Parent: My name is Eric Parent. I’m the CEO of Next Level Digital Media and Marketing. We are an advertising agency here in Melbourne.
Can you share a brief overview of your relationship with the chamber?
Parent: This is my second business that has joined the Melbourne Chamber, and I’ve been a member for a little over a year.
How did you find out about the chamber?
Parent: When I first moved to Melbourne from New England, I packed everything my wife and I owned in our car and drove down. During my drive, I took a break and found a chamber event. So, I actually went there before I even went to my house. Everyone was great, and I ended up joining the chamber the next day.
What facet of the chamber is most appealing to your business?
Parent: I would say the biggest benefit is networking in general. Meeting people is a huge part of our business and sales process. The chamber helps us with that.
How has the chamber positively impacted your business?
Parent: I think the most obvious answer is our community perception. Our agency has often struggled to manage our community perception by focusing too much on work and less on understanding the people in our own backyard. And so, the chamber helped us create strong relationships within our community instead of just focusing on sales and revenue.
Can you share any measurable benefits your business has achieved since joining the chamber?
Parent: The relationships from the chamber accounted for about 30 percent of our revenue in 2020. In terms of a dollar amount, that would be right around $150K.
In what ways does the chamber make you feel more connected to the community?
Parent: One of the reasons I liked getting involved in the chamber was their activism in moving businesses in the area forward. Their teamwork approach is really important to me, and that’s what makes us feel in touch with the community. The Melbourne Chamber makes sure Brevard’s business community is represented.
Why would you recommend other businesses to join the chamber?
Parent: Let me describe it this way because I’m a numbers guy. On my P and L, I put the chamber in my operating costs and not in my sales or marketing costs. I do this because I feel being part of the chamber is something that a business needs to do foundationally to ensure there are opportunities to create relationships and grow in revenue. The chamber really is about opportunity. When I’m writing out my budget, I want that opportunity to be written into my business’s operating costs so that it never gets pulled. That’s why I think every business should be a part of the chamber. The rising tide can lift all boats, and we can always create that opportunity in our area and in our businesses.