Steps to Making a Successful Trade Association

Published on 13th January 2022

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This insight post is a summary of the original blog post published by Archie Ratcliffe of JBP. View the original post: 3 steps to making a successful trade association. 

Trade associations are formed when businesses in an industry set aside competing interests for common goals, shared ambitions, and industry gains. While all associations vary in size and structure, they always aim to champion the work undertaken by the sector and head off any challenges on the horizon.  

Our partners at JBP serve as the secretariat of one of the UK’s largest trade bodies representing the vaping industry and offer unique insight about the necessary steps in making a trade association successful.  

Step One: Understanding the industry of the trade association  

Understanding how the sector was formed, how it operates and the challenges and opportunities it faces is fundamental to the association’s success. For the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA), JBP had been championing vaping’s harm-reduction potential for public health. From the types of devices available to adult smokers to the regulation which informs the scope of the industry, being able to appreciate how external activities may impact the industry (positive or negative) will help shape the industries response and how it resonates with the intended audience. 

Step Two: Building member relationships 

It’s important to build effective relationships between members and the management team that supports the trade association’s day to day running.  

Understanding the membership is helpful for numerous activities: 

  • Membership recruitment 
  • Stakeholder engagement 
  • Public relations and reputation management 

The messaging for each of the above is informed by the members, so building those relationships will help deliver the desired results, drawing upon member expertise. Sharing intelligence is also key, working closely with members, learning about their desired approach and what they are hoping to achieve from campaigns. 

For the third and final step, be sure to read the full blog post 3 steps to making a successful trade association. 

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