Upcoming convention highlights influences facing businesses and chambers alike
On July 17, more than 1,000 chamber leaders converged to Nashville’s Music City Center for the American Chamber of Commerce Executives’ (ACCE) annual convention. This three-day conference showcases Middle Tennessee to some of the nation’s top business and economic development leaders. With more than 1,200 member chambers, ACCE represents business organizations in 92 of the top 100 metro areas in the U.S., as well as in many smaller communities throughout North America.
As the host city chamber, we welcome our peers from near and far. In doing so, we are also keenly aware of the challenges facing chambers today. Last year, ACCE released a study, Horizon Initiative: Chambers 2025, outlining the eight influences shaping the next decade for chambers of commerce. This year’s conference is structured according to these eight influences. Businesses face many of these same challenges; here is a snapshot of what they mean for us – your chamber – and for you and your business.
1. The nature of belonging and gathering: One size does not fit all. We have to understand our members’ and clients’ motivations and know what they value most.
2. Communications and technology: Mass customization will be necessary. We expect everything to be personalized for us in the communications we receive. So do our members and clients.
3. Scarcity and abundance: With a growing economy, Nashville faces new and different challenges. From employee talent, to transportation, to education, we have to be problem solvers in the fast-paced shift between scarcity and abundance.
4. Global impacts: Ninety-five percent of all customers in the world are not based in the U.S., and 45 percent of new job growth over the last 15 years has been created by growth related to international trade – a huge opportunity for Nashville-area businesses.
5. Population shift: Issues of generational, racial and cultural diversity touch every part of our business and community. In 10 years, millennials will make up the majority of the workforce and soon we’ll be a majority-minority country. Being welcoming and inclusive creates a strong environment for business and community prosperity.
6. Political and social fragmentation: We have a responsibility to bring people together to find solutions for our community. We should be the first to occupy the “sane center” – considering all factors in an issue and encouraging broad participation.
7. Resource alignment: Return on investment for members and clients will be increasingly connected to outcomes. At the chamber, this means a strong link between resource generation and our purpose of creating economic prosperity by facilitating community leadership.
8. Catalytic leadership: Great local leadership is critical for a community to succeed. In the next decade, non-hierarchical leadership, networks and connections across organizations will be powerful change agents for our region.
As we work to better serve each of you – our members – we welcome your feedback on how we can best address these eight influences. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your input and ideas.
Special thanks to our Nashville Chamber Host City Sponsors: