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Overview of Membership Benefits
Many companies have told the Water Quality Association (WQA) that they are concerned with staying competitive in today’s tight market. WQA offers water treatment professionals the resources they need, right at their fingertips. At the association’s upcoming annual convention in Chicago (Rosemont, Ill., March 28–April 1, 2006), WQA members will have the opportunity to discuss current industry issues, participate in cutting-edge business seminars featuring a broad range of topics and attend industry technology courses designed specifically for both new and seasoned employees.
In addition to keeping water treatment professionals informed about important issues, WQA helps them find solutions to everyday challenges.
With more than 2,300 member companies of all types and sizes, from all over the world, a WQA membership and attendance of the annual convention will give water treatment professionals a running start on any project or issue they have.
Furthermore, WQA members are a valuable source of solutions, as members have repeatedly told the association that the business contacts they make through WQA membership are invaluable. WQA has plenty of members who have “been there and done that” and are more than willing to share what they have learned to help other members succeed.
WQA offers members the opportunity to have a voice in the future of the association. Some members choose to be actively involved in the association—serving in volunteer roles—and others don’t. For those who want to volunteer, the good news is that WQA fills numerous committee and task force assignments each year. Members can also add their input at section meetings, which are open forum meetings where members can learn a lot just by sitting in and listening to the discussions. Section meetings are one of the association’s most popular events at the annual convention and mid-year meetings. Some members have told WQA that what they learn from their peers in one section meeting is worth their dues alone.
On the flip side, if members have no desire to serve on a committee or task force, they can stay involved by reading communication pieces, visiting the website or calling when they have specific needs. In other words, how involved members become in the association is entirely their choice. The value is always there.
WQA is tuned into the issues that matter most to its members and is able to take a highly visible and effective stand. For example, the association safeguards members’ businesses and jobs from potentially harmful regulatory decisions. WQA’s lobbying expertise and effective coordination with local members and state WQAs is critical to ensuring the industry can not only continue to operate, but even open new markets.
Everyone reaps the benefits of a successful trade association. Most business owners understand the importance and personal gratification that comes from giving back to the industry that provides their livelihood. The following is an overview of some of WQA’s programs and benefits.
WQA has created a powerful, interactive Internet resource for members and consumers at www.wqa.org. Qualified consumers can locate water treatment professionals through WQA’s Find a Water Professional lead generation program feature located on its website. This feature lists every WQA member and allows potential customers to locate manufacturers, suppliers and dealers in their area by searching zip code, city, state, country and company name. Dealers and Manufacturer/Supplier members have told WQA that this exclusive member benefit has become an invaluable service.
Fast Facts. When using the top search engine Google, WQA’s website is the number one “hit” when searching for “water quality.” WQA’s “Find a Water Professional” feature receives:
In addition to offering the latest industry news, the WQA website provides the public with a wealth of easy-to-access information on water treatment options. The site’s growing library of technical information on all aspects of the industry is a valuable resource for consumers, members and educators. The site also includes a list of Gold Seal-awarded products.
The association offers various technical resources such as technical services, technical reports and product testing. Members can contact WQA’s technical staff and receive answers to a wide range of questions—an invaluable tool when members are searching for quick, accurate information on nearly any sector of the industry. WQA’s Gold Seal Certification Program is dedicated to the certification of drinking water-related products. The association is an ANSI-accredited product certifier. Gold Seal certified equipment could differentiate members’ products in a competitive marketplace.
As the voice of the water quality industry, WQA provides leadership and influence at all regulatory levels to benefit the industry and consumers without restricting trade. The association serves as a resource and partner to members seeking help on legislative issues. It has knowledge, expertise and contacts to assist members in promoting favorable legislation and combating initiatives that might adversely affect members’ businesses.
WQA serves as the key source of information to media outlets nationwide. The association fields hundreds of media inquiries each year and actively initiates positive media coverage of important topics promoting the industry. WQA provides independent, third-party information to members’ potential customers and to the public at large.
Through WQA’s professional certification program, water treatment professionals can enhance their credibility and demonstrate their depth of knowledge and experience to both customers and employers. WQA’s textbooks, seminars and home-study opportunities offer preparation for certification exams in several categories. Individuals who become certified have access to logos, pins and certificates that can be used in advertising and on business cards.
Newsletters, sales brochures, seminar transcripts, industry statistics and fact sheets keep members up-to-date on the latest industry trends and news. WQA provides members with a code for conducting business with customers, fellow industry members and the public. WQA logos and promotional materials distinguish members from others in the marketplace and assure customers of members’ adherence to high industry standards.
WQA’s industry forums such as the annual convention, annual mid-year conference, special sections, and committees and task forces provide a tremendous opportunity for members to generate sales leads, network with other professionals and learn about the latest industry trends. Educational sessions range from relevant technical, marketing and management topics presented by leading experts—as well as valuable networking opportunities with peers.
Members play a critical role in determining the association’s direction and initiatives. Industry consensus is achieved through WQA’s boards, committees and sections where decisions are made on virtually every issue affecting the industry. The range of committees, sections and task forces allows members’ diverse interests and priorities to be effectively addressed. wqp