Imagine: It’s 2010, and you — globetrotting snowboard team-coach that you are — require a highly capable thigh-masseuse to kneed some knots out of your star athlete’s beleaguered quad. The man is stiff, and the pressure’s on. What do you do?
In a world without Internet, you probably grab the yellow pages or ask a bartender — not the best of methods, but so it goes. Luckily, this is a world well into the Internet revolution, and so instead you make your way to the Whistler Chamber of Commerce webpage. Hip to the now, they’ve got their Bid for Business page in full swing. You post your desire, and, lo, someone comes along to expertly fulfill it.
“The Bid for Business idea came out of all the various procurement workshops we’ve been holding on behalf of the 2010 Commerce Centre,” said Whistler Chamber President Louise Lundy. “We thought having a site for all the Olympic-related opportunities — why don’t we just do that locally and encourage shopping locally by having all the businesses post services or products they’re looking for, and let everyone here locally know about the opportunities.”
At the beginning of this week, the newly launched site had three bid-opportunities posted. VANOC is seeking a number of services, while the municipality is looking for artists and the chamber needs a project consultant. As the page gains momentum, Lundy hopes it will host five to 10 new postings each month.
“That would be a great start,” she said. “We should be able to achieve that. The Games are a great launching opportunity because there will be so many business opportunities from international groups, national groups and regional groups who are looking for various services and products in the area.”
But what about marketing? You might be offering the best price on a guaranteed cure for cancer, but, if no one really knows, well, then no one really cares. And so the chamber is positioning itself high up in the returns lists of search engines like Google and Yahoo. Also, the province’s 2010 Commerce Centre is aware of the initiative and staff is ready to point all the world’s proposal-requesting go-getters to the Bid for Business site. As for the chamber’s 830 members, they’ll find out through media, newsletters, workshops and e-mail.
“You need to get signed up so you know what’s out there,” Lundy said.