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Welcome to the Club

(December 2010) posted on Tue Dec 07, 2010

A sourcelist of organizations for print providers.

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By Paula L. Yoho

For print providers operating in the wide-format digital sector, joining a professional organization – either as an individual or as a corporate member – can be valuable on many levels. Membership, as they say, has its privileges and, depending on what group you join, can run the gamut, from educational and certification programs and admission to niche-specific tradeshows, to technical and business support from industry leaders. Some organizations even offer members the ability to help shape legislative and standards decisions made for the industry.

In this era of social networking and LinkedIn, trade organizations have stepped up their activities to remain relevant to members. The result? More bang for your buck when you become a member. For professionals looking to develop their skills and to position their company as an industry leader, trade organizations offer information and connections that online networking typically cannot compete with. Plus, participating in industry associations communicates to your peers and clients that your company is strong and that you are invested in the market.

We’ve compiled the following sourcelist of industry organizations to guide you in determining ways you can get involved, at whatever level you feel is beneficial to your business, in the coming year. Note: For the purposes of this sourcelist, we have not included groups whose sole purpose is to certify a shop’s environmental wellness -- groups such as the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP,, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI,, or the Forest Stewardship Council, (FSC,; we’ll address these groups in a future sourcelist.

A part of the Association for Computing Machinery, ACM SIGGRAPH promotes the generation and dissemination of information on computer graphics and interactive techniques. Members include designers, artists, scientists, researchers and others; its Digital Arts Community is focused on art created on the computer. Members receive discounts on conferences and on products from select tradeshow vendors, and gain access to association proceedings. The association holds two annual conferences, including one in North America (the 2011 event takes places in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in August).