Sunday, April 14, 2024

Nearly 1,000 Pack the Club at Kingsmill for the Fall 2023 Edition of Strictly Business

WILLIAMSBURG — Nearly 1,000 people turned out at the Club at Kingsmill on Oct. 4 for the fall edition of Strictly Business, a free networking event hosted by WYDaily, 92.3FM The Tide Radio, and 30 Off Local, in partnership with CultureFix.

The gathering, held twice a year, is described by organizers as part of their commitment to bring together local newsmakers, leaders, business owners and consumers.

Elisa Campana, Marketing and Events Director for Local Daily Media, the parent company of WYDaily, 92.3FM The Tide Radio, and 30 Off Local, put the official head count at 980, making it the largest number to attend Strictly Business to date. The spring event, held at the Williamsburg Jamestown Airport, set the previous record of about 965 in attendance.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect after April’s event being such a large event. It’s created a lot of buzz, not just throughout town, but throughout the whole peninsula and region,” explained Campana.

“Every time we host it, there are fans of Strictly Business that come, and then there are people who have heard the word about Strictly Business. Hopefully, they become fans, tell their circles and it continues to spiral like that,” she added. “I know we had a whole contingent from New Kent and West Point that came out this time that hadn’t been before. That’s a community where we have one of our radio towers, and so we’re really excited about connecting further with those areas, as well.”

Sunny skies and moderate temperatures combined to make a beautiful fall evening overlooking the James River, where guests also had the opportunity to meet with the staff and on-air talent at 92.3 The Tide, as well as the editor and staff of WYDaily.

Attendees could sample food and beverages from area businesses — including the specially-brewed Strictly Business Pumpkin Ale from the Virginia Beer Company — win prizes, grab swag, pop into a photo booth, check out a display of vehicles from CMA’s Williamsburg Ford, play cornhole and more.

Always popular is speed networking.

“I feel like I want to keep expanding that connection opportunity. It’s really nice to have that opportunity to have more intimate one-on-one conversations that are very focused,” Campana said. “When you walk into Strictly Business, you see a ton of people you know, and a bunch of people you want to talk with. It’s easy to get pulled in different directions by conversations, the smells of the food and the drinks. C&F Bank goes above and beyond with their theme every time. They are incredible partners and I love the speed networking.”

New this fall was a nail driving competition.

“One of our sponsors, MASTERBUILDER.com, did a nail driving competition. That was one of my personal highlights — a great way to get your adrenaline going,” Campana said. “What a fun, creative way to connect with the community and show off what they’re best at.”

It was also an opportunity for Kingsmill to show off many of the features and amenities available for business meetings and events.

“Thanks to Strictly Business for allowing us to host this amazing networking event. Our team thoroughly enjoyed hosting, networking, and sharing samples of some of our most popular items. We look forward to hosting many of the participants in the future, whether it be for a business meeting, wedding, golf event, and more or as a new Member of The Club at Kingsmill,” said Julie O’Neil, Director of Marketing & Public Relations for Kingsmill.

“Kingsmill is an incredible venue. We were there last in 2019. Strictly Business has morphed into a totally different type of animal than it was back then,” said Campana. “The staff at Kingsmill, I can’t say better things about them … their team is incredible, the space is amazing. They were so hands-on and helpful and we cannot wait to work with them again. What a beautiful, grand entrance to walk into and the view, you just cannot get that anywhere else in Williamsburg.”

CultureFix said there is really nothing quite like the event in Williamsburg.

“CultureFix is a proud partner of Strictly Business. We are grateful to work alongside the WYDaily/Tide Radio team on this incredible event. There is no other networking event in Williamsburg that can compare to the success and turnout we have seen this year. It’s a great way to connect with professionals in the community and create new business relationships. We are looking forward to Strictly Business 2024!” said Hannah Warner, Marketing Coordinator for CultureFix.

For Campana, that feeling is mutual.

“CultureFix is a huge partner in this event, we couldn’t do it without them. Steve Rose, Hannah Warner, their whole team is absolutely incredible,” she said. “They help us with everything from licensing, permitting, getting volunteers, and then, day of … all the support, all the marketing, we couldn’t do it without CultureFix. They are really great at events, and to be able to partner with somebody that also has that passion for community — you can’t beat them.”

Rose also owns Williamsburg Event Rentals, which Campana said is an integral part of Strictly Business, helping with setup and breakdown, and providing things like tables and linens.

Campana was also excited to be able to announce the next two locations for Strictly Business.

April 17 will see the spring edition of Strictly Business at the Williamsburg Winery. The event was last held there in 2017, when the winery was under previous ownership. The fall event will take place at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg on Oct. 2.

“I’m so excited for the first time to have both events locked in,” Campana said. “This has been something I’ve been working hard on, and now I’m already thinking about 2025!”

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