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Research Study

Association Trends 2020

From Disruption
to Opportunity

What members want and how virtual engagement is creating new paths for association growth.



This year has been a wild ride, where do you go from here?

We know you are working harder than ever before. We’ve got your back with brand new insights on…

  • How associations have been responding to this year’s challenges
  • What trends have emerged with member preferences
  • And, what both association professionals and members think lies ahead

This report will help guide your association’s strategies and give you actionable takeaways to increase engagement and loyalty.

Fill out the form to download full report →

Check out the insights

Download full report

Insight 1

Importance of Associations

Associations are needed as much if not more than before. Members are looking to their association to help them with many of the same needs they’ve had, but the way those needs are met has evolved. The dramatic shift to virtual engagement this year has accelerated many of these trends. By joining you’ll gain key insights that you can apply to ensure your organization isn’t left behind.
51 percent of current members say their association is more important than before
67 percent of African Americans say their association is more important than before


Associations are looked at as being a valuable resource and partner and have an opportunity to excel going forward by ensuring the benefits they offer align to the benefits members now seek.

Take the poll: How would you rank your membership’s current value? →

Insight 2

Member Value

In the age of freely available information online with just a quick search, why do members choose to spend their time, energy, and dollars with associations? Good news is many still view their professional association as a thought leader and industry expert, but increased competition is making it harder for associations to grow. Gain a competitive edge by learning which benefits members are now valuing over others.
Networking increased its ranking in importance by 7 spots
71 percent of Hispanics say that training is the second most valued benefit


Associations offer a range of benefits: industry information, advocacy, continuing education, networking, mentoring, annual conferences and more. But there are some benefits that all generations and career stages value the most and some that change in importance based on a member’s demographics.

Take the poll: What do you think is the member benefit that increased the most in 2020? →

Insight 3

Virtual Engagement

Is virtual here to stay? This year associations and members have been forced to quickly adapt to virtual only interaction, and in many cases, it has created a greater level of engagement. In the study you’ll be able to gain insight into how members think this has gone so far this year, and how it has impacted their preferences going forward.
89 percent of member interacting more today engaged through online continuing education
31 percent of late-careerists plan on engaging evenly with virtual and in-person


Associations are made up of members who share similar challenges and opportunities. Whether it’s a virtual event, online continuing education class or online networking, there is nothing like personal interaction with like-minded people.

Take the poll: When do you personally plan on attending an event in-person again?  →

On-demand Webinar

The Big Reveal: 2020 Association Trends Report

The results are in! Join Community Brands for on-demand webinar of the big reveal of the 2020 Association Trends 2020: From Disruption to Opportunity, the only industry research report with sentiments from both members and association professionals. During this on-demand webinar, we discussed the latest trends impacting member value, loyalty, and engagement.