To help reduce redundancies in costs and advocacy efforts, the European Window Film Association became a chapter of its U.S.-based counterpart.
To help better educate the global public about the benefits of window film products, the U.S.-based International Window Film Association announced a new agreement with its European counterpart last week.
As part of the new partnership, the European Window Film Association will operate as a chapter of IWFA in order to combine resources and expand the reach of both organizations.
“The IWFA has remained dedicated to educating the industry about the benefits of window film, whether for commercial, residential, or automotive purposes for 25 years,” Jack Mundy, president of IWFA, said in a statement. “Our strategic partnership with the EWFA will reduce infrastructure costs, increase membership capabilities, eliminate business redundancies, and ultimately bring more opportunity to the industry in Europe.”
While Europe is a smaller market—its greater distance from the equator means a smaller demand for window film—it has significant infrastructure costs when it comes to advocating for the use of window film products, IWFA Executive Director Darrell Smith told Associations Now. “There you have a huge education job to do to explain to people why they should put in this building code or why they should use window film to save energy short term and long term.”
It requires building a website, creating information for architects, engineers, and building contractors, as well as performing technical research studies and disseminating that information. And relative to the size of its market, EWFA’s infrastructure costs were much larger than those of IWFA’s compared to their respective budgets.
Realizing that the organizations were also duplicating services in several areas, the two groups decided IWFA would absorb the European association as a chapter. For EWFA, members will now have access to greater resources, Smith said. There will be direct links to IWFA information and resources on EWFA’s website, IWFA will translate its technical resources and educational material into multiple languages, and future research will include North American and European examples.
IWFA also pledged that all income from European member dues will be spent entirely on projects and research to be conducted specifically in Europe.
Meanwhile, for IWFA, the new agreement provides a model for moving forward and further expanding its reach in the future. “There are other independent trade associations in the world,” Smith said. “Some of them may look to this and say, ‘We might want to consider this, too.’”
Such collaboration could bring greater synergy to the industry as a whole. “It’s a team concept now,” Smith said of the new partnership. “We don’t have Europe working one way and North America working another. We’re all working in the same way for the same target.”