Labels & Packaging
The European graphic communication industry is one of the largest commercial sectors that is made up of predominately small companies, and that also means wide format printing companies. Some of whom do not have the financial leverage or human resources to access the level of support and expertise available to the more blue chip companies. Therefore they need help from the industry they represent and a collective voice to maximise their business opportunities. That’s where trade associations come in. As a collective body for everybody in the sector they enable ideas and resources to be pooled and shared providing everyone with access to smarter ways of working, a wide range of support services and all kinds of stimuli to business growth.
They can put the collective wisdom of the industry at the disposal of members without there being a need to employ in-house specialists. An association can help with all manner of critical decisions from business planning, equipment purchasing, recruitment and customer service. In some instances the associations will call in expert assistance from outside and often they will initiate self help through networking or training. Trade associations also keep members in touch with the latest relevant technology and where to find it, and often at the best price. All of which makes a trade association a highly valued resource whether the member is a national company or a local business.
As industry insiders trade associations understand the kind of help that those in the sector most need. Then using their leverage and resources they are able to provide help where it is most needed – often highly subsidised or even free of charge. Not simply with print and creative issues but in all matters affecting the successful running of a business. members of associations can benefit from vast range of services from financial, legal, health & safety, HR, marketing and technical advice to insurance, arbitration, recruitment, web development and even mentoring. The more associations can grow the more they are able to offer to their members.
The print and creative industry is essentially a large community. In the centre are manufacturers, product sellers and service providers on whom those companies depend. By acting as a bridge between the two, the trade association is able to bring elements of the community together. Through an open communication network and regular events such as conferences, regional meetings and workshops members have the opportunity to exchange views with industry peers and leaders. Often the events are highly subsidised so that they are affordable for all.
Enhancement of a company’s reputation often follows joining an association. For many, membership of an industry body is seen as a badge of quality particularly for those companies who promote their membership in their marketing literature. It is a sign of respectability and an indication that the member company works in accordance with a code of practice.
There is of course a cost of membership but with subscriptions a low as £50 per year there should no barrier to any printer joining the BAPC and becoming part of a great community.
We’re here for everybody in the European print and creative industry.
Sidney Bobb is chairman of BAPC (British Association of Print and Communication)
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