Friday, September 12, 2008

Industry Associations

One of the most useful sources to find out information about a certain industry is by visiting or contacting a trade association. Trade associations are often involved in public relations activities such as advertising, education, and lobbying, but one of the most vital uses of an association is networking between individuals and collaboration between companies. Joining an association can be particularly helpful to startups and struggling businesses because new members have an opportunity to ask for help from seasoned businesses that have experienced ups and downs in the past.

Earlier this year, Darrin blogged about the American Society of Association Executives Directory, where it is free to search for local, national, and international associations. One of the association webpages that I use often for research is the National Restaurant Association, but some of the more obscure associations I have visited recently are the American Ostrich Association and the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.

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