SACC Virtual Happy Hour is a Success

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By Cathy Diekmann

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Stay-at-Home restrictions cancelled many in-person Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce (SACC) events, but staff quickly pivoted to create an alternative. Chamber reps can now decompress and connect with others during Virtual Happy Hour.

Representatives didn’t need to leave their homes to join in the fun, share updates, and gain some business insight. The SACC’s first Virtual Happy Hour took place via Zoom on April 16, 2020. Tom Knorr of Evolution Craft Brewing Company and Southern Boys Concepts was the featured guest for the event. In a moderated Q & A, entitled “Let’s Talk (Business) Evolution,” Knorr shared some tales about how branding and luck factored into his business and how passion can both help and hinder business success.

Guests snagged a great deal for the event as Knorr offered a 30% discount on all packaged beer for take away at Evolution Craft Brewing & Pub the day of the event.

Knorr gave an amusing peek into how he and his brother, John Knorr, purchased The Red Roost in 1996, with an unique purchase offer sketched out on a cocktail napkin. “It was a crazy idea, but the owners went for it. It just goes to show, you have to ask to make things happen.”

When asked how he came up with the name “Evolution Craft Brewing,” Knorr joked that a lot of the good names were already taken. Yet, Evolution was a meaningful brand for the team, “Our goal has always been to evolve our style, with a nod to some of the great beers, but take it a step further, to offer a heightened flavor profile that is still very drinkable.”

Passion can certainly fuel an entrepreneur’s creative vision and product development. However, Knorr explained that passion has its drawbacks. “There were a couple of beers I was really passionate about, but they just didn’t sell. I pushed and pushed, but ultimately I had to let them go.” Lesson learned: passion can get you so far, but the market will tell you whether the public agrees you have a great product.

Guests had some laughs and got surprisingly competitive when they played a virtual SACC Jeopardy game developed by SACC staff. Categories ranged from general SACC info such as “It Pays to be a Member,” to “Lockdown Lessons” – terms that that refer to the Stay-at-Home regulations and “Local Legends” – well known people from the Eastern Shore. Chris Peek of SVN Miller Commercial Real Estate pulled off the win (and a $10 Evo gift card) after successfully answering the Double Jeopardy question.

The event also included updates from each of the guests regarding their business functions in the “new normal.” Bill Chambers, SACC CEO/President shared details about the many business recovery resources, advocacy efforts and virtual webinars the SACC is currently providing members.

Virtual Happy Hour will be offered every other Thursday from 5:00 to 6:00 PM. All SACC reps and their guests are welcome, though they must register in advance from a link provided in the Monday e-blast or the SACC online calendar. Join us April 30, 2020 for another round of SACC Jeopardy and featured guest Pete Roskovitch of Adam’s Taphouse Grill. Roscovitch will share how some tongue-in cheek lessons from

the TV personality “Mr. Rogers” helped him think outside the box to make the most of a terribly difficult business situation. Sometimes you have to make believe “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.”

       

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