Looking Forward Solutions Methodology

Looking Forward™ Solutions 2021 is designed to provide an ongoing picture of the strategies considered most critical to the success of trade and professional associations.

Association Laboratory developed and deployed an online survey directly and via collaboration with the company’s Research Alliance partners. Data collection took place between July 14 and July 30, 2021.

Response options for Looking Forward® Solutions 2021 were informed by the quantitative and qualitative research collected for Looking Forward® Impact 2021 and from a review of Association Laboratory client research projects ranging from strategic planning to membership value proposition. The study assesses strategies in the following domains:

  1. Membership, Retention, Acquisition and Engagement
  2. Meeting, Convention and Tradeshow
  3. Face to Face and Exhibitor
  4. Hybrid or Virtual
  5. Sponsorship
  6. Publications or Digital/Online Content
  7. Education, Accreditation or Certification
  8. Government Advocacy
  9. Component Relationship
  10. Global
  11. Governance and Leadership

Face to Face and Exhibitor, Hybrid or Virtual and Sponsorship were subsets of Meeting, Convention and Tradeshow domain.

For each domain, participants were shown a list of strategies and asked to select up to three they believed would be most important to their association:

Example: “When addressing exhibitor challenges at face-to-face meetings, which of the following three strategies are most important to your association? Select up to three.”

A total of 312 individuals completed the survey. The responses includes:

  • 130 respondents were association Chief Staff Officers
  • 85 respondents representing Trade associations
  • 185 respondents representing Professional associations
  • Over 20 industries and professions represented