Vail Valley Partnership set to launch a new networking platform |

Vail Valley Partnership set to launch a new networking platform

VVP Connect will allow networking, education, more

People at the Vail Valley Partnership started work last year on a new way to connect area businesses. A survey last fall confirmed that move.

Partnership Content Marketing Manager Ben Dodd said work on the new VVP Connect platform began in late summer of 2020.

The valley-wide chamber then conducted its annual member survey in October and November.

“People said the No. 1 thing they were looking for was connection,” Vail Valley Partnership President and CEO Chris Romer. In a year in which seminars, after-work mixers and other events were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Romer said the Partnership had to think about how it could meet that need.

That’s when work accelerated on VVP Connect. The platform is nearly ready to launch, and should in the next few weeks, Dodd said.

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When the platform does launch, Partnership members will be able to connect virtually, and connect in a number of ways — minus the drinks and snacks served at in-person mixers, of course.

Dodd said VVP Connect is kind of like a combination of LinkedIn and Microsoft Teams.

Partnership members can sign up and create individual profiles including a photo, short biography and other information.

Users in the large group can then join smaller groups focused on various industries and topics.

The platform — which can be accessed either via computer or phone — will also build resource libraries on trends, tactics and best practices.

Dodd said users who engage with VVP Connect will be able to earn recognition as “super connectors,” “networking all-stars” and other designations.

Users can also stay signed in, and will be able to respond to posts and messages in real time.

“That’s better than an (email) blast that no one can respond to,” Dodd said. “This is as intentional as you can be” for users.

The platform will also be a way for nonprofit groups to link up, and can serve as a leads group for businesses.

“Instead of working in our silos, we can now have working groups,” Dodd said. “We’re hoping that it creates momentum” for topics from business development to housing to child care.

Romer said there’s a “ton of possibilities” for those small groups, both during and after the pandemic.

Venture Sports owner Mike Brumbaugh is a longtime Partnership member and former member of the group’s board of directors.

Brumbaugh said he tries to be outside for as many meetings as possible — socially distanced, of course — to maintain some semblance of in-person normalcy.

But, Brumbaugh said, he thinks VVP Connect can become a valuable resource.

“For better or worse, the world will be changed (after the pandemic),” Brumbaugh said. The VVP Connect platform, “shows the forward thinking of the (partnership),” he added.

Not many people have seen the VVP Connect platform. “I hope the community’s willing to do this,” Dodd said.

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