The Post-Boomer Chamber: Attracting Gen X and Millennial Leaders

In 2017, Principal Kristin Brighton conducted a national research study to examine why business professionals of different ages and genders volunteer outside their businesses, serve as community leaders, and join their local chambers of commerce — or don't. The study's aim was to find new strategies for the chamber industry to better engage young professionals and evolve to stay vital once the Baby Boomers retire.

Kristin was inspired to do this research after her own experience as a 41-year-old, female, chair of the board of her local chamber of commerce. (She describes her motivations in this 2017 blog.)

Through her chamber experience, she was repeatedly asked what could be done to get more young professionals — like her — involved in positions of community leadership. To find answers to that question, she created a two-part study that consisted of two surveys, each with approximately 40 questions.

She recruited 90 local chambers from across the country to help her distribute the first survey, through which she collected 2,153 responses from professionals of all ages. Of those responses, approximately 88% were from chamber members.

Chamber of commerce professionals also were asked to take a second survey, and those findings served as background information to identify trends in chamber programming and structure.

Kristin's research is unique in that each question's findings were analyzed using the six primary age and gender cohorts in the workplace today: male and female Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials.

The study also looks at the impacts of other factors such as race/ethnicity, community size, geographic region, chamber membership, and employment status (whether the participant was an owner or employee of a business).

The findings of the project will be available soon via (a link will be added once available). Kristin Brighton is now booking speaking engagements on this research.

Buy the Chamber Research Book

The Post-Boomer Chamber: Attracting Gen X and Millennial Leaders shares new research on volunteering, leadership and perceptions of chambers of commerce analyzed by age, gender, race and more.

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Join the New Boston Chamber Research Network!

New Boston is considering several possible follow-up projects to this study. If your chamber would like to be involved in our future research, please fill out the form below. By joining this list, you will receive information about our chamber-related research projects and be notified when the book, The Post-Boomer Chamber: Attracting Gen X and Millennial Leaders, is released.

Workshops and Presentations

Kristin is offering three workshops for 2018 conferences. Each includes data-driven and actionable ideas for recruiting new members and inspiring volunteers. Lasting from 60 to 90 minutes, these workshops can be combined for a longer master class or tailored for a keynote presentation. For regional and state organizations, workshops can be customized with localized data.

The Post-Boomer Chamber: Attracting Gen X and Millennial Leaders

Our nation is facing the biggest generational gap in its history. This workshop explores key issues of interest to chambers through generational and gender-specific lenses, such as why business professionals volunteer in their communities, what inspires them to step up and lead, what they like best about chamber membership, and how chambers can evolve to better meet their needs. Participants will leave with actionable data and new strategies they can use in membership and volunteer recruitment.

The Reluctant Generation: Inspiring Gen X to Lead

Generation X — the smallest generation in the workforce — is now in their 40s and 50s. Sandwiched between the Baby Boomer and the Millennials, this group is coming into its own in the workplace. But a new research study shows that Generation X —especially Gen X women — is more reluctant to get involved in their chambers and greater communities. This presentation will present new research findings specific to Generation X and new strategies to help chambers motivate this group to step up and lead.

Know Your Membership: Tailoring Recruitment for Different Demographic Groups

Most chambers of commerce know a lot about the companies they serve — but not as much about the individual people who make up their membership. This creates a huge opportunity cost. In this presentation, Kristin will illustrate how collecting more demographic information about individual members will allow chambers to tailor recruitment campaigns for various audiences, making them more measurable, effective, and profitable. Participants will leave with specific strategies and models they can use to enhance targeted recruitment campaigns to specific groups.

About Kristin Brighton

Kristin Brighton is one of the principals and founders of New Boston Creative Group, LLC, an integrated marketing communications firm based in Manhattan, Kansas.

As a consultant, she partners with businesses and nonprofits to build or revamp their brands using a complete spectrum of tools, from video production to digital marketing. She believes clients need to fully understand their audience for best results, and often conducts market research studies for clients to help identify the best messages and tactics to achieve their goals.

Kristin is the past chair of the board for the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, and has been a leader in her local business community since joining her chamber's board of directors in 2009. In 2017, she conducted a national research study exploring how chambers need to evolve to better meet the needs of today's workforce.

Learn More About Kristin