What Association Leaders Anticipate in 2022



As associations continue to recover from the challenges of the past two years and the US economy continues to rebound, association leaders are optimistic about membership and, as such, plan to make changes in staffing, the work environment, and meetings. A recent report published by Marketing General, Inc. provides insight into the mindset and planning of more than 400 US-based association leaders. Here's a quick breakdown - the full report is available at https://www.marketinggeneral.com. 


  • 85% of association leaders expect an increase in member engagement in 2022
  • 77% of association leaders expect membership to increase or remain the same 
  • 44% of association leaders will likely increase their membership marketing budget 


  • 52% of associations have or plan to add or re-hire staff 
  • 58% of associations indicated that everyone or most employees continued to work remotely through 2021
  • 71% of associations plan to keep the distributed workforce model as an option for employees moving forward

Worries About a Distributed Work Force

  • 66% of association leaders worry about having fewer opportunities to develop communication and relationships among co-workers
  • 54% are concerned about the deterioration of morale and company culture from a remote workforce
  • 39% of association leaders are most concerned with the tactical aspects of effectively onboarding and training staff in a distributed work environment


  • 83% of associations are planning to return to in-person meetings and events in 2022
  • 39% of associations will offer in-person events in 2022
  • 44% plan to offer hybrid events with both in-person and virtual experiences
  • Just 8% of association leaders expect to host only virtual events in 2022

MGI's Association Economic Outlook Survey helps us understand how associations are emerging from challenging times, and this year's report indicates association leaders see brighter times ahead! MSAE stands ready to support you as you lead your association into 2022 and beyond!

PS Nearly 80% of association leaders credited staff expertise as the reason their associations responded quickly to changes during the pandemic crisis. Grow the expertise of your team members by sending them to the Academy of Association Management - sessions start January 24!