Okay, Provincial Associations, like SPMAO, are doing a good job…but
After a lot of pressure and arguing and swearing between myself and an unnamed female higher up in the Association (kidding, but you know who you are), I relented on some points.
The regional associations do a pretty good job of trying to meet your needs, and the needs of the support industries, “associate members” by trying their best to help promote the Industry as a whole.
Education, training, professionalism and a sense of “belonging” to the industry are are all addressed
The associations are cobbled by some major issues, my opinion.
- New Blood
- New speakers/topics/innovations, sub-set of #1 really
- Reduced interest, from non-members and exhibitors
- A Market dominated by the top 6-7 companies…or .5-1% of the businesses…control 80% of the market.
As an exhibitor, the costs involved seem to outweigh the benefit, again, my opinion.
Plus, SPMAO is hampered by the MOECC’s, or whatever they call themselves today, lack of support for continuing education credits. Cheap is what it is. And a special interest group being formed calling themselves an association (and supported by several) that splinters the Industry.
The parties involved are all aware of these points, the first point a problem in any industry. New, fresh and dynamic ideas to meet the needs of its members.
How to correct? Hard say in a a short rant, but there are ideas and creative people that can contribute that currently don’t get involved.
There is value to be had as members, and you see this in some of the provincials more than others. CEU’s are critical, and help with attendance. To think we have customers in Ontario that go their license 30 years ago, but have had no further training since.
But with 80% of the structural market controlled by a handful of businesses, does the model of an Industry really fit for Canada?