First and foremost, trade associations
have to meet their members' advocacy needs, but making sure they remain alive financially is as important to them as it is to the insurers whose membership dues they compete for.
The chief purpose of these gatherings is to discuss jobs--specifically, the top one or two positions at the biggest and most important industry trade associations
and corporate offices centered around Washington's K Street, a canyon of nondescript office buildings a few blocks north of the White House that is to influence-peddling what Wall Street is to finance.
The service function is another important area of trade association
activity, especially to small firms who tend to be less interested in representation (North et al, 1996).