SIG Event - Membership Development & Services

SIG Events

Membership Development & Services SIG

Why Aren't Young Professionals Joining Professional Membership Associations?

Young professionals join associations less often, engage more transactionally, and leave more frequently. Their behavior, expectations, and preferences are consistent across every industry and significantly different from previous generations.


Association leaders can be tempted to believe, "When they grow up, they'll realize how important the association is, and do the right thing and join." But all of our research and years of evidence say this isn't going to happen. We need to reimagine membership to meet the needs, context, and expectations of young professionals.


In this session, we will discuss why young professionals aren't joining associations and how leaders can respond, based on ongoing, multi-year research from Highland, a Chicago-based innovation consultancy, in their Future of Membership initiative.


Tuesday, September 19, 2023
9–10:30 a.m.
Association Forum Office
10 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 800
Chicago, IL
CEUs: 1.5




Learning Outcomes


  • Understand the shifting needs, expectations, and behaviors of young professionals toward professional associations, and why they are different than previous generations.
  • Gain perspective on the challenges associations face in responding to these changes.
  • Learn six principles for reimagining membership benefits to more tightly align with the needs and expectations of young professionals.


David Whited
Principal of Design Research and Strategy





Jon Berbaum



About SIGs

Shared Interest Groups (SIGs) are an exclusive Association Forum member benefit and offer peer-driven learning and networking events with like-minded members of your association and job function communities. There are 14 different SIGs, each meeting twice a year. Join one or all of them to maximize your learning and networking potential.

Don’t forget to bring a friend! Nonmembers can attend one complimentary event with an Association Forum member.