August After Hours Business Mixer Draws a Big Crowd

Left to Right is Terri Favata with First Class Properties, Lisa Mallard with TLM Business Services, Debra Hartney with Berks Homes & Donna Stalvey with First Class Properties.

By Jo Schmeiser, CCGM Executive Director

Last October or so Delmarva Broadcasting Company General Manager, Mike Kazala and I got together to talk about the possibility of DBC hosting an After Hours Business Mixer sometime this year. As the discussion continued, and we threw around a bunch of ideas, the next thing we knew the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce had their August mixer date open as well, so Mike agreed to host a combined mixer.

When hosting a combined mixer, the first thing the host needs to know is that they should expect around two to three hundred guests. Once that bit of news is digested, the host can then begin to plan the set-up, food & beverage menu, entertainment (if they choose to have entertainment at their event), special guests, giveaways and door prizes.

This may sound like a lot, and it is. The host (in this case especially) has to worry about their facility being taken over by mixer attendees, while still running their daily operations. For example, while I was handing out their DBC Recycle Goodie Bags, right in front of me in one of their studios was Steve Monz doing his live radio gig on Cool 101.3. Next to Steve in other studios were air personalities from Eagle 97.7 and LaExitosa. Steve was letting people in the studio with him to show them how Cool 101.3 operates, and while live on air someone’s cell phone started ringing. He continued without missing a beat, and even my dancing in front of his studio didn’t district him. Now that’s a pro.

Also needed to take into consideration is space. At Delmarva Broadcasting there isn’t enough room inside to accommodate that many people, so Mike knew immediately the event would have to take place outside. We all know whenever an outdoor event is planned you have to keep your fingers crossed for good weather and just hope for the best.

Mike decided although the actual event would take place outside, his staff would offer studio tours before guests headed outside to enjoy lots of food under one of the tents and beverages under another. Under a different tent was Mike Baker, from C.M. Baker Photography (who is a member of both chambers) taking complimentary keepsake photos of anyone who wanted one. He used his green screen, like he’s done in the past for several CCGM events, and this time he added a beach themed background to go with the “End of Summer Beach Party” mixer theme. Several individuals and groups took advantage of this service and had a lot of fun posing for their picture.

Under another tent was early morning Eagle 97.7 D.J.’s Petch & Paula. They acted as MC’s for the event and kept the close to two-hundred attendees entertained. They also helped Mike Kazala and DBC Senior Vice President Cynthia Morgan pull almost thirty door prize winners. Chamber members from both chambers brought door prizes ranging from candles to gift bags, and DBC offered everything from gift cards to beautiful floral bouquets.

The weather was perfect for the event, allowing guests to talk outdoors with friends and colleagues and an opportunity to meet new business contacts. Everyone seemed to have a great time. So great that the event was supposed to be over at 7:00 p.m. and there were still (including me) several people there while the caterers and DBC staff was trying to clean-up.

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