You can engage with an industry association in several ways. In most associations, there is something for everyone, and each of these roles varies in their degree of commitment and complexity. Roles that can require a high level of commitment are those such as:
- Committee volunteer. Most associations have a number of committees that allow you to help the association, including finance, marketing, membership, programming, professional development, public relations, and sponsorship. As a volunteer on a committee, you can bring your professional expertise (i.e. your talent with numbers or your love of the sales process) to the association, during the year. Many individuals join a committee before moving on to more complex roles, such as serving on the Board.
- Special project volunteer. If participating on a committee for a year feels like too much of a commitment, your industry association may host a special event (e.g., a regional conference) during the year. These special events are like a project – they have a start and end date – and once the event is over, so is your commitment.
- Board of Directors member. When you are ready to maximize your visibility within your industry, the Board of Directors is the place for you. Being on an association board requires the highest degree of commitment, and represents the highest degree of complexity. Board roles typically include President, President- Elect, and Vice-President for the committee roles listed earlier. Being on a board can be a very rewarding experience, as it provides you the greatest opportunity to impact member experience.
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