This guide is designed to help students learn how to use K-State Libraries' resources to find information about industries, markets, consumers, companies, and more.

Library Research Guide

Trade Associations

What is a Trade Association?

Trade associations (also referred to professional associations or industry organizations) collect and publish information that is of interest to people in a particular industry.  

Trade associations might:

  • Publish white papers, research reports, industry statistics, salary surveys, or best practice documents
  • Organize conferences and trade shows
  • Maintain directories
  • Advocate on behalf of an industry or profession

Finding Trade Associations

Using a search engine to find trade associations for a particular industry is usually easy. Sifting through the types of information provided by those organizations and determining what is freely available to students takes more time. 

Examples of searches to locate trade associations.

Example Google search "site:org video game industry association"  

Example Googles search: "site:org sporting goods trade organization"

Examples of Information Provided by Trade Associations

Ethical Guidelines

Sometime professional associations provide free information resources. For example, Design Business and Ethics is a free publication for graphic designers provided by The Professional Association for Design (AIGA)AIGA Design and Business Ethics Publication

Research Reports

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) publishers reports that could be useful to an entrepreneur researching the video game industry. For example, the IGDA Developer Satisfaction Surveys provides information about salaries as well as trends in the gaming industry.   

IDGA Research Report


Some associations provide niche product or supplier directories. For example, the Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) has a product directory of clothing and equipment suppliers categorized by sport.  

SFIA Product Directory