From membership orientation and monthly business after hours or joining a committee, the River North Business Association offers numerous opportunities to build relationships.
That being said (well, typed) it is not always about making a sale. Leveraging what RNBA has to offer can lead to powerful connections beyond a purchase order.
I hope you’ll keep reading about a very valuable one that recently came together for my company, a creative printing firm, Cushing, and an incredible restaurant concept & new member: Seoul Taco.
Just don’t get your sleeve caught in the kimchi slaw (one of the sides on the Seoul Taco menu.)
Seoul Much to Discuss
Seoul Taco is a Korean/Mexican restaurant that opened their first Chicago location in River North in May. Burritos to tacos, the food is terrific. I work in the marketing department of a creative printing firm called Cushing (in Chicago since 1929).
Maggiano’s hosted a lively and well attended September Business After Hours & I ended up exchanging cards with Eric Hamblett of Seoul Taco. I saw the marketing manager title (and the very cool rounded corners on the business cards – I work for a printing company, come on!) & the conversation shifted to digital strategy, social media, and email marketing.
The impromptu brainstorm continued and we discussed the RNBA marketing committee. We needed to get at time on the books to meet outside of an event.
Out of the Box
A couple of weeks later, my marketing committee co-chair (the awesome Aryn Shaw of Kimball Office) and I met with Eric at Beatrix, a new RNBA member and OctoberFeast participant). After a great conversation, Eric penciled in the next marketing committee meeting and communications sub-committee meetings – he is now volunteering and contributing to both.
Side Note: Seoul Taco provided lunch for the November marketing committee meeting!
Next up on the plate? I had an email promotion in the works for Cushing and looking for a concept to cross-promote. While I could have cold-called around to restaurants in the area, it made much more sense to reach out to a fellow RNBA member.
Eric came by the Cushing shop for a tour and it was clear synergies went beyond tacos and toner – perhaps there was an opportunity to join forces on a marketing effort?
By the end of the meeting, we had:
If you have made it this far, hopefully your appetite has been whet (for tacos AND relationship-building).
Within a couple of days of the email promotion, more than 20 promotions had been downloaded!
Seoul Taco received dedicated marketing exposure and an introduction to many Chicagoland business professionals.
Cushing had a fun and effective way to thank new prospects, existing clients, and engaging content for our email promotion.
Thanks to the RNBA for providing a great platform to make lasting connections!
Jon Davis is in the marketing department at Cushing, a creative printing firm located in Chicago since 1929. He co-chairs the Marketing Committee at the River North Business Association and contributes to the blog.