In Humble ISD, the district and Chamber of Commerce host BizCom meetings that attract high-influence stakeholders. Without these events, many stakeholders might never have a reason to step onto a campus. BizCom fosters favorable impressions of public schools, while serving the information and networking needs of the business community. BizCom also nurtures a small town, neighborly feel in Humble ISD although the district is fast-growth.
This weekend, I presented at the TASA/TASB Conference along with fellow board member, Robert Sitton, and Humble ISD Public Communications Director, Jamie Mount. Together, we shared tips for implementing powerful, community-building gatherings.
School District Provides Facilities
Hold meetings at each high school to give every high school exposure. For example, we alternative between four high schools which allows us to meet just about every month but rotating locations.
Additionally, each location has a different chair that is in charge of setting the agenda, securing sponsors, etc.
Partner with another organization to lead the meetings
We partner with our local chamber of commerce, which helps attract a new, more varied crowd than if the school district leads alone. The chamber sends communication to business members and posts on social media. Involving a partner expands the school district’s audience (pastors of local churches, realtors, non-profits) and does not place a lot of new work on school district staff; for example, the chamber handles online registration and at the door.
Meetings are more interesting with multiple interests in the room, which also helps generate ideas for future meetings. Attendees also get exposure to events/opportunities that they wouldn’t otherwise hear about.
We share a common interest: everyone wants the community to be prosperous, safe, and caring.
Keep it fast-paced for busy people
Agenda set by chair of each BizCom group, not the school district. Meetings are one hour with a complimentary box lunch if an RSVP is made. Have appropriate signage placed at the campus to direct attendees where to park and enter the building. Schools can utilize student groups (student council, ROTC, etc.) to welcome guests.
Typically, there are about six presenters allotted around 7 minutes each, including questions. Therefore, it is importance to alway have a timekeeper to keep on schedule.
- New construction: Insperity’s new center, new campus for private school, hospital expansion, new restaurants, new subdivisions, new movie theatre, new H-E-B
- Transportation: Updates on impending road construction or long-term plans to improve mobility (county commissioner or rep, city councilman or rep,…)
- Quality of Life: Parks and trails, golf tournaments, the Rodeo, town center
- School district: Trustee Superintendent Search Process, Head coach update on football season
- Non-profits: Pastor presentation on church-sponsored tailgating event, mental health awareness campaign
See for yourself what it’s like to attend a BizCom…