This is an easy way to put yourself in front of people. Excellent networking opportunities and a way to build your authority in an industry. Show you want to contribute to society. Get to know other companies, new people, community organizers. Volunteer to assist with your expertise and resources. You will have access to statistics, lists, service provider professionals, legislation, advice, grants, and many reources which will help you and your business take root in the local and regional community. Business is about connecting. People spend so much money on advertisements and cold calling, yet we tend to buy from those we know and word-of-mouth advertising is most effective. It would be a waste to ignore such an opportunity.
If the local trade association is weak and does not offer you anything, then you should offer to bring it to life and use it as a neutral platform to create a central hub around your person and company which may be displayed as a sponsor (through your work) and thus promoted.
Real world connections are more powerful than online connections.