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January 18th 2023

Association Engagement Index uncovers important metrics to increase membership performance

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MCI, a global engagement and marketing agency, announces today the key findings from the Association Engagement Index 2022 – a global benchmark study that measures the performance, relationship strength, and outcome of engagement tactics as seen through the eyes of the association's members and customers. The study measures three critical indicators: association's performance, benefits provided and preference vs other sources of knowledge/content. The Engagement Score revealed by the Index is 88 (out of 150), which shows a moderate level of engagement. Data is based on 12,700 responses from 51 associations across 118 countries around the world.

20% of associations outperformed the benchmark with a strong relationship and engagement score. The vast majority (67%) is in the moderate range. Associations can improve their engagement strategies and understanding of the key drivers to enhance their relationship with members. MCI's solution, based on the research findings, is to adopt the three Cs of engagement: give members a choice, leverage multiple channels and customise their journey.

The study showcases the following highlights answering the question virtual vs in-person or online vs offline:

  • For committee meetings, task forces, special interest groups etc. 47% want to be able to choose - either online or offline.
  • Whereas 43% want to engage in person when it comes to the Annual Meeting, Conference or Trade Show
  • But in all cases, more than one-third want flexibility.

The research also shows that:

  • 56% of AEI respondents indicated that their preferred means of engaging with peers and with their association community is a combination of both virtual (online) and in-person (offline).
  • 73% of AEI respondents also confirmed that virtual events are a good alternative and could/should complement physical events

The AEI 2022 reveals that omnichannel solutions are crucial. Members and customers want a choice – the right program, service, or product, at the right time, through the right channel. "Associations must enhance the members' journey with as much customisation as possible based on their needs and preferences," states Nikki Walker, MCI's Global Vice President of Engagement, Associations & Communities. "Customisation is a key driver of emotional connectivity and increased relationship strength which lead to higher engagement."

You can download the full study report at this link.

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