COVID-19: New survey reveals member attitudes

Covid-19 Member Trends

34% of club members say their clubs have become more important to them during the Covid-19 crisis, a new report has revealed.

More than 6,300 private club members in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and China participated in the study, published by international consulting and club advisory firm GGA Partners.

In total, 79% of members said the importance of the club in their lives had increased or not changed as a result of COVID-19.

Only 21% viewed their club as ‘less important’.

However, members are pessimistic about the near-term economic outlook; 43% expect their disposable income to decrease in the next 12 months and 58% believe their overall consumer spending will fall.

And there’s a watch-out for clubs in some markets currently celebrating increased membership sales: 71% of members envisage a decline in their club’s financial position, with 20% anticipating a ‘significant’ decline.

According to GGA Partners, the more effectively clubs performed during COVID-19, the more important they became in the lives of members.

Friends, amenities and activities are the top attributes driving club importance, the report says.

It also reveals members are keen to return to regular use of club facilities, but the majority are cautious and wish to return to normal usage safely.

Asked what might push a member to leave their club, 50% said an increase in dues (annual fees) and 41% said a deterioration of facilities.

A majority – 57% – oppose the idea of their club offering membership specials to prospects during the crisis.

“The coronavirus pandemic has shifted the private club landscape in many ways and these research findings offer insight into the near-future ripple effects with which club leaders must reckon,” explained Derek Johnston, a Partner in the firm.

A Member’s Perspective: The Shifting Private Club Landscape, by GGA Partners is available for download.