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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 The Book of Mormon, the Musical

Posted by Callie Walker


One of my favorite sessions at #ASAE16 was “What the Musical The Book of Mormon Taught Me About Association Management.” I’d first heard about this session in early June, and honestly, had been looking forward to it ever since.

Did it meet my expectations? You betcha - and then some!

The session featured a GREAT lineup of speakers (all listed below) but even more so, a GREAT list of takeaways. In fact, here are three lessons association professionals can learn from The Book of Mormon, the musical:

(Note: There were several more lessons outlined in the actual presentation.)

1. When it comes to leadership, you must rise to the challenge.

In the musical, The Book of Mormon, one of the main characters, Elder Price, had always dreamed of doing his missionary work in Orlando. In fact, he even had a strategy for how he was going to do his missionary work in Orlando. But things changed very quickly when Price learned he was being sent to Uganda. He had to do a lot of quick thinking, and essentially, rise to the challenge.

Association professionals must do the same. When it comes to leadership, unexpected situations will occur, so you must rise to the challenge and roll with the punches.

2. When it comes to membership recruitment, baptism works.

In the musical, baptism was a way of welcoming new followers. It was important because it was a formal recognition of someone entering the church.

The lesson for association professionals here is this: When someone joins your organization, they’re taking a leap of faith in all you have to offer. That said, you need to have some sort of “baptism” or onboarding process in place to make them feel comfortable and welcome. Send them a warm welcome email or give them a new member ribbon so that others can recognize them. (More ideas for onboarding new members here.)

3. When it comes to social media, test your faith.

In the musical, The Book of Mormon, the characters had their faith tested all the time. So do association professionals - particularly when it comes to social media.

Here’s an example: You hear all the time that you need to share your association’s content on social media so that people will engage with you. You do that - and yet no engagement! You once believed that sharing content worked, but now you have your doubts and really just want to give up.

Your faith in social media is being tested, but don’t throw in the towel. Think long and hard about what you’re doing. Are you optimizing your posts with keywords? Are you providing people with content they actually want to read? With a few tweaks, you’re likely to see some changes.

Still need some help on the social media front? Check out our free Guide to Social Media below!

And as promised, here’s a full list of the session speakers:

  • Sheri Singer, President, Singer Communications
  • Al Rickard, President, Association Vision
  • Lindsay Currie, Director of Stakeholder Engagement, Regulatory Affairs Professional Society
  • Kiki L’Italian, CEO, Amplified Growth
  • Addy Kujawa, Executive Director, American Association of Orthopaedic Executives
  • Juan Amador, Director, Association of American Medical Colleges
  • Tom Quash, VP of Marketing and Communications, Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric & Neonatal Nurses

The Small-Staff Guide to Social Media  How to engage your members (and prospects) using social media Download this guide

Topics: association management, association leadership, ASAE, Small Staff Chatter

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