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2019 Virtual AGM Summary

Did you miss our 2019 Virtual AGM? Here’s a synopsis of what was discussed. Thanks to all who joined us!

2019 Virtual AGM: Tuesday November 5 at 12pm EDT

Welcome and Thank you for Joining

Introduction of 2019-2020 Board of Directors

Arie Brentnall, Chair- Geared Up Baby

Susan Gmeiner, Treasurer- Maya Wrap

Allie Vella, Secretary- Baby Tula 

Diana Mateescu- Poarta-Ma! 

Kit Jenkins- The Carrying On Project

Alisa Heytow-DeMarco- Tekhni

Tina Hoffmann- DIDYMOS

Daniel Lucas- Diono/We Made Me 

Laura Brown- 


State of Affairs

Membership numbers

  • Overall downturn in membership levels and members renewing
  • Retailers especially hard hit, both online and brick & mortar (in all sectors, not just ours)
  • Little appeal of BCIA membership to ‘gear’/larger merger companies 

What are we doing?

  • We rolled out new membership levels (downsizing business and non-profit levels) as well as allowing membership installment options
  • Back to basics: focusing on small businesses 
    • Improved product registration service partnered with Registria (we are bringing back pre-printed PRS cards this month as well)
    • A la carte compliance services  
    • Virtual and in person small networking events

Going forward

  • Marketing campaign to meet new manufacturers where they are (amazon and instagram sellers etc who do not know what the BCIA is)
  • Minor website revamp to make it more user-friendly and appealing
  • Continued focus on our growing markets: Europe, manufacturers in and entering the NA market
  • Continued representation on ASTM and EU standards working groups

What does your business need help with to succeed? 


Participant Discussion

Those on the call had some terrific observations and feedback to offer us that included the following points:

-BCIA should do an outreach campaign to etsy etc. selling platforms to help with non-compliance

-One member noticed that on going through the membership list in the annual report, there are a lot of BCIA members still at the red level who really ought to be renewing at a higher level. Do we need to revise the whole tiered membership level idea? How can we encourage businesses to join at an appropriate membership level? 

  • We discussed ideas around a “welcome year” level and a “step down” level
  • We talked about the idea of tiers of service, ie, an entry year level that gives access to all the services, and moving towards less expensive options that lets members purchase a la carte service options
  • Different rate levels for retailers and educators
  • Grandfathered base rate of 165$ if you renew continually, higher rate if you lapse and come back
  • Categorizing membership levels as “ideal for” to help new members choose the right options for their businesses

-One member asked if we ever do exit interview surveys to find out why people are not rejoining (we do not at this time, but think this is a terrific idea!)

-Email blast to former members giving them updates on what we’re doing and inviting them to become supporter members

-Expansion of services: 

  • Calendar of events added to website 
  • Educator hub (how could we expand useful services for educators)
  • Identify further business services we could assist with, ex. Marketing help

We wrapped our call up around the 1 hour mark. A heartfelt thank you to those who came out to listen and offer your expertise and feedback to our discussion. You’ve given us some great feedback to implement as we work out our strategic plan for 2020.


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