Whether you are in business, a community volunteer, or just an interested community participant, you need to know what is going on. The challenge is finding out what works for you. Extroverts will belong to organizations, attend all of the pertinent community events, and connect face-to-face with those in the know. Introverts usually take a more subtle approach, reading newspapers, following social media and other online blogs and posts.
The bottom line is, if you are in business or engaged in the community, you need current information in order to make informed decisions. You can join service clubs to do projects with community leaders. If social media minded, there are a host of community sites you can like and follow to gather a variety of opinions on what it happening near you.
The City of Nanaimo posts their building and development permits weekly and you can subscribe to keep informed on what is happening in your neck of the woods and around the city. Publications such as Nanaimo Magazine and The Bulletin have in-depth articles on community events, organizations and business activity.
For catching up on the business community, the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce holds a Business Expo each year in October where you can rent a booth to promote your business or you can cruise the more than 100 booths for free! The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA) has several ongoing projects and has their annual 2-day Economic Summit at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo on October 24th and 25th . The Summit features keynote speakers and 16 sessions on topics of interest to the economy of Vancouver Island communities.
For volunteering, there are many opportunities. Salvation Army, United Way, Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, Immigrant Welcome Centre, Loaves and Fishes, are examples of organizations that are always appreciative of helping hands. There are many more in the community and you will likely be able to find one that reflects your values. Volunteering is an excellent way to contribute to your community and connect with like-minded individuals.
While it is possible to rely on print and social media, the best interaction is face-to-face. Choose what works best for you, but get out into the community to learn about the community.
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