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Engaging First-Time Conference Attendees

Engaging First-Time Conference Attendees: 4 Tactics to Try

Of course you want to provide an exceptional experience for ALL of your conference attendees, but ensuring that happens for your first-time attendees is particularly important. Their decision to attend future events (and possibly even renew their membership) depends heavily on that first experience, so going the extra mile for those folks, in particular, is certainly worth it.

What does “going the extra mile” for your first-time attendees look like? Here are a few tactics worth trying:

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3 Lessons Association Professionals Can Learn from NBC’s The Voice

Posted by Callie Walker


I’m not a huge fan of talent shows, but I do like NBC’s The Voice. It’s so different than all the other singing/dancing shows out there (the blind auditions, the celebrity coaches, etc.). That said, as I was watching it the other day, I noticed a few things association professionals can learn from the popular NBC show. Take a look!

Lesson #1: Storytelling is so, so, SO important.

If you’ve ever seen The Voice, you’ve likely noticed that the producers often showcase people’s stories prior to their audition. Some of the stories are sad, others inspirational, but either way, they’re always compelling. They draw the audience in (myself included), and make them want to pull for a particular person. And best of all, those stories stick. People never forget the person who went through XYZ.

The point here? Storytelling is invaluable. And your association is in a good place to do it. You have a mission and you do what you do for a reason. That makes a pretty compelling story - so tell it!

Lesson #2: People are always seeking professional development.

People go on The Voice, yes, to win, but also to be coached. Can you imagine being trained by the best of the best? Whether the contestants win or lose, they’ll always have that knowledge and be able to say, “Oh, I learned that from Adam Levine.” Um, cool!

See, no matter what industry people are in, they want to be better - and your association can help with that! Showcase your professional development opportunities. People are out there looking for that, and they will come.

Lesson #3: Social media amplifies impact.

Last but not least, The Voice is great about utilizing social media. Every week, the coaches tweet during the show, giving their opinion of the contestants and encouraging America to vote. But they don’t do it silently. They talk about tweeting as they’re doing it on live television, which as you can imagine, drives people to those sites. So, no longer is The Voice ‘just a television show.’  It’s a show that people can engage with. Brilliant!  

And good news: Your association can do this too! Got an upcoming conference or event? Consider live-tweeting! It’s a great way to engage your audience, even more so than just the event would!

Want more tips for engaging your organization’s membership? Or recruiting members through tactics such as storytelling or professional development opportunities? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Membership Management below! It’s filled with best practices for membership recruitment, engagement, retention and more!

The Ultimate Guide to Membership Management  Everything you need to know about managing your membership online, from  acquisition to engagement to retention. Download this guide

Topics: association management, association leadership, Small Staff Chatter

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