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Membership research

The brief

  • The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), a trade body and membership organisation, commissioned Shift Membership to help them better understand trading and operational challenges faced by professionals in the industry. They also wanted to explore perceptions of BESA member benefits, services and communications.
  • The research objectives could be broadly categorised as: strategic objectives, focusing on the key trends, opportunities and challenges faced within the industry; operational, focusing on gauging awareness and use of the different benefits BESA offers; and communications and events, focusing on what members and non-members are looking for from BESA when it comes to their communications and outputs.

The approach

We recommended a mixed-methods approach, split into two phases.

  • Phase 1 – qualitative research with members to explore industry trends and membership experiences in further detail, consisting of:
    • 2 focus groups with current members, BESA’s main audience
    • 5 interviews with lapsed members and those who had never been a member
    • 5 interviews with a specific member type
    • 9 additional interviews with contractor members who could not attend the groups
  • Phase 2 – quantitative research to explore broader trends, consisting of:
    • An online survey, distributed through BESA conference and communications channels

The value

  • We provided BESA with an interim report on the qualitative findings, to be shared at their internal meetings. We also provided a comprehensive report, detailing both the quantitative and qualitative findings, as well as detailed recommendations.
  • Finally, we gave multiple presentations to different groups of BESA stakeholders, giving them the opportunity to ask questions about the research.
  • Our research provided BESA with evidence to support decisions around key outputs and communications, as well as how to communicate their value to potential members.