Can be a bit old school
Very much this. We have been members for 9 years and nothing has ever come of it in terms of work - tend to find everyone is a member in the hope another member will 'do them a favour'.
We are a digital agency and we even offered to do the local Chamber a *free* email design, template etc so their messages would look more professional than the *really* bad system they use (ie, an email comprising of a huge embedded .jpg file and nothing else).
They turned us down because someone else (that happens to be on t'committee) already does it for them.
Then they wanted to do a new website to encourage inward tourism and again nepotism won over - all the work was awarded to inappropriate businesses and (despite it being meant to have gone live 6 months ago), it is still not live.
I am not renewing membership this year.