Why Join ICMA

ICMA provides its members the following benefits:

Annual Card Manufacturing
& Personalization 
ICMA Resources Member Exposure
Regional Events
ACE Program Industry Initiatives
ICMA Summits Education Training Programs

» Education, Training and Networking

Annual Card Manufacturing & Personalization EXPO

  • ICMA's Annual Card Manufacturing & Personalization EXPO is the world's only manufacturing-focused global card conference and exhibition.
  • ICMA members receive substantial discounts to attend or exhibit at the EXPO.
  • The EXPO, attended by people from more than 40 countries worldwide, is an international forum for leading card manufacturers, personalizers, suppliers, issuers and other card industry representatives.
  • Sessions focus on general card industry and business concerns, security issues, management and technical matters, global industry trends, personalization and production issues and opportunities.
  • The Exhibition portion of the EXPO is the world's only venue exclusively dedicated to card manufacturers and personalizers and their unique product and service needs. Exhibitors will be reaching a global cadre of industry participants in an up-close and-personal format, invaluable for networking and sales. Exhibitors include companies that supply products such as: production and personalization equipment, card materials, card supplies and card services. 

ICMA CardTREX Regional Events

  • The CardTREX events are ideal for technical and card production staff as well as executives and business owners. They are a day and a half and focus on actual production issues, trends and topics. 

Past events have covered topics such as:

  • Dual Interface
  • Near Field Communication (NFC)
  • Alternative Substrates
  • Industry Standards
  • EMV
  • High Speed Personalization
  • Lamination
  • Chip Embedding & Inlays
  • Card Packaging
  • UV Printing Techniques
  • Events typically take place in the U.S. and Europe each September/October. CardTREX North America took place June 13-14 this year. CardTREX Europe took place 5-6 October in Milan, Italy.
  • CardTREX North America and CardTREX Europe each focus on their regional challenges and opportunities as well as highlighting the latest trends, technologies and innovations for their region.
  • Networking Zone exhibit stations allow supplier members the opportunity to display their product literature, materials and other information and to be in front of card manufacturer members. This provides an opportunity for the production/operations personnel who typically attend the CardTREX events to meet their suppliers.
  • The Speed Share session is for all Networking Zone exhibitors to have the opportunity to promote their best product in one slide, followed by attendees visiting the Networking Zone to sell that product.
  • A Networking Dinner provides a great chance for all attendees to network with each other in a relaxed, social environment. This is included for everyone who registers for the CardTREX events.

ICMA Summits

  • Specialized educational events focused on current industry topics such as environmental, technical and personalization/fulfillment issues, and are held in various locations around the globe.

ICMA Resources

  • Global Market and Personalization Statistics Reports: These valuable reports provide historical and forecasted figures for card production and personalization worldwide. Also included is a breakdown by region and type of cards (magnetic stripe, smart card and market segment, i.e. financial, gift, etc.) worldwide, which helps your company with strategic planning and identifying market trends. Free for members, non-members pay $995 for one or $1,500 for both reports.
  • Subscription to Card Manufacturing magazine: Advertiser-supported magazine published six times a year with ICMA member/product news, industry information and technical feature articles. ICMA members receive advertising discounts. The magazine is printed and distributed worldwide, as well as an interactive digital format on the website.
  • Subscription to Inside ICMA: A members only monthly e-newsletter with association and ISO/ANSI standards updates.
  • Subscription to ICMA InBrief: Members receive a weekly e-newsletter featuring card industry news, current events and information.
  • Technical Standards: Representation by David Tushie in ISO and ANSI standards organizations. Members receive regular reports on standards activities, and have direct access to David to have specific standards questions answered as well as offering members guidance, where possible, on certain technical or production issues they might be having.
  • Card Manufacturing Article Archives: Hundreds of archived articles from the magazine are on the ICMA website, dating back to 1998. These articles are grouped in categories such as RFID, magnetic stripe, security and many more and can assist with your card research or new projects.
  • Presentation Archives: Online access to archived EXPO and Regional Event presentations. Enables members who are unable to attend to still benefit from the educational portion of these events.
  • Social Media: ICMA has a members-only group on LinkedIn as well as a public informational page on LinkedIn, follow us on Twitter at ICMATweets and find us on Facebook for all the latest updates, as well as YouTube for the lastest videos at our events and about the association.

ACE Program

  • ICMA's Advanced Card Education (ACE) Program: Open to members only, this program is the only program to recognize advanced knowledge in the field of card manufacturing, personalization and advanced technologies.
  • Applicants for ACE-M, ACE-P and ACE-A receive a study guide with over 150 pages of tutorial information on major steps of the card manufacturing or personalization process, as well as standards.
  • In-depth, in-person training seminars are available at ICMA events. Dedicated training and exams can be arranged for 10 or more people at your company location. Led by David Tushie, this is a comprehensive 6-hour training to get you prepared for the exam.
  • ACE validates expertise and distinguishes your employees as motivated experts in the card manufacturing and personalization industry as well as increases customer confidence in your business.
  • Those who achieve ACE receive industry-wide recognition via a press campaign, inclusion in Card Manufacturing and Inside ICMA, and on ICMA's website. Your company can also promote your ACE-designated staff to potential clients.


  • Webinars/Webcasts: ICMA hosts live webinars and webcasts featuring industry leaders or experts, delivering a virtual presentation.
  • Participants have the opportunity to post questions during the presentation for immediate feedback.
  • Webinars and webcasts are recorded and linked on the Webinar Archive web page for ICMA members only.

Member Exposure

  • Free Publicity: Members can submit news about their company for ICMA's Card Manufacturing magazine and ICMA InBrief, receiving preferred placement.
  • Find a Card Provider for Your Project: A lead-generating feature of the ICMA website where issuers are referred to our member companies when they inquire about manufacturers who can supply cards for their card project. 
  • Élan Awards for Card Manufacturing Excellence: Industry-wide publicity opportunities for your company.
    – The only awards in the industry to recognize card design and development.
    – ICMA members and their customers are recognized and each receive awards for their winning entries.
    – Winners and finalists are promoted in Card Manufacturing magazine and on ICMA's website along with photos of the winning entries.
  • Online Member Directory: This is a worldwide reference tool, searchable and easily updated, guaranteeing accurate member contact information year-round.
    – Search for contact information by company name, contact name, country or company type.
    – Listings include company descriptions and product listings.
    – Members can update their own listing by logging in to My ICMA/Log-In with their unique password.
  • Member Listing: Link to your company website on the ICMA website. ICMA is often the top listed website on Google searches for "card manufacturer" and "card manufacturing."
  • Job Board: List your company's employment opportunities on our website.

Industry Initiatives

  • Personalization and Fulfillment Task Force (PFTF): In order to better serve the specialized needs of personalization and fulfillment member companies, this group addresses the implementation of new and more sophisticated card technologies that are being adopted worldwide. Participating organizations include both secure and non-secure service bureaus, in-house and third party service bureaus, issuers who supply bureaus with their data files, equipment suppliers and manufacturers and software providers.
  • Performance Metrics: Designed specifically for card manufacturers and personalization bureaus, two dashboards have been designed that determine the best metrics for card manufacturing and card personalization plants.

Training Programs

ICMA has created a stand-alone training portal for you and your staff to access at your convenience. Set up a log-in with ICMA headquarters and you will have the ability to connect to the CITE program, webinar archives, standards reports, tutorials provided by ICMA members, an issuer training webinar and ACE accreditation. Go to www.icmatraining.com to get started. Below are some of the items your company can access:

  • Card Industry Training & Education Program (CITE) – This program gives individuals — whether new to the industry, or who have limited exposure to the full breadth of the industry — a basic understanding of the history, scope and technologies involved in the global plastic card industry, including sections on general card manufacturing, personalization and applications technology. The Training Module is free to ICMA members but a Recognition Level is also available to members for a nominal fee.
  • Card Basics for Card Issuers  This training program, which is a tutorial on the manufacturing and personalization of cards to support an issuer’s knowledge base for card procurement. Members must ask for a password in order to share it with their issuer customers to acces the video.
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