USSC Report: Let’s Be Honest

Every day, the United States Sign Council (USSC) is working so that you can remain in business and remain profitable. We sit on panels such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories), NEC (National Electric Council), IBCC (International Building Code Council), etc., and we try to get our message out to other organizations such as the APA (American Planners Association), IALD (International Association of Lighting Designs), the Dark Sky Society, and more.

Whether you are a product manufacturer, distributor, manufacturer’s rep, trade shop, or sign company, we fight the fight to represent you with all of these various entities so that you don’t have to think about all of these other things.

In other words, we are doing our job every day, so you can do yours.

In the last few months, we have traveled to Pittsburgh to fight a restrictive code and to Phoenix

To represent the industry at the International Green Construction Code Hearings. We will be also be traveling shortly to South Carolina for another conference, and this April, we will have a booth at the APA Convention in Los Angeles.

In order to do all of this (and to help you do business in today’s tight marketplace), we also have to run this office as a business. Yes, we have to pay salaries and taxes and maintain our offices and buildings. Then there’s the electric bill, the telephone bill, and all of those other bills that keep coming in.

Let’s face it, whether it’s USSC or ISA or SGIA, an association has two primary sources of income—membership dues and tradeshow revenues.

Now here’s where we need to be honest. When you exhibit or attend an association-sponsored

tradeshow and conference, you are supporting the future of your industry.

Both USSC and ISA are non-profit organizations, and as such, all revenues are put directly back into making a better business climate for you. Other show managers who run a variety of shows across the country are “For Profit” entities and do not represent you in the many other areas noted above. The revenue they produce goes directly back to them. They do not sit on any of the panels or boards. They do not go to the zoning hearings to fight restrictive codes. And they do not fund research projects into sign legibility or traffic safety, nor have they produced a Model Code to give to Planners and Towns.

So, if you are a product manufacturer who finds it harder and harder to sell your product due to restrictive codes, your association(s) are going to be there helping with the fight. If you are a sign company that can now put up only a fifty-square foot sign where you used to be able to put up a one hundred-square foot sign, your association(s) are going to be there helping with the fight.

But we can’t do this without you. We are able and willing to do our part—but you need to do your part.

I am being brutally honest here—this is what you must do for your part to insure that the sign industry will remain strong and viable for many more generations.

First: You need to join your associations. http://www.ussc.org/howtojoin.html. Of course, I’d like for you to join USSC, but in honesty, you should join USSC and ISA as well. Don’t put it off, and don’t wait for you to “get around to it.”

And don’t say you don’t have the money. Membership is actually very inexpensive. For a sign company, your dues are just $85—which is the cost of a good dinner with some wine for you and your spouse. And for those who manufacture and/or sell product, the cost is also relatively inexpensive.

Second: Support your association-sponsored tradeshows. When you exhibit products or services or when you attend a show, you support the future of your business.

Did you know that USSC sets aside 5 percent of the gross revenue (that’s gross, not net) of our annual Sign World International tradeshow for research? Since 1995, we have plowed almost $2 million into research!

And did you know that USSC sets aside 1 percent of the gross revenue from our annual tradeshow for scholarships? Since 1998, we have assisted thirty-nine young people with their college tuition. And these scholarships are renewable for three additional years (provided the student keeps a 3.0 GPA).

Honestly, I love what I am doing; I truly enjoy my interaction with everyone in the industry. But you need to do your part through membership and support of the tradeshow. That’s the deal—you do your part, and we here at USSC will continue far into the future to do our part.

Think about it! Then join!!


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2014 Winter/Spring Buyer's Guide

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