Trade Associations also known as Industry Trade Groups are typically founded by businesses that operate in a specific industry. The main focus of these associations is collaboration between companies within their specific industry as well as working on industry standardization. Another area that Trade Associations are useful in is the political arena. They create political leverage to influence the process of getting new laws changed or passed that will benefit their industry.
In the past most Trade Associations would host networking or charitable events and seminars to collaborate between companies that are a part of their association. They would also offer classes or training in person to roll out their objectives. In recent years however, there has been a shift to hosting Webinars to achieve these objectives. Members of the association will save time and money by participating in these webinars from their own office. Typically the webinar consists of one or more guest speakers hired by the association to inform companies of current trends, training, standardization, and other industry specific information. At the end of these presentations, association members are allowed to ask questions of the presenters. These webinars are also recorded and posted on the Trade Association’s website.
Many Trade Associations are non-profit. Associations charge a membership fee to companies that would like to be a part of the association. This fee pays for any seminars, webinars, training or any event that is available to the members. Profitable Trade Associations can now see a much larger profit margin by using web conferencing in lieu of traditional face to face events. The use of web cams, recording, and other technology helps to maintain a high level of retention and attention to detail that many trade associations feel they may loose by not hosting as many face to face events.
The value of web conferencing for trade associations is indisputable and many trade associations are either currently hosting webinars or are looking to start hosting them in the near future. Here at Great America Networks Conferencing, I personally work with a variety of Trade Associations. These Associations come in all shapes and sizes and operate in a variety of industries. Some of them are PMMI (Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute – www.pmmi.org ), IOIA (International Organic Inspectors Association – www.ioia.net ), and Louisiana Bankers Association (www.lba.org) just to name a few. Feel free to reach out to me if you would like to have a discussion about how your Trade Association can benefit from the use of conferencing services.
Daniel Ripperden, Strategic Account Executive
Great America Networks Conferencing, LLC
15700 103rd Street, Suite 110
Lemont, Illinois 60439
Office: (312) 432-5328
Fax: (630) 633-0390
Wikipedia. "Industry trade group" [Online] 27 January 2009. .