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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 Non-Dues Revenue Ideas for Small-Staff Associations

Posted by Callie Walker

Every association knows the importance of generating non-dues revenue. But knowing doesn’t make coming up with ideas any easier. We know your hands are full. That’s why we’ve put together these three non-dues revenue ideas for your small-staff association. 


You put a lot of time and energy into your organization’s collateral – your website, your newsletter, your new member packets, etc. – so why not leverage those pieces to generate additional revenue?

You’re probably thinking, “That sounds great…but how?” Well, with some good old-fashioned advertising!

To capitalize on the full potential of advertising, try some of the following techniques:

  • Utilize online banner ads on your organization’s website
  • Offer ad space in your organization’s newsletter
  • Allow flyers to be placed in your new member packets
  • Offer ad space on your organization’s mobile app (if you have one) 


Another great way to generate revenue is by asking companies within your industry if they’d be willing to sponsor your organization. Associations, like your own, provide industries with value, so many companies are willing to form a partnership of some sort.

To generate interest in a corporate sponsorship, why not…

  • Put together a comprehensive sponsorship package
  • Provide a list of sponsor benefits
  • Post information on your association’s website
  • Ask members to assist with recruiting 

You’d be surprised at how much interest these tactics can generate!

Merchandise Sales

Selling branded merchandise can be another great way to generate non-dues revenue. Merchandise can be anything from t-shirts and bags to mugs and koozies. You can even offer subscriptions to scholarly journals or other publications.  

Note: If you decide to go the merchandise route, be sure to sell your products year-round and encourage members to wear branded apparel at your association’s annual meetings and events. If your members see other members wearing your organization’s merchandise, they’ll be more likely to purchase some as well. 

Want more ideas for generating non-dues revenue for your association? Download our free non-dues revenue guide below!


Topics: association management, small staff association, Association Views

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