300 Chamber members and guests had registered to attend the Orrville Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner and Awards program scheduled for March 26, 2020. The decision to postpone the event was made in compliance with the State of Ohio’s Executive Order. The Chamber remained dedicated to keep the health and safety of members and guests a top priority while looking for an alternative way to honor the award recipients and to celebrate the acts of kindness that has brought our community together in this time of crisis.
“Times like this require creative solutions,” stated Lori Reinbolt, Chamber president. “What we developed was an innovative hybrid experience that met the goals we had for the event.”
The goals for the event included celebrating the Chamber’s community of leaders, recognizing the award recipients and providing an opportunity to encourage and support one another in an uncertain time. It was also important to deliver value to event sponsors and registered attendees.
“Our members needed something to look forward to. Something that would bring them together while still respecting socially distancing and the wide variety of workplace situations,” commented Dave Hershey, Chamber Board Chair.
The Chevy Network and Serpentini Orrville was the Red Circle Sponsor for the event experience that included three components. 1.) award presentations, 2.) celebration box for small gatherings and 3.) a meal from a local restaurant.
The award presentations, filmed at the Chamber office by Caret Films, was launched as a video watch party at noon on June 23. Members were encouraged to gather in groups of 10, or less, for the watch party anytime between June 23 and 26.
A Celebration Box, sponsored by McElroy Packaging, added to the experience whether enjoyed with co-workers or individually on a mobile device in a home office. The box was filled with colorful popcorn sponsored by Mennonite Mutual Insurance in honor of their 125 Anniversary, party poppers sponsored by Pure Water Technology, a beverage sponsored in part by Gary’s Drive Thru and a stress ball star sponsored in part by Mirabel Promotions as a reminder that brighter days are ahead.
Meal coupons to local restaurants were also provided to registered guests.
“Sharing a meal has always been an enjoyable part of the Chamber Awards program,” stated Stacey Barrett, Events and Operations Coordinator. “We chose to support local restaurants by offering a meal coupon so that event attendees could dine together as they always have.”
Feedback from members about the alternative event experience has been positive.
Great job thinking of new and creative ways for us to come together and stay connected!,” remarked Maribeth Burns, The J.M. Smucker Company. “While I did miss seeing everyone in person, the experience captured the spirit of the celebration!”
“Such a unique idea and way to celebrate,” stated Loretta Raff, Director of Population Health at Aultman Orrville Hospital. “We know a lot of hard work went into the planning and organizing, the Chamber did a great job!”
“Excellent job on putting together the Virtual 2020 Annual Award Program! Thanks for being creative with the recognition boxes,” commented Jeff Dimos, Venture Products. “I especially like the popcorn!”
The awards program will be airing on the Armstrong Channel Saturday, June 27 through July 11 at 8am and 8pm each day. A link to the program will also be available to the public at www.orrvillechamber.com