Chamber to Launch New Mobile App
The Moore County Chamber of Commerce plans to unveil a new mobile app at its annual banquet Thursday that officials hope will drive more business to Chamber members, among other benefits.
“We believe it’s also going to be a great recruitment tool,” Chamber President and CEO Patrick Coughlin said. “We’ve been showing a demo to potential members and it’s been very well-received. People think it’s a really cool app. There is no charge for Chamber members to be listed, so it’s a very valuable new benefit that we’re adding.”
Coughlin noted that MyChamberApp is the only app of its kind that works on iPhones, iPads, Droids and Black-Berry operating systems.
“Anyone can download it for free,” he said. “We see this as a tool for members and the public alike.”
Since the app is GPS-driven, if someone is hungry, for example, the app displays restaurants in concentric circles from your current location.
“All you have to do is hit the ‘dining’ button, and the app gives you the restaurants closest to you,” Coughlin said. “The nice thing is that you’re assured of doing business with a Chamber member no matter where you go.”
The Chamber has been planning to add a mobile app since upgrading its membership database at the end of 2010 to more of a contact management system.
“We had the option to implement the app at that time but decided a phased approach would be more manageable,” Coughlin said. “This year, we’re continuing with the next phases, which include mobile app implementation and a website upgrade. The app interfaces with our database and our website, so it made sense to implement it first.”
The Chamber will soon offer sponsorship opportunities on the app, such as the ability to have a business listed first under a particular category after a user search.
“But we’re not pushing that right now,” Coughlin said. “We just want people to start using the app.”
He added that the timing is perfect because mobile access to the Chamber’s website has increased dramatically in the past year.
“In fact, more people access the Web via their phones now than computers,” Coughlin said.
Chamber staff have spent the past couple of weeks testing the app in preparation for its launch at their biggest event.
“Things have been relatively smooth,” Coughlin said. “We’re really looking forward to showcasing what the app can do.”
MyChamberApp also works in other communities with participating Chambers.
“There’s a sense of security in knowing that you’ve got a reputable business you can call on,” Coughlin says.
When his car broke down in rural Virginia last summer, Coughlin said it took “quite a bit of time” to find a repair shop.
“I would have had greater peace of mind had I known I was getting a Chamber member,” he said. “Thankfully, more and more Chambers are adopting this type of app every day.”
Contact Ted M. Natt Jr. at email@example.com.
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