The Benefits of Membership in a Local Trade Association
In our last blog we talked about five of the most important reasons to join a professional association. Here, we’d like to address why it is especially beneficial to get involved with an industry association at the local level.
At the local level, all of the same benefits apply: membership carries excellent opportunities for networking with others in your field, for staying current with industry trends, for ongoing education and training in evolving best practices, for having a voice in issues that affect your industry, and for giving a boost to your professional credentials.
There are additional reasons, however, to get involved locally. Here are just a few:
- Connections with local professionals: In joining locally, not only will you interact with others in your same industry, but you’ll get to know colleagues within your community. Forming a bond with local professionals can help you identify issues, challenges, and opportunities that are unique to your area—and give you a valuable resource for addressing them.
- Connections with ancillary industries: Most industries interact with other professions that provide services which are essential or useful to their operations; for example, it makes sense for a realtor to know mortgage lenders, for a family lawyer to know social workers, or for home builders to know electricians. In local trade associations, professionals have the chance to get to know the people in their community who provide services that are often needed alongside their own work.
- Multi-level opportunities: Many local industry associations automatically include membership at the state and national level, giving you access to resources in your immediate area as well as the larger community.
- Marketing opportunities: Most trade associations offer marketing opportunities ranging from being listed in an online membership directory, advertising on their website or in their newsletter, or sponsoring association events. Taking advantage of this at the local level engages potential clients within your immediate community, growing your impact and reach with your local client base.
- Influence at the local level: Depending on your industry, it’s likely that there are issues, policies, laws, and regulations at the local level that affect how you operate and conduct your business. Joining a local trade association gives you the opportunity to learn about these issues and have a say in how they are decided.
The advantages of belonging to a trade association are many, and they are especially impactful at the local level. Professionals looking to make valuable local connections within their industries and with those who work in related fields, grow their local client base, and have a say in the policies that affect them will benefit from membership in a local trade association.