The True Cost of Belonging To Your Professional Trade Organization
Having just returned from my trade association’s annual
convention, I thought I would post the true cost of attending one of these functions.
In this day of second-guessing every click of the economy, the value of trade
associations becomes even stronger. Since, I still hear the argument from some
who try to justify the costs versus the return of these trade associations and
conventions, I’d like to breakdown these costs and show you how easily they can
be recaptured. Then list some returns that cannot easily be dollarized.
First the costs. I will use my membership in my trade
association as our example:
Annual Membership: $ 670.00
Entrance Fee to convention: $ 539.00
Airline ticket from NJ to CA: $ 398.00
Hotel for 3 nights: $ 674.61
Misc. cash spending: $ 200.00
Grand Total $2,481.61
Actual cost to a company with 5 billable employees? .26
cents per hour. This amount should be passed on to your customers as an
In this day, it’s tough shelling out almost $ 2,500 for
anything. So is there value in attending a 3-day convention? Here’s the return
on investment as I see it.
time, real life data on the state of the economy, pertaining to your
industry. There’s nothing better then hearing it from the mouths of your
So many people in the corporate world are being transferred on a regular
basis. You would be surprised how many people will refer work to you from
clear across the country. Consider the specialties in your industry that
your company does not do. Being able to refer fellow association members
is beneficial for all parties. Do your fellow members know your company’s
area of expertise?
It’s invaluable to be able to learn from those who have been there before
us. Educational programs from your trade association are specifically
tailored to your industry.
and materials are changing at a pace never before seen. Some are
technology driven and some environmental. Having the manufacturers
educating you on new products and the “how to’s” can save you hundreds of
hours in the field, as well as making you look more professional than your
last one is the most important: Knowing you are not alone. When you run
your own business it can be a lonely position. Your employees can’t
relate. You may not want to share your worries and concerns with your
loved ones. To be able to share with others who are either going through
exactly what you are, or have, can be one of the most rewarding
experiences you can walk away with.
I don’t think you can afford not
to belong to your trade association!