Companies in this industry promote the business and professional interests of members. Major associations include the American Bar Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Retail Federation, and the US Chamber of Commerce (all based in the US), as well as the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, the European Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Belgium), FoodDrinkEurope (Belgium), and the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.
Many business associations generally operate within a single country or region of the world, though some have divisions abroad to promote information sharing across borders. The growing importance of the global market has led to increased efforts to focus on international issues. Many associations actively advocate for foreign trade policies that benefit their industries.
The US business and professional associations industry includes about 23,000 organizations with combined annual revenue of about $38 billion.
Demand is driven by business expansion and job growth. The profitability of individual associations depends on the ability to expand dues-paying membership. Large associations have economies of scale in marketing. Small associations can appeal to businesses or professionals in niche industries or serve local markets. The US industry is fragmented: the top 50 companies account for about 25 percent of revenue.
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Major sources of revenue include membership dues (about 40 percent of revenue); conferences, meetings, and trade shows (25 percent); and publications, certification and training materials, and other products and services (about 15...