Pop-Up mixers blend business, pleasure and growth opportunities for local businesses
By Galen Patterson
Arcadia’s Chamber of Commerce is a coalition of local businesses aimed at helping each other grow. The non-profit organization is perhaps most easily recognized by its circular building at the divergence of Huntington Dr. near the Arcadia Police Station.
Recently, the Chamber of Commerce began a monthly event they call Pop-Up Mixers.
The mixers happen on a monthly basis, in Arcadia bars whose owners are members of the Chamber of Commerce. The first designated Pop-Up Mixer of the campaign took place at Monkey Bar, in the Santa Anita Mall on Jan. 9.
In total, 18 representatives from local businesses attended. The event started at 3 p.m. with a core of seven Chamber of Commerce members and staff. The Pop-Up Mixer triggered an impromptu happy hour in Monkey Bar, causing special drinks to significantly drop in price.
Soon after the first round was poured, complimentary appetizers were distributed amongst the members, including chicken wings and hamburger sliders. By 5 p.m., the mixer was in full swing, nearly a third of the indoor space of the establishment was densely packed with Chamber members and conversation ranged freely from personal lives to possible business deals being made on the spot.
The mixer lasted until 6 p.m., which simultaneously ended the happy hour and the members dispersed to carry on with the evening.
The Pop-Up Mixers are not advertised in advance, but instead information is posted through the social media pages of the Chamber of Commerce within days of the event. RSVP’s are not necessary, in fact, anyone of legal drinking age is welcome to attend and encouraged to network.
Rod Salazar, Sales Representative from Stubbies Promotions, says he enjoys being involved with the Chamber of Commerce because of the way his social life grows. “I like meeting new people and seeing new business opportunities,” says Salazar.
Christine Zito, President of Pure Media Marketing shares a similar joy for the organization. For Zito, the Chamber of Commerce provides the ability to befriend the people behind businesses and to enjoy the human relationship before engaging in the business relationship. Zito also expresses appreciation for the method in which the Chamber of Commerce brings people from different parts of the world together. “It’s fun to see the different cultures in the community,” she says.
Both Salazar and Zito agree that the Chamber of Commerce helps small businesses grow, but members need to be willing to put in time and effort within the organization.
The Pop-Up Mixer campaign is one of many ways in which the Chamber of Commerce helps members achieve growth and provide networking opportunities. “Our whole purpose is to grow [local businesses] in the community,” Says Kristy Bradshaw, who works on recruiting and retaining members in the Chamber of Commerce. “Not every business has marketing,” says Chamber CEO Karen Mac Nair. “We are the branch that connects people.”