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Study Finds Members Need More Customization

They also are seeking more hybrid options

According to a new report, associations generally found their reputations as industry leaders bolstered by the pandemic. But they still have work to do when it comes to customizing their offerings and appealing to younger members and customers.

The latest Association Engagement Index (AEI) study, conducted by the global consultancy MCI, is based on a survey of more than 12,000 members and customers of 51 associations conducted last fall. Overall, associations received an engagement score of 88, which MCI classifies as “moderate” engagement. That’s solid, but there’s plenty of room for improvement, said Nikki Walker, MCI global vice president of engagement, associations, and communities. Though the study found associations are seen as strong leaders in terms of reputation and subject-matter expertise, their delivery systems need to become more flexible and responsive to member needs.

“The pandemic situation has created a world of choice, and that needs to be sustained—associations can’t just forget the last three years and go back to the old way of behaving,” she said. “We feel we’ve got some data that says, ‘You’ve done well, keep doing it, don’t go back, keep enhancing.’”

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