BLOOMINGTON - There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but $5 will buy some serious networking and food to boot from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 11 at Studio 222 in downtown Bloomington.
That's when the McLean County Chamber of Commerce will kick off its latest program - the POWER Hour. The networking event is also known as Providing Opportunities With Excellent Results.
"A lot of other groups meet in the morning. Some of our members are so busy that they can't make the Before Hours or After Hours networking programs. It's especially difficult for many retailers to attend those events, but a lot of them will get lunch,'' said Autumn Thomson, chamber membership director.
POWER Hour has been planned for the second Wednesday of every month. It will change locations, as do the before and after hours programs. In fact, the new lunchtime program will mimic the other two in terms of a nonstructured format to encourage mingling.
Each POWER Hour host will provide lunch. Attendees simply pay $5 and come and go as they please. No reservations are required. Thomson is still seeking hosts for the event.
When Studio 222 owner Phil Donelson learned of the new event, he jumped at the chance to be the first host. The chamber member operates an art gallery and event center at 108 E. Market St., Bloomington.
"I'd asked about hosting an after hours, but they're booked pretty far out. Then Autumn mentioned this event. I already rent space for parties and luncheons, so this seemed natural,'' said Donelson.
A light, catered lunch has been planned, as well as acoustic guitar and vocal music from Austin Found. Donelson said he'll offer a drawing for some pottery from the gallery.
"This is another way for members to network and support other chamber members,'' said Donelson.