The association space is constantly adapting to meet the changing needs of organizations and their members. As we enter 2024, myriad new developments are emerging that associations should prepare for.

Virtual and Hybrid Events.

While in-person conferences and trade shows still have value, more associations are offering virtual components or fully virtual events. That increases accessibility for members unable to travel and provides valuable data on attendee engagement. Many groups are also adopting a hybrid approach with both virtual and in-person elements.

Year-Round Engagement.

Rather than focusing engagement around one annual conference, associations are connecting with members year-round through online education, social media groups, virtual meetups and more. It leads to higher member retention and satisfaction.


Associations now have more member data than ever before. Using this data to provide personalized recommendations, custom journeys and tailored content is a major opportunity. AI and machine learning can help scale this process.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Efforts.

Industry dialogue around diversity, accessibility, sustainability and related topics continues growing. Associations must lead by example with internal policies and external programming to meet member expectations.

Partnerships and Consolidation.

Facing competition from for-profit players, more associations may explore mergers, partnerships or shared services models. Changes allow pooling of resources toward common member needs. Strategic corporate sponsorships also continue increasing.

Career Support and Upskilling.

With rapid economic and technological change, membership education beyond just industry trends will be key. Offering skills training, career roadmaps and job boards helps demonstrate an association’s member value.

Micro-communities and Peer Groups.

Large national associations can better compete with smaller, niche groups by facilitating micro-communities focused on specific member segments and interests. Online forums and special interest groups tailor connection opportunities.

Experimentation with Pricing Models.

Associations balance serving both industry professionals and companies. Some will diversify their pricing models to address this wider range of budget needs, offering discounted individual rates or premium corporate rates.

Focus on Mental Health & Well-being.

After facing isolated working conditions, many associations now incorporate more wellbeing-related content into conferences and member communities. That spans sessions on resilience, mindfulness, stress management and mental health.

Lo and behold, those are some of the top trends associations should prepare for as we embark on 2024. By keeping a pulse on industry evolution and member needs, association leaders can provide the best possible value to their communities in the years ahead. With proactive strategy and innovation, associations remain an essential career and networking resource for professionals nationwide.