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The Value of AICC Associate Membership

By Dave Burgess

February 6, 2018

width=216I think when a lot of us as Associates start looking at our marketing budget for the coming year, we see a large amount of money allocated for AICC-related items, whether that be National Meetings, Regional Summits, advertising in BoxScore, or event sponsorships. I am sure it always provokes the question from senior management: “What are we getting for this?!”

The answer to this question is very simple: You are getting complete and total access to the owners, the decision-makers, the people who actually decide what they are buying and who they are buying from, and who write and sign the checks that pay for the goods or services! AICC is a unique group in that generally at the National Meetings, you are not just meeting a representative of the organization who will take your ideas back to a committee of people who are reviewing millions of dollars’ worth of spending over many facilities spread across the Americas. In most cases, you are talking one-on-one to the owner and germinating an idea in his head that will hopefully turn into an active project in the coming months. You also have the ability to use other owners as a reference for your idea to the prospective owner because, in most cases, even though they are competitors, they are friends. Which other organization in any industry offers that access?!

I am convinced that at this particular stage of our industry, the network—a group or system of interconnected people or things—is very critical. Our customers are extremely reliant on us as a supplier group to provide solutions for them that make them more competitive in the marketplace and put them at the leading edge of technology and productivity; hence, profitability! AICC gives us the opportunity to network with our fellow suppliers in a less-than-intense environment, and this enables us to put together collaborative ideas to present to a prospect rather than presenting piece-by-piece. There is a tremendous power to this, and it certainly helps the owners, knowing that as a group, we feel that this project will work!

Obviously one of the we are facing at AICC is stagnant or declining membership as the independents are purchased by the multinational integrated groups. As AICC Associate members, it is all of our responsibility to do our utmost to talk up AICC membership to nonmember companies. All we ask is that we are given the prospects’ information, so either a board member or AICC staff member—we now have a great internal resource with Mike D’Angelo on board—can make formal contact to try to get the prospect to at least attend a Regional Summit or National Meeting, if convenient. Let’s face it: It’s in all of our interests to drive AICC membership and continue to grow this great organization.

Here’s to a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2018 for all our AICC members and Associates. I look forward to seeing everyone in Phoenix!

This article was written by Dave Burgess.