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Research data concludes organizations must adapt to increased technology demands to stay relevant
June 29, 2022 — ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Community Brands , the leading provider of software and payment solutions for associations and nonprofits, just revealed industry-changing insights gleaned from the results of the 2022 ASSOCIATION TRENDS STUDY: The Future-Focused Member Experience — the only annual market study that examines both association professionals and members. Conducted with Edge Research, the data clearly indicates that after several years of turmoil, a focus on innovative technology and association member experience has never been greater.
The Community Brands study, conducted annually over the past five years, collected data from hundreds of association leaders and a thousand members, and measured their attitudes and behaviors regarding technology. Insights revealed in the study include key technology trends that all association leaders should know about as well as action items aimed at providing greater member value and member experience (MX), while driving engagement and loyalty.
“The past two-plus years of upheavals have reconfigured the world forever, and many associations are considering how to meet today’s digital expectations,” said Jennifer Lee, President, Associations & Events, Community Brands. “We hear every day that association professionals are thinking about what members want in this new post-pandemic world and what it will take to continue providing a great member experience. This research study reinforces what we know: Innovative technology is the future of associations.”
This year’s insights identify a common theme: Innovative technology plays a central role in delivering superior MX. For example, 72% of Members report high levels of satisfaction and connection with associations they ranked as early adopters of technology, but less than 20% of Pros report being very technologically prepared for the future. Also, member priorities are shifting. While tangible career advancement benefits (certifications, job opportunities, etc.) have risen in importance for early- and mid-careerists, Pros continue to underestimate the importance of job opportunities and help with career advancement.
Where there are disconnects, there are opportunities. While many Pros feel unprepared to meet the future technological needs of their members, associations’ number one digital priority is currently investing in the member experience. The study suggests many game-changing insights for associations: Make sure your AMS and LMS support a modern digital MX; Invest in an event platform that can help you deliver excellent hybrid event experiences.
“Associations set the bar high during the pandemic — [they] came out like gangbusters during the pandemic with [added] value,” said Tirrah Switzer, Sr. Director of Product Marketing, Community Brands, during the Reveal Webinar. “But now [association] members expect that level of value. The bar has been set, and now [they] have to keep up with it because member loyalty and retention depend on it.”
Additional key findings from the report include:
The full study — now available for download on the association trends resource page — was released Thursday, June 23. As part of the release, a special CAE-credit Big Reveal webinar, co-presented by Tirrah Switzer, Sr. Director of Product Marketing at CB, and Pam Loeb, Principal at Edge Research, explained the study’s member engagement and offered a detailed look at findings and strategic ways to utilize the data.
For more data insights and actionable takeaways from the 2022 study, visit:
About the Report
Commissioned by Community Brands, Edge Research conducted an online survey of 1,010 U.S. Members who self-reported they are 18 years old or older and are currently a member of a professional membership organization. Survey respondents were recruited through an online non-probability sample, meaning findings are not projectable to the larger population of members. The term “Members” refers specifically to those who were surveyed. Quotas were set so the survey is representative of key demographics. A parallel online survey was conducted among 301 professionals who work in these types of organizations. Survey respondents were recruited using Community Brands lists and online panel providers, which, too, is a nonprobability sample. The terms “Professionals” or “Pros” refers specifically to those who were surveyed. The surveys were in the field during April of 2022.