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INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
07-11-2007, 07:02 PM
As I understand it, some of you are AOLP members. (Formerly the LVLIA it would appear... when did that change?)

I have a couple of questions:

1: What benefits do you receive from membership?

2: How has membership helped the bottom line of your business?

3: Have you ever had a prospective client ask you if you were a member?

I was just on the website and it is looking much better then it used to.

I was a bit confused as to why you would need a password to access the membership list! I mean really, if a professional organization is really wanting to promote their credentials and members to the marketplace, you would think they would want the public having access to the membership list. I dont quite get that at all.

I am also wondering if the AOLP really has that much regard, influence or interest in the issues that we face here in Canada. If there are any Canadian members of the AOLP here please let me know your thoughts.

Finally, What influence do the manufactures who are members have over the association? I know they pay some pretty big bucks to be members and I want to know how that translates into programming, promotion, technological advancement, etc etc.

In the past I have been encouraged to join the LVLIA on many occassions. When I posed these and other questions and concerns no one was ready able or willing to enter into a dialogue with me. They just took the attitude of "join us and you will find out". Hopefully this culture has changed and I look forward to hearing many varied opinions and answers.

Have a great day.

Chris J
07-11-2007, 09:45 PM
I could tell you, but then we would have to send our secret agents to your location to dispose of you. :gunsfirin Actually, I have heard there have been some recent changes so I can't speak intelligently to your questions. They keep us pee-ons out of the loop until conference time/renewal time. Paul is now a on the board, so he is a "big man on campus" so I'll let him fill your balloon before I pop it with my black hat analogy. As I understand it, the manufacturers are contributing a great deal of rebates to your membership which results in a net profit for the cost of membership. The conference is usually a great time, and it is a wonderful opportunity to get together with some talented individuals from across the country to share ideas and opinions. It may even turn out to be a great place to have a UFC event to settle a few unsettled disputes! :realmad:
Again, I'll let this thread develop a bit, and wait to have a few cocktails. Then, we can discuss this further. I'll be happy to share with you via PM if you wish, but there are pros and cons. I'm a little bitter, but I'm just getting old and grumpy. The basic principle of the organization is great as long as you don't expect to get more out of it than you put into it. It is an organization that is in the process of being built, and it is in need of architechets. If you just pay your dues and expect to gain something in return, you will not see any benefit. The bottom line, as far as my opinion goes" is this: I am a member, and I do find tremendous value in the relationships that I have created as a result. Do I have problems with the organization of the club? You bet. Will I attend next years conference? You bet.

NightScenes
07-12-2007, 08:14 AM
As I understand it, some of you are AOLP members. (Formerly the LVLIA it would appear... when did that change?)It changed at the beginning of the year. The change was to be more inclusive of the entire outdoor lighting industry. Some of us install both line and low voltage lighting. This opens membership to a wider base.

I have a couple of questions:

1: What benefits do you receive from membership?Ok, the first would be the welcome package which is full of discounts and rebates from manufactures and distributors. These actually can far exceed the cost of dues in the association. Then there is the new members only forum where we can talk candidly about any topic including pricing or exchange ideas about design. This is a great tool and benefit. Other questions that follow also come into play here so I will move on.

2: How has membership helped the bottom line of your business?I believe that when people see that you are a part of a national association it let's them know that you are interested in your industry. We are dealing with high end clientèle who have been in the "professional" work force and appreciate someone who looks beyond their own little bubble to belong and help on a national level. I have actually had clients tell me that my AOLP membership helped them choose me over others.

3: Have you ever had a prospective client ask you if you were a member?Just off the top, no. The general public does not know about the AOLP just like they probably don't know about PLANET or most other professional associations.

I was just on the website and it is looking much better then it used to.

I was a bit confused as to why you would need a password to access the membership list! I mean really, if a professional organization is really wanting to promote their credentials and members to the marketplace, you would think they would want the public having access to the membership list. I don't quite get that at all.The public can use the search option to verify certification but not the general membership names. This keeps the spammers away. Would you want your name and contact information available to anyone and everyone on earth?

I am also wondering if the AOLP really has that much regard, influence or interest in the issues that we face here in Canada. If there are any Canadian members of the AOLP here please let me know your thoughts.I will see if I can get an answer from some of our Canadian members on this one.

Finally, What influence do the manufactures who are members have over the association? I know they pay some pretty big bucks to be members and I want to know how that translates into programming, promotion, technological advancement, etc etc.Manufacture members are an important part of any association to this nature. The dues are much higher of course, but they are usually members because they want to see the industry grow. There is one position on the board for a manufacture or distributor so they can not and do not have the power to "run" the association.

In the past I have been encouraged to join the LVLIA on many occasions. When I posed these and other questions and concerns no one was ready able or willing to enter into a duologue with me. They just took the attitude of "join us and you will find out". Hopefully this culture has changed and I look forward to hearing many varied opinions and answers.

Have a great day.

I hope by answering these questions for you, you can see that the winds of change are blowing. I am dedicated to this industry and am happy to answer any questions that I can.

David Gretzmier
07-12-2007, 11:06 AM
James- just thought I'd put my 2 cents in- I'll be joining the aolp soon, and here's why- at 175 bucks, It allows me to have some credentials for bids. Yeah, the public does not know about it, but they can check on the internet. If I get one bid over someone else because I am a "certified member of Aolp" it is worth it. The website will back you up.

I found this to be true of a certified Christmas light Installer. In a contest of bids, I always mention it, that we are certified, and then they ask the other person if they are. I have to do continuing education and take a test every year to get that certification. If I get a bid because of it, that is the main value for me. The can go to the website and see if I am a certified member.

the same is true of aolp, although it seems there are scads of other benefits, at the end of the day, did it help me grow my business?

NightScenes
07-12-2007, 11:13 AM
One thing I would like to stress is this, members should be INVOLVED in the association if they want to get things from it. I hear from members all the time wanting to know what "they" get. My question is, what are you going to do to make the association stronger?

Eden Lights
07-12-2007, 05:49 PM
Thanks for all the information Mr. Paul, I plan on being in AZ next year. Who puts together the speakers? How about Greg Yale or Tom Williams??

seolatlanta
07-12-2007, 06:44 PM
Hey Eddie

Check your PM.

thanks

David Gretzmier
07-12-2007, 09:36 PM
Paul- With all due respect- when people have to pay to be a part of something, I think it is reasonable to ask what do you get for the money. especially if this is an ongoing expense, then value must be there. I agree folks should be willing to contribute and volunteer, and that makes an organization stronger. I volunteer at church,others benefit and feel great about it. I would be willing to volunteer and contribute my time to aolp.

The value for me at aolp is easy to see, it gives one credibility. Training, testing, are well worth it, although I'm guessing these cost extra.

As distributors and manufacturers pay a substantial amount more, I'm sure they ask the same question- what do we get? that is obvious- a pathway to people who buy our products, and a chance to sell them more.

The nice thing should be an interaction between installer and manufacturer to improve products to make them better in the real world. a better packaging, a better socket, lens, o-ring, etc. Also- sharing methods both have discovered to make install better and or easier.

Ultimately, the customers should benefit from a more educated installer, a better product.

NightScenes
07-12-2007, 11:17 PM
I agree with you David. Of course manufactures want to sell their product to the membership, but when they are members at such a young stage of the association, there has to be something else. I think that they have to have an interest in the future of the industry. I believe that the current manufacture and distributor members are making an investment in the association and therefore in the industry.

NightScenes
07-12-2007, 11:18 PM
Thanks for all the information Mr. Paul, I plan on being in AZ next year. Who puts together the speakers? How about Greg Yale or Tom Williams??

I will ask Tom if he is interested. Would you like him to cover design?

eskerlite
07-13-2007, 10:04 AM
Joining the AOLP James will go against what Nightscapings opinions are of the group they started even though everything is different from 6 years ago. Are You still solely using Nightscaping? I know You value their opinions. Ask Bill what his opinion is of our organization, Then join and find out that it is something totally different from what their idea is. Is Nightchat still a hot air balloon? Im not bitter though.
Sean Curran
Former Nightchatter disbarred

NightScenes
07-13-2007, 09:49 PM
Tom is going to be giving a presentation at the next conference. The association is developing a design certification and he is on the committee.

Pro-Scapes
07-13-2007, 11:01 PM
I saw his website... Really class work... I been working with a landscape architect and I picked up a goal from him... I wanna create places people enjoy being... but they dont really know why they enjoy it. I guess thats the art of being subtle yet letting what you have done there be known.

NightScenes
07-14-2007, 08:08 AM
You learn well padowan.

niteliters
07-15-2007, 08:39 PM
As I understand it, some of you are AOLP members. (Formerly the LVLIA it would appear... when did that change?)

I have a couple of questions:

1: What benefits do you receive from membership?

2: How has membership helped the bottom line of your business?

3: Have you ever had a prospective client ask you if you were a member?

I was just on the website and it is looking much better then it used to.

I was a bit confused as to why you would need a password to access the membership list! I mean really, if a professional organization is really wanting to promote their credentials and members to the marketplace, you would think they would want the public having access to the membership list. I dont quite get that at all.

I am also wondering if the AOLP really has that much regard, influence or interest in the issues that we face here in Canada. If there are any Canadian members of the AOLP here please let me know your thoughts.

Finally, What influence do the manufactures who are members have over the association? I know they pay some pretty big bucks to be members and I want to know how that translates into programming, promotion, technological advancement, etc etc.

In the past I have been encouraged to join the LVLIA on many occassions. When I posed these and other questions and concerns no one was ready able or willing to enter into a dialogue with me. They just took the attitude of "join us and you will find out". Hopefully this culture has changed and I look forward to hearing many varied opinions and answers.

Have a great day.

James, fortunate to get a job last week because I am a certified AOLP member. It was required as part of submitting the bid. baby steps.