Trade Group Says It Delivers ‘Expanded Services’
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the organization that owns and operates the Consumer Electronics Show, has notified members that it has “changed our [dues] structure and dues.” They weren’t kidding, depending on the membership category your company falls under, along with your annual revenues, your dues may have increased greater than five-fold, starting with your 2023 dues. Ouch!
See more on CTA’s dramatic membership dues increase
A long-time Strata-gee reader reached out to me to see if I was aware of the impending – and massive – membership dues increase being implemented this year by the CTA. This reader was upset…and a little perplexed that the association would take such an aggressive stance at this time.
I had heard a little about an increase but had not seen any specific details. He boiled it down to simply this – his membership rate for 2022 was $350; his membership rate for 2023 is $1,900. This is an increase of more than 442%…or 5.4 times his current rate.
This CTA Member Will Not Renew with CTA for 2023
Needless to say, he has decided not to renew his CTA membership. How many other current CTA members will make a similar decision?
How does the CTA justify such a radical increase? In their renewal note to members, the organization explains that “technology has changed how we work and live.” And that as their trade association, “CTA has also evolved, expanding our member benefits with policy influencing advocacy support, research offerings, and technology standards, enabling our industry to flourish…”
Increasing Dues Because of ‘Expanded Services’?
However, they don’t call out specifically what the expanded benefits are, as the list of member benefits on the CTA website looks substantially the same this year as it did last year. But the organization asserts that they have expanded member benefits. And they note that “CTA’s dues structure has not changed for many years.” Consequently, “To better reflect our expanded services and enhance the benefit of participating in CES, CTA is rolling out a new membership model. It allows us to continue to offer best-in-class products and services to members…”
Did you catch that? Carefully tucked into their announcement is this new phrase, “…and enhance the benefit of participating in CES.” Yes, as part of their revamped membership program, CTA has added a discount to the annual membership dues tied to your spending at CES. To get the maximum discount of -40% off your dramatically increased annual dues, you have to spend 100 times your dues level at CES.
They call this special program enhancement “CES Rewards.” Apparently, it is an effort to incentivize members to spend more money on CES in order to earn discounts to help offset a portion of their membership fee increase. So let’s look at the 2022 and 2023 CTA membership programs below and see how they differ…
Current 2022 CTA Membership Program
In the 2022 membership program, there were four types of members, defined as:
- Regular Member – “…your company is a manufacturer or distributor of consumer technology or related products, or a provider of a technology or service that interoperates with or enhances a device”
- Associate Member; Research/Analyst – “…your company conducts business within the consumer technology industry but does not manufacture or sell consumer technology products or services”
- Retail/Integrator Member – “your company sells or installs consumer electronics — via traditional showroom, over the Internet or through custom installation”
- Startup Member – “We believe every company deserves a seat at the table. That’s why we offer a discounted membership category to startup companies at only $95/year”
The actual amount of your dues depends on the category of membership that best represents your company and your company’s annual revenues in North America [except in the case of startup members].
REGULAR MEMBER PRICING 2022
|Annual Dues||Annual North American Revenue|
|$850||Under $4 million|
|$1,500||$4 million to $9,999,999|
|$3,500||$10 million to $29,999,999|
|$8,500||$30 million to $99,999,999|
|$17,000||$100 million to $249,999,999|
|$25,000||$250 million to $499,999,999|
|$28,000||$500 million to $999,999,999|
|$34,000||$1 to $2 billion|
|$40,000||$2 billion and above|
ASSOCIATE MEMBER PRICING 2022 [Note: for the sake of clarity, I am leaving off the separate Research/Analyst pricing table]
|Associate Annual Dues||Annual North American Revenue|
|$350||Associate less than $1 million|
|$750||Associate $1-10 million|
|$1,500||Associate $10-30 million|
|$3,500||Associate $30-100 million|
|$7,500||Associate $100-500 million|
|$10,000||Associate over $500 million|
RETAIL/INTEGRATOR MEMBER PRICING 2022
|Annual Dues||Annual North American Revenues|
|$350||Under $25 million|
|$750||$25 million to $49,999,999|
|$1,500||$50 million to $99,999,999|
|$3,500||$100 million to $499,999,999|
|$7,500||$500 million to $999,999,999|
|$20,000||$1 billion and above|
STARTUP MEMBER PRICING 2022
Startup members had the best deal, paying only a flat $95 annual member fee regardless of their size.
New CTA 2023 Member Program
The program for 2023 has been greatly simplified. There are now a total of only three membership types, defined as shown below.
- Core Members – “Companies of any size that manufacture, sell, install or distribute consumer or enterprise technologies including internet services, software, applications and related products.” This included both B2C and B2B company types.
- Industry Associate Members – “Companies that serve the technology industry, including consultants, research analysts, venture capital firms, and any other companies or organizations that do not manufacture, sell, install or distribute consumer or enterprise technology products or services.”
- Non-Profit Members – “Non-profit organizations whose primary function is to provide healthcare services.” I find it oddly specific that they limit the non-profit membership ONLY to healthcare services.
Thanks to this simplified member breakdown, we can fit it all on one member fee matrix.
|Ann. N. American Revenues||Core Member Dues||Industry Associate Member Dues||Non-Profit Member Dues|
|Under $1 million||$500||$1,900||$750|
|$1 million – $2 million||$1,000||$2,800||$750|
|$2 million – $5 million||$1,500||$3,500||$750|
|$5 million – $10 million||$2,000||$4,000||$1,000|
|$10 million – $20 million||$3,500||$5,250||$1,750|
|$20 million – $30 million||$5,000||$7,500||$2,500|
|$30 million – $50 million||$9,000||$13,500||$4,500|
|$50 million – $100 mil||$15,000||$22,500||$7,500|
|$100 mil – $500 mil||$25,000||$37,500||$12,500|
|$500 mil – $1 billion||$35,000||$52,500||$17,500|
|$1 billion – $5 billion||$45,000||$67,500||$22,500|
|$5 billion – $10 billion||$55,000||$82,500||$27,500|
|$10 billion – $50 billion||$65,000||$97,500||$30,000|
|$50 billion – $100 billion||$80,000||$120,000||$30,000|
|$100 billion & above||$100,000||$150,000||$30,000|
Want a Discount? The CTA Has a Solution – Spend More Money at CES
Think these rates are too high? Well, CTA has a solution for that as well. As I mentioned above, the association is offering something they call CES Rewards. It is an opportunity for every member to earn discounts on their fees based on their spending at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
If members are willing to step up their spending at CES, they can earn discounts against their membership fee. Now, to be clear, we’re not talking about just any spending at CES – treating your team members to a night of drunken revelry, for example, does not count. Nope, your spending must be on “exhibit space, sponsorships, or other CES investments” to qualify.
Discounts don’t accrue until your CES spending is equal to at least five times your membership fee or more. Spend 5-10 times your membership fee and you’ll earn a 20% discount. The biggest discount is 40% and to achieve that, you must spend 100 times your membership fee or more.
Oh, and by the way, the discount you earn is applied to your membership fee the following year.
A Significant Increase
Imagine for a moment you are a manufacturer of electronics with annual revenues of just about $4 million. This year, your CTA membership fee would amount to $850. But when you go to renew for next year, your membership fee jumps to $1,500. That is a one-year jump of 76.5%.
Or in another case, imagine you are a retailer with annual revenues of $20 million. For 2022 you are paying a membership fee of $350. For 2023, your new membership fee jumps to $5,000 – or an increase of more than 14-fold!
And of course, I already told you about the Strata-gee reader whose company is an associate membership and saw his membership fee jump 442% from $350 to $1,900. In this reader’s case, it just didn’t make any sense to him to continue.
These are really massive one-year increases that could become burdensome to many existing CTA member companies, many of whom belong to multiple associations.
Are You a CTA Member?
So I’ve spoken with a couple of the CTA members and they do not seem particularly happy with this increase. How about you? Are you a CTA member? What are your thoughts on the new dues structure and rates?
Leave your comment in the “Leave a Reply” section below this post.
Learn more about the CTA at: cta.tech.