ASID Updates Membership Numbers

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ASID membership numbers dip with the economic downturn but fare better than industry average 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 9, 2009) | Like most associations and the interior design industry as a whole, the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) is feeling the affects of a strained economy, having experienced a 10 percent drop in membership over the past fiscal year, which ended September 30. While the membership drop reflects the effects that the downturn has had on the interior design industry, it is actually low compared to industry averages. According to a summer 2009 study from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), 15 percent of members in associations allied with housing and building industries were not planning to renew their membership. Even more dramatic, 24 percent of respondents in a follow-up, association-wide study plan to drop their membership at next renewal.

“The economy has hit the interior design industry especially hard as businesses and consumers tighten their budgets and cut back on spending,” says Michael Alin, Hon. FASID, executive director of ASID. “We are committed to helping our members through this economic slump and look forward to designers being able to rejoin ASID as the economy improves.”

Associations play a critical role in recessions, and ASID is evaluating and creating new opportunities for its members. The Society is updating its current offerings, thinking outside the box to develop new programs and partnerships that give interior designers the tools they need to succeed.

“The number of opportunities ASID offers for advancing our members’ education, promoting and marketing their businesses, networking with their peers and so much more is unparalleled and continues to grow,” says Alin. “One only needs to look at our networking events or CEU offerings through to see how we continue to grow the Society for our 36,000 members.”

Educational opportunities, access to the latest research, networking opportunities and assistance in marketing are all key benefits for ASID members. The continued growth of these services can be seen through recent events, including:

  • ASID UNi, the ASID online learning platform, has more than doubled its offering since its inception in November 2008 and continues to grow exponentially.
  • ASID and USGBC announced four new REGREEN e-learning courses in September.
  • The ASID-hosted congressional briefing in September informed United States House of Representative staff members, health care fellows and representatives from the health care industry about evidence-based design and health care facilities.
  • This year, the Society moved its annual conference to NeoCon, the largest design conference and exposition in the world.
  • In its opening weekend during the ASID National Conference at NeoCon 2009, the new social networking site attracted more than 10,000 viewers. It’s also a hub for social media tutorials and tips.
  • Collaborating with AARP, ASID designers are behind the first ever AARP Recession Remodel contest and designed spaces that promote health and longevity.
  • In addition to the Earth-Minded Awards with Hospitality Design magazine and the Bloom Awards with Interiors & Sources, ASID is now a partner of the new USGBC Sustainable Suite Competition, Health Care Design magazine’s Architectural and Interior Design Showcase and the DESIGN/Environments for Aging award from the Vendome group.

About ASID: The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) is a community of people—designers, industry representatives, educators and students—committed to interior design. Through education, knowledge sharing, advocacy, community building and outreach, the Society strives to advance the interior design profession and, in the process, to demonstrate and celebrate the power of design to positively change people’s lives. Its more than 36,000 members engage in a variety of professional programs and activities through a network of 48 chapters throughout the United States and Canada.

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