CEDA-Led EDA Meet & Greet engages Mantorville, MN businesses

Article by: Abby Wright

On Oct. 1, Abby Wright, the CEDA representative serving the City of Mantorville, MN EDA, held an EDA Meet & Greet and Live Facebook Demonstration to bring awareness to the EDA as a community resource and give attendees a tool for their marketing efforts.

Wright, who started in Mantorville in January with a two-day-per-month contract, sought a way to introduce herself to many community business owners and organization members at once, while ensuring that the event would benefit them.

Wright says, “I had gone to some Chamber and Stagecoach Days Committee meetings and got the e-mails, and I had talked with the City and some people in the community who use social media to promote community events and their businesses. Several folks did not feel that they could learn the nuances of Facebook on their own, or they felt they couldn’t do certain things on it that they’d like to do. I grew up in the 90s with the emergence and evolution of social media, so I thought, ‘I got this.’”

Wright had co-administered a Federal Facebook page at a former job and currently co-administers the City of Mantorville Facebook page she established in March, which has 348 followers to date.

The Meet & Greet event started with Wright sharing general information on the EDA and with each Boardmember and attendee introducing himself or herself, with board members including how long they had been on the EDA, why they had joined, and what was their day job. Wright had prepared a two-part, Jeopardy-style game to follow, which included matching mission statements to attending organizations and answering Mantorville trivia questions.

“I think people really enjoyed that game,” Wright said, “They were laughing, and they were all shouting out answers at once and engaged, and we all had fun.” Five businesses and organizations were represented: Casey’s, Citizens State Bank of Mantorville, the Mantorville Art Guild, the Mantorville Chamber of Commerce, and Conti Designs currently based out of Rochester.

For the winning organization (no spoilers), Wright will author a press release all about the business on behalf of the EDA; the article will be posted on the City of Mantorville Facebook page in November.

A brief intermission while Wright hooked her computer to a projector allowed attendees to get seconds on refreshments purchased by the EDA, including Casey’s pizza, vegetables and dip from Erdman’s in Kasson, and beverages. Wright then live-demonstrated tips and tricks, step by step, for managing business Facebook pages, and answered questions as they came up.

“Facebook is a free way to interact with target audiences,” she adds, “and it is so common anymore for consumers to find businesses and information on that platform, so I think every business should have a Facebook account and know how to use it effectively.”

Many people who attended expressed that they were surprised they had learned so much and that they appreciated the information and how it was presented. In response to the positive feedback she received, Wright and the Mantorville EDA are considering hosting and presenting a sequence of similar events in the future.