Archive for the ‘Trade Association Thursdays’ Category

Restaurant association forecasts sales uptick

April 16, 2009

“The NRA forecast predicts a national growth in sales of 2.5 percent over 2008, the numbers translate to an inflation-adjusted decline of 1 percent. However, NRA points out the restaurant industry remains a cornerstone of the economy, representing 4 percent of the gross domestic product and employing 9 percent of the workforce.”


PhRMA: Drug Industry Association

March 26, 2009

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America

Overview: The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives.

Associate membership: Allowed but not easy to join.

Public membership directory: Yes but its just a list of pharmaceutical companies with a mailing address and a link to their websites.  However, it is useful as a guide to the top U.S. research-based (versus generic) drug companies.  “B”

National Conference: Not clear from the website but its hard to believe they don’t.  They may keep it exclusive.  “D”

Chapters: Doesn’t appear that they have regional chapters.  Since this includes the top of the industry, it may not be necessary to offer regional chapters.

Glossary? Doesn’t appear that they do.

Industry related content and feel:  Excellent.  They provide lots of colorful reports, newsletters and the like offered to the public.  The only downside is that because they aren’t looking for members, the material and offerings feels calculated for public effect.  “B+”

Overall: This website is easy to use, informative and a bit cold.  Because its primarily an organizations of top corporations, it doesn’t have much of a human feel.  “B”

Portland Cement Association is national

March 19, 2009

Portland Cement Association


The Portland Cement Association represents cement companies in the United States and Canada. It conducts market development, engineering, research, education, and public affairs programs.

Associate membership: membership is unclear.  There is a membership home page and it looks like you can become a “member” by purchasing an item from their store but I couldn’t find anything on the website that discussed how that worked. “D”

Public membership directory: Yes and it a good tool for understanding the cement industry; can see what types of cements are manufactured, the states where the company is located and service area.  No individual contact information is provided. “B+”

National conference? Yes, and non-members can attend at nearly the same price as members, only a $100 difference. “A-”

Chapters?  Yes, they have regional councils.  “A-“

Industry news or reports? Yes, the website provides extensive information about the cement industry and related topics.  They also have a bookstore where more is available for purchase.  They also provide free newsletters on cement related topics.  “A”

Glossary?  Seems like they should but I didn’t find one. “D”

Provides a good sense of the industry? Yes, an excellent sense of the industry, the issues, public advocacy role. “A”

Overall:  This is a good industry site however its unclear how one becomes a member.  It appears to be a very public-facing association not one so concerned about serving a membership.

Sports equipment association report card

March 12, 2009

National Sporting Goods Association

Overview: The National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) is a trade association serving retailers/dealers/wholesalers, manufacturers, and sales agents in the sporting goods industry since 1929.

Associate memberships? Yes, its possible to join in a variety of capacities. A

Makes membership directory public? No, but they have an extensive new product directory. B+

Active National Conference?  Yes, they have mulitple conferences and they provide lots of detailed information about them on their website. A

Industry reports and news? Yes, they provide extensive information; statistics, research newletters and much of it is available free of charge to the public.  A

Glossary? No D

Good view into the industry?  Yes, they provide extensive industry research, press releases but no public advocacy. B+

Overall: Excellent website with lots of information about the sports equipment industry.  If I needed to find out about this industry this would be one of my first stops.  A

Trade Association Thursday: paint industry

March 5, 2009

National Paint & Coating Association
Overview:NPCA is a voluntary, nonprofit trade association — established more than a century ago — and the preeminent organization in the United States representing paint and coatings manufacturers, raw materials suppliers and distributors. NPCA’s primary role is to serve as ally and advocate on legislative, regulatory and judicial issues at the federal, state and local levels.

Associate memberships? Yes, the association has a wide range of available memberships  and they are upfront about costs which range from $1,900 to $3,700.  “A”

Make membership directory public?  Yes and it includes a search by industry sector.  It provides basic address information about companies, no contacts but does include information about parent company and a link to the companies website.  “B+”

Active National Conference?Yes and there is an online schedule but its weak on specific topics and speakers.  Doesn’t appear to be.  “D”

Industry reports, information, news?  Yes, extremely rich website with detailed information on issues as well as several online publications available to non-members.  Includes a section on industry sectors, statistics and historical context.  “A”

Glossary  Yes, provides good definitions of industry terminology. “A-“

Good look into the industry?Excellent source of information about the paint and coating industry.  One of the first places I’d visit. “A”

Overall: One of the best trade associations in terms of the quality and quantity of information available to nonmembers.  The website is also well laid-out and easy to use. “A”

Trade associations: Craft & Hobbies

February 19, 2009

Craft & Hobby Association

Overview: In early 2004, the two most successful organizations serving the craft and hobby industry, the Hobby Industry Association (HIA) and the Association of Crafts & Creative Industries (ACCI), joined together to form the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA). Together as CHA, the new Association forms a single more dynamic and powerful force to drive the craft industry into the future.

Associate members? Yes, the cost ranges from $400 to $10,000 depending on supplier revenue.

Public membership directory? No, looks like its hidden behind a members only section. “D”

National conference?  Yes, there is a show in Orange County in July.  They have a website dedicated to the event and as yet there isn’t much information but look like there will be as the event draws nearer. “B”

Chapters?  Doesn’t look like it. “D”

Industry news and reports?  They do provide research and powerpoint presentations on the public site.  The trade journal “Portfolio” is only available to members. “C+”

Glossary? No “D”

Provides a sense of the industry?  Somewhat.  There aren’t a lot of resources available and I didn’t get a sense of which crafts and hobbies were the most popular.  The site doesn’t really get into individual areas but it does have decent overview resources. “C+”

Overall:  Pretty weak.  Looks like they haven’t done much to the site since they re-launched it after the two associations came together.  I think the conference website when its closer to the show will give a better sense of the industry. “C+”

Trade association Thursday: Stainless Steel

February 12, 2009

Stainless Steel Industry of North America

Overview:  The Specialty Steel Industry of North America (SSINA) is a voluntary trade association representing virtually all the producers of specialty steel in North America. Our members produce a variety of products including bar, rod, wire, angles, plate, sheet and strip, in stainless steel and other specialty steels.

Associate members?  Yes, they have a sponsor program which provides for advertisement and access privileges.  The cost is $3,000 per year.  “B”

Public membership directory? Yes, there aren’t many members and they don’t provide contacts nor anything more than an address and the website. “B-“

National conference? No, but they have a link to a Chinese Steel conference held this year.  “D”

Subchapters? No. 

Industry news or reports? They provide quite a bit of information on stainless products, the size of the market, information about suppliers.  “A-“

Glossary?  Yes, an extensive “definition of terms” that lists out many words and terms specific to the stainless steel industry. “A”

Provides a sense of the industry?  Provides an excellent sense of the industry with lots of information about all aspects of their business.  The only weakness is a lack of public advocacy.  That might be handled by an affiliate association.  “B+”

Overall: Very functional site with strong information and easy to access.  Its weak on a sense of community, public advocacy, conferences and the like.  There aren’t many members of the organization but if the goal is to understand the stainless steel industry, this site will be a big help.  “B+”

Trade Association Thursdays: Socks etc.

February 5, 2009

The Hosiery Association:

Overview:THA is the only national trade association representing the manufacturers of more than 85 percent of the hosiery produced in America.

Associate members? Yes, you can join as a supplier. “B-“

Public membership directory? Yes, it provides an excellent directory by product and supplier and includes contact information and a clear, useful description of the company and its products. “A”

National conference? Yes and non-members can attend for a bit more money.  The agenda is available online and gives a good idea of the issues and key people involved in the industry.  The material is downloadable as separate word documents which is a bit clunky.  “B+”

Chapters?  Yes, but detailed information is available only to members.  “C+”

Industry news or reports?  They produce a periodical and back issues are available for free on the website but the most recent is from 2007.  Its not clear if members have access to more recent issues.   They also provide press releases as well but I didn’t find any overview of the industry; basic facts and statistics. “B-“

Glossary: Yes and its very good and detailed. “A”

Provides a sense of the industry?  Yes, the membership directory is very useful as is the breakdown of various sectors within the industry.  The back copies of the trade publication are also helpful as is the glossary and other pieces about different product lines.  I wish there was more about the industry itself but that’s a small quibble. “B+”

Overall: Lots of good information but the site is difficult to navigate.  Different information is provided based on who you are and that is confusing and counterproductive.  “News and events”  is just events and contains no links to the event agenda or brochure and “news” is actually found in the press release section under the media tab.  “B-“

PDF version of report card available here:

Trade Association Thursday: Got milk?

January 29, 2009

International Dairy Food Association
The association represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers, with a membership of 530 companies representing a $110-billion a year industry.

Active national conference? Yes, has an annual conference that non-members can attend and the brochure is full of information about “who is who” in the industry and “what is what” as well. “B+”

Website suggests not. “F”

They have compiled basic industry statistics about the industry as well as about key sectors like milk, ice cream and cheese. They don’t provide free issues of their publications but they have extensive online bookstore. “B-”

What sense does it give you of the industry and people in it? They have a fair amount of industry information and extensive section on public policy.  A lot of really good information is firewalled but I think this is a useful industry website.  “B”

This is a decent site to get a basic sense of the industry; who belongs, their issues, size and sectors but there is nothing that stands out. “C+”

(PDF version of this report card)

Distilled Spirits Council: exclusive club

January 22, 2009

Distilled Spirits Council of America

Overview: The Distilled Spirits Council is the national trade association representing America’s leading distillers and nearly 80% of all distilled spirits brands sold in this country.  This is not a typical trade association that welcomes new members and hold typical trade conferences.  Yet its website provides some good industry information.

Associate members? No. That’s not its purpose.  “C”

Public membership directory?  Yes, but its just a list of member companies and their websites.  There is no contact people listed. “C”

National conference? No, again it doesn’t appear to be that kind of trade association. “C”

Subchapters?  No “C”

Industry reports or news?  They have a news section but most of it is consumer or public advocacy related.  However, they do have several short reports with statistics and a breakdown of the industry.  They also have a slide show that provides statistics about how well the industry performed in 2007.  “B”

Glossary? No “D”

Provides a sense of the industry? Yes and no.  Yes, in that the Council shows its extreme sensitivity to a perception that its not socially responsible and much of the website is devoted to that issue.  That is useful in pitching to the industry and making sure that you use the appropriate language.  They also have extensive public advocacy information.  On the downside, the site seems more focused on consumers and educating them than providing information to members. (There is a separate member login) “C+”

Overall:  For a website focused more on reaching out to consumers to educate them about their industry than member issues, it has a few, good resources.  Particularly the slide show and the industry sheets that provide strong information about the industry as whole.  It is also useful to know that the members of this organization are the top players in the distilled alcohol industry and to have a list of the member websites.  “B-“