Is Joining a Trade Association Worth It?


Is Joining a Trade Association Worth It?

In today's dynamic and competitive market, professionals are constantly seeking ways to stay ahead, expand their networks, and gain access to valuable resources. One avenue toward these is joining a trade association. But maybe you’ve been wondering if joining a trade association is worth it? We sure think it is! Read on to explore the various benefits for you and your company.

The Benefits of Joining a Trade Association

1. Networking Opportunities

One of the most compelling reasons to join a trade association is the unparalleled networking opportunities it provides. Trade associations organize regular events, conferences, and seminars where you can meet industry peers, potential clients, and even competitors. These interactions can lead to fruitful collaborations, business partnerships, and valuable mentorship opportunities. Networking within a trade association can also help you stay updated on industry trends and best practices, ensuring you remain competitive in your field. At WiM, we offer many opportunities for networking and connection. Among our largest events is our annual globally attended WiM SUMMIT conference, which this year will be held in Boston, MA, October 6—9, with 2,000 participants expected to attend.

2. Professional Development

Trade associations are dedicated to the professional growth of their members. They offer a plethora of resources, including workshops, webinars, certifications, and training programs. These educational opportunities can enhance your skills, keep you abreast of the latest industry advancements, and boost your credentials. Additionally, many associations provide access to industry-specific publications, case studies, research, and newsletters, ensuring you have a continuous flow of relevant information. WiM’s Moms in MFG program supports and builds a community for mothers and caregivers in manufacturing. This program offers valuable content and connections, empowering members to balance their professional and personal lives effectively. Our Virtual Learning Series and Virtual Learning Library, powered by the Women in Manufacturing Education Foundation, allow our members to elevate their skills, stay ahead of industry trends, and fuel their professional growth.

3. Advocacy and Representation

Trade associations play a crucial role in advocating for their industries. They represent the collective interests of their members in front of policymakers, regulators, and other stakeholders. By joining a trade association, you contribute to a stronger, unified voice that can influence legislation, regulations, and public policies affecting your industry. This collective advocacy can lead to favorable business conditions, funding opportunities, and reduced regulatory burdens. WiM strengthens the manufacturing sector by recruiting, inspiring and advancing women in the industry. “Together, through collaboration and collective action, we can build a manufacturing industry that is not only competitive and profitable but also diverse, equitable, and inclusive,” says WiM president and founder, Allison Grealis.

4. Cost Savings

Membership in a trade association often comes with various cost-saving benefits. These can include discounts on industry-related products and services, reduced registration fees for events, and exclusive access to member-only deals. Over time, these savings can offset the cost of membership, making it a financially prudent choice for many professionals.

5. Credibility and Recognition

Being a member of a reputable trade association can enhance your professional credibility. It signals to clients, employers, and peers that you are committed to your field and adhere to high standards of professionalism. Some associations also offer awards and recognition programs that can further elevate your standing in the industry. At WiM’s annual SUMMIT we honor women who have made significant contributions and who have long-standing careers in manufacturing through the Women in Manufacturing Hall of Fame, celebrating their efforts in inspiring and promoting women in the industry.


For many, the benefits of networking, professional development, advocacy, cost savings, and enhanced credibility are paramount for career sustainability and growth. By carefully selecting the right trade association and actively engaging in its activities, you can unlock a wealth of opportunities that propel your career or business forward. Women in Manufacturing showcases how a well-structured trade association can significantly benefit its members through our diverse programs, events, and initiatives aimed at fostering professional growth and industry advancement. Whether you are looking to expand your network, gain new skills, or influence industry standards, joining a trade association like WiM can be a strategic move for your career or business.

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