A Chamber of Commerce represents the collective activism of local, community businesses who are working together for the enhancement of local community. In many ways, a Chamber of Commerce helps market member businesses with ways to advertise and promote, as well as advocate for them in government processes and legislation.
As a result, a Chamber’s website represents a key resource the entity can use to present its information online.
Because a Chamber of Commerce is so member oriented, a website design for a Chamber of Commerce needs to include both static information as well as dynamic content.
Additionally, the website frequently needs to serve two audiences: the general public interested in the Chamber’s information as well as Chamber business members seeking assistance or guidance.
Unlike a single business, a Chamber of Commerce represents an aggregate of companies in a particular region or city. So the website design needs to start with a good layout plan that is both inclusive of multiple interests sharing a common market improvement motive as well as an organized structure for different users.
This layout may require different iterations until a comprehensive approach is realized. Much of it will depend on what sort of information the given Chamber of Commerce provides a designer in terms of how the entity interacts, serves, and communications with its members and external parties.
Once the Chamber of Commerce website plan is complete, the design should be shaped in a preliminary model so Chamber management can test it to determine if the design is in line with how the Chamber operates. Because a Chamber of Commerce’s role is so unique, its input on the initial model is critical for determining further structural changes and end-version direction of the website product.
In general, the end-version of the Chamber’s website will be a multi-user hub of information, which is essentially what a Chamber of Commerce provides members and people face-to-face. However, because both the Chamber’s static and dynamic information can be easily handled with an Internet platform, the general benefit of a Chamber of Commerce’s website can be expanded greatly with archives, communication tools, revolving content, and interactive sections for members.
All of the resources can be added, but the Chamber management should be consulted first during the preliminary model phase. Some Chambers prefer a minimalist approach while others may want to be highly detailed and expansive. The website designer should not be making the related decision alone.
Once the website is up and running, a designer should also be available for a few months to make changes. Again, because Chambers involve an aggregate of community interests, revisions and changes may come up once the website goes live. Having the original designer available makes an update easy to implement if necessary.