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Strategic Membership Solutions survey informs associations on planning requirements post COVID-19

Strategic Membership Solutions survey informs associations on planning requirements post COVID-19
June 26, 2020

Strategic Membership Solutions (SMS), an organisation providing strategic planning, sponsorship, and membership support for associations, have released the results of their June 2020 survey into the current and future impact of the COVID-19 crisis on associations. The report provides insights to better inform planning for the future.

SMS Consultant Belinda Moore advises “as the COVID-19 crisis began to hit, my phone and email were running hot with association professionals wanting to know how others were managing the rapidly evolving situation.

“As people dealt with the immediate issues and then began to look at preparing for the longer-term impact, it became clear that evidence to support planning and decision making was required. It was because of this the research project was instigated.”

Moore has spent over 25 years working with associations and other non-profits around Australia and New Zealand. Specialising in strategic planning, membership, and revenue generation, Moore runs strategic planning workshops and facilitates training for associations looking to make a positive impact on their members, the association, and other stakeholders.

On the SMS survey, Moore notes that an impressive group of association chief executives, including Andrew Gosbell, Richard Stokes, Antony Nicholas, Kym De Britt, Marianne Kintzel, Lindsay McGrath, Julia Cambage, and Peter Saffin, provided invaluable input to ensure the project produced useful insights.

SMS received 600 responses which, after validating, represented 426 associations and 11 suppliers. Most people answered the majority of questions which enabled SMS to attain a deep insight into the current situation and future expectations of respondents.

The SMS research was supported by NT Business Events with the team at Optimum Contact making the calls.

The findings are based on detailed answers from 426 associations to over 50 questions – plus a review of 1547 free text responses.

Moore adds “the analysis was time consuming but also deeply fascinating.”

Highlights of the survey results include:

• While the short-term impact of the crisis was negative for most associations, post-2022 most respondents believe the crisis will have a positive or neutral effect on their association. Many indicated the level of innovation required to adapt will have a long-lasting positive effect.

• There will be permanent changes in the way associations run their events with a significant increase in the number of hybrid and online events.

• Many associations reported a very positive experience from virtual AGMs and indicated that this format is likely to be retained into the future.

The full report “COVID-19 and Beyond: Lessons for Associations from the COVID-19 Crisis” can be downloaded at  

You can also register for two free webinars to obtain additional insights into this research:

• Research Highlights Webinar (Friday 3rd July. 9.30am-10am) – Moore will share the highlights of the report, her commentary on some of the key findings, and what associations need to be aware of when planning for the future.

• How to Create a Strategic Plan that Really Works Webinar (Friday 17th July. 9.30am-10am) – Moore will discuss how to convert insights from the research into a strategic plan on a page to create a clear roadmap into the future 

For more information on Strategic Membership Solutions go to

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