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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 Things That Scare Your Members (And How Your Association Can Help)

Posted by Callie Walker

Things That Scare Your Members.jpg

We all have fears and insecurities, but we don’t like to have fears and insecurities. They make us uncomfortable, and worse, vulnerable (but not in the good way Brene Brown often talks about).

That said, this is an area in which your association can really be of help. Take a look at these three things that likely scare your members, and more importantly, how your association can assist:

Fear #1: Falling behind in the industry

We’re surrounded by change - with technology, information, rules and regulations, etc. - and because of that, your members probably worry about falling behind. They may be on top of trends and best practices now, but in a year, things could be entirely different - and your members worry that they’ll lose their expertise, and more importantly, their edge.

Help them out by providing updates and ongoing training regarding industry trends, best practices, rules and regulations, technology advancements, etc. And if there are certifications that need to be renewed, consider offering study groups and study packets as part of your association’s offerings.  

Fear #2: Job security

We all worry about job security (to an extent), and your members are certainly no different. Now you can’t guarantee your members a job, but you can give them comfort by helping them polish their skill sets and expand their professional networks.

As you’re promoting your next training or networking event, mention these benefits. Remind your members (without scaring them) that the more contacts and experience they have, the better off they’ll be. And if you happen to know any members who are unemployed or looking for their next career move, take it upon yourself to facilitate some meaningful introductions. Your members will be forever (and I mean forever) grateful.

Fear #3: Missing out

You’ve heard of FOMO, right? It stands for fear of missing out - and it’s a real human emotion. Let’s say someone works in the architecture industry and they start to notice a lot of their professional peers joining associations, attending networking events, taking classes, etc. They’re likely to get intimidated because they don’t want to fall behind (see point #1).

But that’s where your association can step in. Let these people know that (a) your association exists, and (b), that you have a variety of opportunities for them to meet people, get involved, and better yet, grow professionally.

Remember, the more problems your association can solve for people, the more valuable you’ll ultimately become.

Want more tips for engaging your association's membership, whether it be through trainings, networking events, classes, or something else? Check out our free guide, Membership Engagement for Small-Staff Associations, below!

Membership Engagement  A comprehensive guide to engaging your organization's membership Download this guide

Topics: association management, membership management, Small Staff Chatter

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