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As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Association Laboratory wanted to provide guidance to association leaders helping them determine to what extent they were “at risk” and to guide those with a higher risk of being substantially harmed by the economic and other impacts of COVID-19. By understanding whether their association is at-risk gives association leaders evidence to lead the strategic change necessary to survive, even prosper, through challenging times. Without agreement on the severity of the situation each individual association faces, it is hard to convince volunteer leaders, staff, and members of the necessity of strategic change and the hard choices such change might require. With daily headlines becoming more dire by the day and the list of cancelled meetings getting longer and longer, fact was too often becoming replaced by rumor.

Association Laboratory believed it was critical to understand the following:

  1. What was the financial readiness of associations prior to the pandemic?
  2. What was going to be the impact of the pandemic on near- and long-term association and meetings revenue?
  3. What did associations anticipate doing to react and recover from this impact?

This study highlights information representing a diagnostic of the association’s preparedness to weather the COVID-19 storm. It also includes information outlining respondents’ perceptions of the anticipated trajectory of meetings and association revenue — resources critical to funding Mission-based strategies.



Dean A West, FASAE's Profile

Dean A West, FASAE Related Seminars and Products


Association Laboratory

Dean West is the founder and President of Association Laboratory Inc. He leads client engagements and is a frequent speaker and facilitator for national and global association leadership meetings.

Mr. West is a former association executive with experience as executive director, chief operating officer, and chief financial officer for both national and international membership organizations. He has been a consultant to the association community since 1992, and has provided services to hundreds of state, national, and international organizations.

Dean West is a nationally recognized expert in association management. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Association Executives. Mr. West authored the chapter on Membership Research for the ASAE book, Membership Essentials and the chapter on Marketing Professional Development Programs in the ASAE book, Core Competencies in Professional Development.

Mr. West is an experienced volunteer leader familiar with the demands of volunteer leadership. He is Past Chairman of ASAE’s Professional Development Council and has served on the ASAE Membership Council and the Editorial Board for the ASAE & the Center for Association Leadership Journal of Association Leadership. He is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Association Forum of Chicagoland.

Meg Whedbee, MPP's Profile

Meg Whedbee, MPP Related Seminars and Products

Senior Analyst

Association Laboratory

Meg Whedbee is responsible for leading client engagements and conducting qualitative and quantitative research specific to client goals.

Prior to Association Laboratory, Ms. Whedbee worked with a variety of industries including global public health and labor market research. Her expertise includes content creation and quality assurance of technical, academic, and educational materials, focusing on public policy and the social sciences.

Recent experience includes collaboration on program sustainability analyses, international health systems assessments, and other research documents for submission to stakeholders including USAID, foreign health ministries, and HUD.

Ms. Whedbee holds a Master of Public Policy degree from American University and a BA in Economics from New College of Florida.