What association members expect in 2023 and how to exceed their needs

Your members are always evolving. As members raise their standards, associations must meet them with new offers and solutions. With the help of innovative association management software (AMS) and an understanding of the latest trends, you can go above and beyond for your members. 

Learn more about what members want your association in 2023 and discover how to meet your members’ high expectations.

What do association members expect in 2023? 

Members have different expectations than they did just five years ago. The following are some of the top interests of today’s members and the factors that will determine whether they’ll remain part of your association:

Career advancement and learning opportunities
Today’s members expect associations to help advance their careers through networking and learning opportunities. They want to connect with association members and establish meaningful relationships that serve them personally and professionally. 

According to the Community Brands Study, the number one and two reasons members join associations are for networking purposes and job opportunities. The fourth reason is for career advancement options. Members are always looking for career insights within their industry.

To offer these leading insights, try finding career center software that seamlessly integrates with your AMS. Look for innovative job board technology, career pathing resources, career coaches, and a placement service to boost member retention and loyalty.

TECH TIP: Integrate Nimble AMS with YM Careers, Community Brands software created to cultivate your members’ careers and increase member retention and recruitment.

Community Brands research reports that 47% of members value certifications/credentials as a top member benefit, and 44% value training opportunities as a top member benefit. Individuals join associations for professional development opportunities and certification requirements.

Add value to the member experience when you offer an innovative learning management program (LMS) that provides on-demand webinars, webcasts, self-paced courses, and videos. Ensure your LMS integrates seamlessly with your AMS, so all your data is centralized, helping you offer a better member experience.

TECH TIP: When you integrate with Crowd Wisdom, a Community Brands LMS, your organization will level up the current member experience by offering a highly personalized online learning solution.

Personalized and meaningful events
Is your association leveraging events as an essential member benefit? Events allow members to interact in real life and establish meaningful connections. Members expect to gain personalized event experiences from your association that are engaging and frictionless.

To drive member engagement, you’ll want to ensure your events are aligned with current member interests and values. Consider conducting routine surveys to guarantee your programs deliver what your members want and to determine whether your events meet your members’ needs.  

Members look to their professional organizations for crucial industry events and networking opportunities. Offering in-person, hybrid, and virtual events at your association is a fantastic way to boost member loyalty and provide a superior member experience. Leverage your AMS to help your organization drive member participation or other means of support, like sponsorships and advertisements.

TECH TIP: Choose Nimble AMS to give your association the peace of mind needed for event planning. Members can easily sign up for events through the Community Hub and keep track of future events through their member portal

To further personalize member programming and take event management to the next level, integrate your AMS with event management software to maximize your ROI, meet event goals, and save your staff time. 

TECH TIP: When integrating Nimble AMS with Expo Logic, Community Brands event management software, you’ll have the power to create a seamless attendee experience from beginning to end with a robust series of events solutions.

Why do association members join and what makes them stay? 

The leading reasons why individuals decide to become a member of an association include: 

  1. Networking  
  2. Job opportunities
  3. Certifications/ credentials 
  4. Career advancement 
  5. Training 
  6. Socializing 
  7. Representing interests
  8. Industry news and information 
  9. Code of ethics 
  10. Mentoring 

People will be eager to join if your association can achieve these objectives. Members are ultimately motivated by harnessing professional connections and development.

Members choose to renew their membership with your association because you meet and exceed their expectations. If someone feels that an association doesn’t serve them, they’ll be less inclined to remain part of it. 

What areas can associations focus on to meet the expectations of their members? 

So how do you begin to meet the high expectations of today’s members? It begins with understanding what your members value most and then delivering that value. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Consider the member’s point of view
Walk a virtual mile in your members’ shoes by creating member journey maps. Journey maps tell the full story of being a member and illustrate the experience from their first interaction, to ongoing engagement, to a lifelong relationship. Members take different pathways throughout their membership lifecycle, and it’s critical to fully understand each one.  

Think through each stage of membership across different age groups, career stages, and engagement levels to help map out their experiences with your organization. Then, identify areas for improvement. Consider starting with the most common areas identified in the Community Brands research, which include online training, certifications, and job opportunities.

Reevaluate your value propositions
The last thing you want is to have members move in the opposite direction on the loyalty spectrum. It can be very beneficial to conduct member surveys and create focus groups. They can help identify the following: 

  • Common obstacles your members face daily. 
  • How the association can assist with those challenges. 
  • What tools are necessary for success. 

Also, consider the member’s experience and expectations. Listing out potential pain points and adding new value propositions can often help ease those challenges.

Utilize your data
Collect data and content preferences and use them. Members now expect organizations to collect information to personalize their experience.  

Are you communicating with your members enough and through the right channels? Leverage your association management system and marketing automation tools to:

What insights can you gather from your AMS to understand what your members expect? 

Having an AMS on your side is very advantageous for your association. These systems can give your organization meaningful insights into the following: 

  • Accounts 
  • Donations 
  • Events 
  • Engagements 
  • Members 
  • Payments 

Nimble AMS software solutions allow associations to utilize their data for predictive analytics that support continual improvement in member retention and engagement. Leverage Nimble AMS to configure pre-built reports and dashboards to make your organization a data-driven and member-centric organization.

You can foster association member connections better when you have a trusted partner and intelligent solutions on your side.

Exceed association member expectations

Looking for more tips on improving the member experience? Download our free whitepaper!

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