Close your eyes for a moment. Imagine it's 1994 and you're running a chamber of commerce. You hear about this thing, "homepage," or "website," or something, and it barely registers on your 'things-I-care-about' meter. "Sure, it's cool, but it's no game-changer," you probably thought. That was before Amazon was born. Before Google was born. Before Facebook was born. Before YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and online trading were born. In fact, in 1994, there are only about 3,000 websites, or 'homepages' as many called them then, in the entire world. That's it. 3,000.

But what if you had had the foresight to know how important the adoption of web-based technology would be in propelling small business growth within your own membership?And what if you could have served as a broker/gateway for virtually every website your membership built? What if you'd had an affinity program with a leading website developer, and let's just say you took only 3% of the revenue from those transactions. What if you had made it a point to 'see' the next big thing in a way that truly enabled you to offer your membership real difference-making guidance? Wouldn't that have made you more valuable to them? More relevant?

Of course. 

There was a moment, back in 1994. Just as there was a moment in 2006 to jump on video, right after Google acquired YouTube. But nobody understood just how game-changing these weird little technologies would become. They were little more than fascinations to most of us back then. Today, as we look back, it's hard not to see how obviously disruptive they were bound to be. 

Which brings us to the point about why disruption is inevitable, and how we can engage with it in a way that brings deeper engagement, more relevance, and substantially more non-dues revenue.

The chamber need not sell-itself out in an overwrought Voice-broker format in order to massively benefit from from technology that, ten years from now, will make websites or YouTube look like tame, by comparison. 

Chambers benefit in three primary ways: First, you create a genuine, honest-to-goodness member benefit the likes of which, have never been presented to a chamber membership before now. You will help your members realize untapped consumer engagement and help them to position themselves for a world where Voice connectivity will soon be a given, just as it's a given to have a website or to participate in social media.

Second, in creating this meaningful new member benefit, very much on-trend and on-point with millennial consumers, you add two heaping tablespoons of relevance to your profile within our community.

Third, you create an unprecedented income stream that will yield be working for you year-round, whether you serve an annual dinner, or invite a guest speaker, or plan a golf scramble. You just keep doing you, and the non-dues revenue keeps on flowing. 

Highly respected Juniper Research forecasts $80Billion in brand. New. Revenue as a result of more than 8Billion Voice Assistants worldwide. Virtually every phone, millions of smart speakers in homes, and in automobiles. No other technological innovation has grown at a faster rate than voice user interface (VUI).

It's time. Let's start building your chamber's Voice strategy today.