Selecting and getting involved in a construction association can help get your name out and is a great way to streamline the networking process. There are many organizations specific to the construction industry that provide opportunities to market and promote roofing products and services. Most of the following organizations have local chapters: American Institute of Architects (AIA), Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA), and Roofing Consultants Institute (RCI). These professional associations provide opportunities to meet and interact with specifiers, architects, consultants, engineers, contractors, facility managers, product reps, manufacturers, and other experts in the construction industry.
I found it made sense for me to get involved with the CSI both locally and throughout my region. CSI’s member base includes suppliers, architects/specifiers, general contractors, and building owners. To me, it’s the kill-multiple-birds-with-one-stone analogy. Where else can I meet with several different architect firms at one time over a luncheon or evening program?
In addition to CSI, several other associations are worth a shot. AIA meetings are typically attended by the designers, principals, and owners of the firms. Many local AIA trade shows can be beneficial because of the number of key architects who attend. BOMA is a great place to meet people who own or manage property. RCI chapters are usually located in mid-to-large metropolitan areas and can be an opportunity to identify key consultants involved in re-roofing projects.
In summary, getting involved in a construction association can be a great way to network for business opportunities. It will take time to decide which ones make the most sense to participate it, but the reward for being on the front end of a project can be the difference in making that next sale.
Like most things in life, the more involved you are, the more you get out of it through business opportunities, education, credibility, and name recognition.