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Industry Information: Trade Associations

Tips, techniques & links to help you find answers for your research papers & projects

Find a Trade Association

Try using the index to the Encyclopedia of Associations
REF HS17 .G3 Ready Reference
(ask at Reference Desk)

You can also try doing an internet search using keywords, e.g. drive-in theatre association.

Trade Associations

Trade associations can be excellent sources of industry information.  They conduct consumer research and surveys of members, track relevant legislation and lobby government, publish trade magazines, etc.  Check their website or call and ask what kinds of data are available. Some associations will have limited information available to nonmembers. 

When looking at the website, look for sections labeled research, statistics, publications, or information for the media.  Be persistent!

Examples of trade associations with information on their website:

Brewers Association
International Carwash Association
Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America

Trade journals can provide valuable data for the entrepreneur.  Trade associations often publish them and may provide access via their website.  You'll also find trade magazines listed in the "Industry References" section of Industry Surveys (NetAdvantage).  Use the "Journal Finder" tab at our homepage,, to see if the Libraries provide access.