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Web Wonders: New Chamber of Commerce Web site more user-friendly

Web Wonders: New Chamber of Commerce Web site more user-friendly

Columbia Chamber of Commerce President Don Laird says the Web site that the IDP Group designed and programmed for the organization, www.columbiachamber.com, has become “an important portal for people learning about Columbia.”

Laird said that people are frequenting the new site more than the old, which results in 300-400 visits per day, sometimes more, depending on the time of year.

Sherry Wohlgemuth, Columbia Chamber of Commerce director of community services, said the process of developing the Web site “helped open our eyes and see things chamber members and members of the community had wanted done, so it worked out well for everyone.”

The new site, she said, “is much more aesthetic, user-friendly and informative than the old site. And the way IDP set up the site makes it pretty darn easy for our staff to update.”

The Web site features five main pages containing other savvy sections to explore. The site opens up to “Home,” where visitors can learn about Columbia, view a calendar of upcoming community and chamber events, use the business directory, apply to join the chamber online, and access contact information for the chamber staff.

Through the “About Columbia” page, viewers can gather extensive information including local education, childcare, healthcare, facilities, climate, media, taxes, voter registration and government, and access relocation resources.

The “Your Chamber” page is devoted to resources for current and prospective Columbia Chamber of Commerce members, and “Retire Columbia” makes Florida seem more like Bore-ida. “Women’s Network” completes the series, bringing businesswomen together.

“The most important feature of our site is the business directory because it makes all this information so accessible to our members,” said Wohlgemuth. “The online registration capabilities for events, online member application process and contact information for all the chamber staff have also made things much more convenient.”

The Chamber Web site won an honorable mention at the national MarCom Creative Awards and a Mid-Missouri Advertising Federation Addy award.
The Columbia Chamber used a competitive bid process to decide which advertising/marketing firm would head up the site. The IDP Group advertising agency was chosen based on its design and positive results from working with other chamber members.

“It’s definitely one of the most rewarding projects we’ve worked on,” said Michael Roach, president of IDP Group. “We even bought an ad on the back of the chamber directory to encourage people to visit the site; that’s how important it was to us.”

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