What’s in It for Me? Here’s Why It Pays to Be an NKBA member.
There’s a lot at stake in today’s bustling, highly competitive business world, and companies need every advantage to help them stand out from their peers.
By Loren Kessell
There’s a lot at stake in today’s bustling, highly competitive business world, and companies need every advantage to help them stand out from their peers in a world of never-ending communication.
Part of the NKBA’s mission is to provide its members with helpful resources and tools to strengthen their careers and businesses. To that end, the association is continuously upgrading its member services. This includes a new website with enhanced and more user-friendly features, set to be unveiled at KBIS 2018.
Two keys to maximizing membership benefits are learning and networking. Member companies and individuals have access to targeted educational opportunities—including certification programs that increase earning potential—powerful networking with industry leaders, discounts on valuable products, perks at KBIS and other NKBA events, and full access to the NKBA’s website.
On the networking side, another advantage of membership is finding other NKBA members in related fields—designers working with dealers, skilled craftsmen working with designers and retailers, designers connecting with installers and other trade professionals. When members hook up with each other, they can build relationships with individuals or companies in different segments of the field, as well as build their businesses. The NKBA encourages its members to recruit other design and remodeling pros to forge stronger enterprises within the community.
Reaching consumers is key for any business, and NKBA’s new search tool makes it easy for professionals to find each other, and for potential customers to locate professionals. Consumers enter their zip code and receive a refined list of local companies, designers, and craftsmen. Members have access to the NKBA logo to add to their company websites, which means consumers will see the affiliation—which carries weight in the design world. The search feature will be improved and easier to use with the new website.
Member companies can add employees to their membership rosters at no additional cost and may post job listings to find potential hires from among a focused pool of qualified professionals. Plus, they can become Continuing Education Unit (CEU) providers to offer CEU credits to members maintaining certification. Additionally, new for 2018, employees of member companies may have individual profile pages at no cost to the employee.
The key to the search tool is a robust offering of member profiles. NKBA encourages all members to fill in their profiles at www.nkba.org.
Some members join the NKBA to take their careers to the next level by becoming certified designers. These members sit for their Associate Kitchen & Bath Designer (AKBD) exam after completing a specified number of hours of study in a rigorous—and highly respected—curriculum. Only NKBA members may take the AKBD exam, as well as the subsequent Certified Kitchen & Bath Designer (CKBD) and Certified Master Kitchen & Bath Designer (CMKBD) exams.
The association offers flashcards and practice tests to help members study, and most NKBA chapters hold exam study groups to prepare their members for testing. Certification offers members extra credibility, and consumers perceive certification as value-added, and meeting the highest standards in the industry.
Besides NKBA’s national office, there are 70 chapters located throughout the U.S. and Canada. This extensive chapter network brings topics from national to the grassroots level. Members can take advantage of special pricing for meetings and events, and they can run for chapter officer positions to further their leadership skills. Chapters schedule innovative sessions, which also serve as networking opportunities. For certified members (or those who are working toward certification), these meetings often have an educational component and can count toward CEUs.
Member companies often offer their spaces to chapters for events, where attendees can see different showrooms and products, and meet new faces. It’s a bonus marketing opportunity for the companies and dealers.
Unlike many other trade associations, there is no separate charge for local chapter level membership; at the NKBA, national and local membership is all rolled into one fee.
The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS)
NKBA serves its membership all year long, but its premier event of the year is the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS). Members enjoy discounted registration rates leading up to the show. Attendees have access to the popular Voices from the Industry (VFTI) series, can explore the latest products and trends on the show floor, and can expand their knowledge with NKBA show-exclusive courses. Members can apply to be VFTI speakers and may enter the Professional Design Competition to showcase their portfolios and win cash prizes.
NKBA will continue to work toward serving the best long-term interests of its membership and ensuring the health and prosperity of the kitchen and bath industry. Being a part of the NKBA means having access to the most up-to-date kitchen and bath information, top-notch networking, and an association that wants to provide its members with the best possible experience, so individuals, companies and the industry can grow and thrive together.