PCOA answers the question, why belong to a trade association.

Editor’s Note: The following article appeared in the recent newsletter published by the Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association (PCOA). It’s aimed at PCOA members but has application to every campground owner in the country.

One of the most frequently asked questions with regard to PCOA membership is, “What can the association do for me?” The answer, quite frankly, depends on you.

What did you join PCOA and what do you want to gain? What you get out of any association, including PCOA, is directly proportional to what you put in. The greatest benefit of any association is the networking and camaraderie that takes place between members. Time and time again, PCOA staff has been privileged to hear that other associations respect the solidarity of our industry and PCOA members.

It’s no secret that PCOA members have an enormous sense of pride in their association and their fellow members. But this benefit is not a given. To experience this camaraderie first hand, you must participate by giving an investment of time and effort in PCOA activities.

There are many benefits that accrue simply by belonging — low cost advertising through our directory and other marketing programs; a presence on pacamping.com, which consistently comes up at the top of web searches; the privilege of meeting with and learning from your peers; conventions, publications and much more. Your greets benefit — networking and association with your peers — comes only from your direct involvement in association activities.

The reason is simple, and it involves the same principles that apply to your campground business. A businessperson invests money, time and energy to make the business successful. The same holds true for association membership, which will reflect on your park’s long-term success.

The problems facing our industry today affect every member, no matter how large or small. And, since no one individual could possibly begin to solve these problems alone, it remains that each person needs his or her industry trade association for the collective wisdom, bargaining power and networking opportunities that help create a sustainable successful business.

PCOA members vary tremendously in their level of activity and what they seek from the association. Yet they all find value in PCOA membership and find that their businesses are more successful as a result of being part of PCOA.

Business consultant say 85% of all business failures occur in firms who are not members of their industry trade association. That combined with the fact that most members gave a 500% or more return on membership dues, are two ways to justify the dues you pay as a member of PCOA.

The best reason to be part of PCOA is that your participation ensures a stronger industry for future generations. For that commitment, we applaud you.