January 15, 2014
Membership: What’s in it for you?
Members engaged in their association truly understand the benefits of membership.
Industry associations came about in order to bring industry members together to build a professional and sustainable industry.

That is the reason Landscape Ontario was formed over 40 years ago. Today there are more than 2,000 professional members, who make Landscape Ontario the province’s premier horticultural trades association.  

From time to time the question is asked, “Why be a member of Landscape Ontario? What benefits are there for me?”

The answer in general terms is that a professional organization is beneficial for professional development and the future of the industry it represents. Resources available and the ideas and advice provided represent an outstanding return on what amounts to a modest, manageable investment of time, money and effort.

Members of Landscape Ontario cite many specific reasons for belonging. From preferred supplier discounts to education opportunities to mentoring, the list of advantages is long. Landscape Ontario also offers industry trade shows and conferences and consumer events.

For those new to the industry, membership in Landscape Ontario is key to moving on to the road to success. It’s an easy way to meet others in the industry. Where else will can one find such great networking opportunities than through Landscape Ontario?

Some companies have joined LO to develop standards and best practices. From Landscape Industry Certified to specific sector guidelines, being a member of Landscape Ontario allows access to industry standards. Others join for the financial discounts and incentives for events, research or publications, which are offered to member companies as part of their affiliation.

Some benefits are difficult to measure. One example is the providing a collective voice for the industry in regards to issues of government. Another is a public relations program that brings not just a positive source of information to consumers, but allows each member to place company information on the association website’s Find a Company.  

Communication is an important aspect for every association. Landscape Ontario publishes two magazines, a weekly e-newsletter, two websites, e-mail campaigns, and all the social media methods to keep members in the know.

At a recent meeting, when the subject of why be a member was raised, Ottawa Chapter president Ed Hansen of Ed Hansen Lawn and Gardens, stated, “If someone asks why be a member, they would already know the answer to that if they were engaged.” Many of LO’s long-time volunteers agree that getting the most out of association membership is like anything else in life — “you get out of it as much as you put into it.”

At a Waterloo Chapter meeting, LO executive director Tony DiGiovanni asked the over 60 members present what they gained by being members of the association. As listed in his column on page 22, the answers were many and varied.

DiGiovanni says that he has observed over the 24 years he has spent at Landscape Ontario the leaders in the industry join and maintain their membership because they believe that it is important to work with like-minded people to protect, build and advance the industry.   

“The association was formed to bring together like-minded individuals in the landscape, nursery and horticultural industry for the purpose of collectively directing and protecting the industry. At its heart Landscape Ontario is a community for mutual benefit and improvement. I believe all specific benefits flow from this common vision and goal,” says DiGiovanni.

Information on how to become a member of Landscape Ontario may be found at www.horttrades.com/membership