The Oxford Dictionary describes a Chamber of Commerce as “a local association to promote and protect the interests of the business community in a particular place”.

But does that resonate with businesses in Aberdeen city and shire?

Each year, the Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce surveys its members and in 2014, 65% of members joined the Chamber to connect with other local businesses.

Interestingly, 34% of members joined to help meet their corporate objectives.

But how does a Chamber help them do this?

With a membership team of seven, my role as a membership network manager is to ensure the Chamber provides a range of tailored services for the energy sector (regardless of company size) and work with a number of departments or teams within the company, ultimately managing their expectations of membership.

With nearly 500 member companies in the oil and gas or renewables industry (equating to about 60,000 employees), this is no mean feat.

I recently met with a local business who due to the current market climate were considering whether to diversify their range of products to work with other sectors in the UK or to look at international expansion – which is becoming more of a regular conversation.

I spent some time with them looking at some of the options available, considering which risk assessment/risk management companies may be able to support them with their queries around working in volatile areas through to partnership opportunities.

We also discussed what sectors they could work with in the UK and how they may need to change everything from their marketing materials to sales projections.

There’s still a lot of discussions to be had but at last I was able to provide some serious food for thought.

Of course, not all meetings I have are so serious.

I’ve had some great anecdotes from the team at Virgin Atlantic around the difficulties a chicken tikka sandwich can have when travelling as part of an outward trade delegation, through to getting to try out being a newsreader at STV at one of our premier partner events.

Every member is different (John Peden from Norco is particularly different and won’t mind me saying so!). Every meeting is different. Every request for business support is different and ultimately I, and the membership team, am here to help.

Want to know more? Why not book a place at the next Maximise Your Membership event?