If you have “green” goals within your company (or even if it’s just a personal interest), joining an association can be very advantageous to furthering your knowledge. Choosing a sustainable association (non-profit organization seeking to further a particular cause, interest or profession by engaging interested individuals) is like shopping for a new outfit; you have to determine if it’s the right look, fit, size and especially price. There are always choices, but how do you know which one to focus on and become involved in?
First, you need to ask yourself a few questions: 1. What is my main goal for joining this association? 2. What do I hope to accomplish? 3. What types of continued education and sustainable programs do they offer? 4. Are there social networking opportunities? 5. Do they offer a local chapter?
These are just a few that run through my mind before hitting the “sign me up” button. You need to view your association as a long-term commitment and determine what the best fit is professionally and personally. If your company is locally driven, a local chapter might be your best opportunity, but if your company is nationally and/or internationally focused, then make sure it’s a national or international association, which usually provides larger programs, conferences and events. Additionally, educational opportunities should be available monthly through webinars.
The Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) is the premier global community solely dedicated to sustainability in the meetings and events industry with member representation in more than 20 countries. They currently have 14 local chapters that stretch the globe and continue the dedication to sustainability. Many cities also now have a local “green” chamber of commerce (I’m a member of the Las Vegas Green Chamber of Commerce). My local membership helps me join the eco-conscious businesses movement in Southern Nevada by providing networking opportunities, education and green practices and policies.
If you’re not much of a web surfer, you can view the best sustainable associations by checking out a website called Green Plus and viewing national, regional or state association opportunities.
So, next time you’re asked to join an association, step back and take a look (as if you’re trying on that new outfit in a dressing room) and see the entire picture. Determine the best opportunity available that will accomplish set goals for you and your organization.