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The meaning of membership

by Matt DeWolf | Nov 17, 2011

Membership, membership, membership… What does it all mean?

This is a fairly common question for trade associations. We’re typically less oriented toward particular product sales than other businesses, and this can make answering the question “why are or aren’t people joining?” more challenging. (Not that this is an easy questions for any business though.)

At ICA, we’ve admittedly been less worried about the theoretical and more focused on building a better product and doing a better job of telling our story. With back-to-back years of double digit membership increases (10% in 2010 and 17% in 2011) and continuing expansion of key programs (WaterSavers is up 11% thus far in 2011) the indicators are that we’re headed in the right direction.

Our goal is to be our members’ most valuable business partner. We deliver on this in three primary ways: 1) through the products and education at the world’s largest car wash convention and trade show (members get two complimentary passes to The Car Wash Show and preferred exhibition rates), 2) through the information and insights delivered through CAR WASH Magazine (the print edition and preferred advertising rates are only for members) and 3) through consumer and regulator outreach via our WaterSavers program.

Thanks to our members’ support and feedback, we believe we’re doing better than ever before in delivering on our goal – but we’re certainly not stopping. As one example: our Wash Count program, which has thus far attracted more than 200 locations and may launch as early as January, could provide new and valuable information for your business in 2012.


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