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Give a Little, Gain a Lot

Niels Norby, NetSoft Studio, LLC
President, APA - Where Personalization Pros Connect


(May/June 2023) Your APA leaders—the Board of Directors and our committees—are all active members of the industry. We’re people who have gained so much from APA membership that we decided to give back by volunteering.

We’re not significantly different than you, nor are our businesses. We face the same challenges and represent a healthy mix of retailer and supplier companies. (Or, in my case, I’ve been a retailer and a supplier.) This enables us to look out for members’ best interests.

Our engagement in APA was sparked by the benefits of membership. Like you, some of us are business owners or managers who learned about APA, decided to join and found out that the benefits are more than worth the investment. Others—who started roles at companies that have been longtime members—have always known about APA’s resources and events as an important part of the job.

So now we volunteer and give back. There are many ways to volunteer—at the Expo or at home and in visible and invisible ways. I’m sure you saw many APA volunteers at the most recent International Personalization Expo in Las Vegas. Hosting the industry’s largest trade show with thousands of attendees takes a lot of people!

It’s not purely selfless, though, which is why we’re always sharing the invitation for others to volunteer. What do you get out of volunteering? You will:

  • Meet and connect with key industry leaders and peers who have solved the same business challenges you face. The instant network you gain by joining APA gets even easier to access because you already know who to approach for help with any business situation.
  • Raise your profile—and your company’s—in the industry. APA members will see or read about your volunteerism, effort and experiences in making our association better and more successful. Remember the phrase: you put in a little effort, you gain little; you put in a lot of effort, you gain a lot.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of how our businesses, the industry and our association fit together so you can better leverage your position in each arena.
  • Gain new skills that can benefit you personally and professionally. You gain expertise through experience. First-time education presenters, webinar speakers and Insights writers can do just as good a job as people who write or speak often. And, when you’ve given back to APA this way, you’ve gained professional experience that you can apply at work and home.

That’s a lot of gain—and I didn’t even mention the good feeling that you get from helping your fellow members and making a difference in our industry.

Your APA leaders serve because of what we’ve gained through our engagement with the association. Try your hand at volunteering to increase your engagement and benefits, and to find out just why the rest of us are so ready to give back.

Find volunteer opportunities and let us know if you might be interested by filling out the volunteer form.
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APA - Where Personalization Pros Connect.

The APA is the organization for retailers and suppliers of personalized and customized items. By providing education, meetings, and access to a vibrant network of professionals, the APA is the one place to ensure the growth of your talent, your business, and your professional community.

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