It’s rare that I’m dumbfounded by an unusual request. Between reading Specialty Fabrics Review, going to Expo and meeting people in the industry through IFAI, there’s not much I haven’t had just a touch of exposure to. So if someone comes with an unusual request—even if it’s out of our market segment knowledge—I usually know that with a little research within the association I can most likely solve the problem.
I totally believe in the power of associations to establish credibility with suppliers, competitors and customers. If people understand that you’re a member of an established association, they view you as the “real deal.” If you’re active and go every year to Expo, suppliers are going to know who you are. And other [end product manufacturers] will know who you are. You build confidence in fellow IFAI members, and they build confidence in you.