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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 Tips to Transform New Graduates into Association Members

Posted by Krissy Conant

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It’s that time of the year where newly-minted millennials are ready to hit the workforce. Have you started thinking about engagement tactics to snatch up these new graduates before they move down the pipeline? It’s important for associations to understand the motivators for this generation and understand what methods will attract this new talent.

Don’t worry! Below we’ve listed three tips for you to try in your association to appeal to these newcomers.

Providing Guidance

Think like a new graduate: You’ve just left the nest of your university and you’re wondering - what’s next? Most of these grads are going to be looking for some guidance to navigate the waters of the workforce. That’s where you and your association come in with a mentoring program.

Let potential members (and members) know that you understand the importance of pairing new graduates with experienced professionals. Understandably, one of the biggest stressors for new graduates is feeling confused on how to pursue certain career avenues. By providing these new graduates with the opportunity to observe others in their career and foster their professional network, you’re providing a huge appeal to join your association.

Being Transparent

Don’t forget - openness is the key to creating a progressive culture in your association! Closed-off organizations can scare away potential members (and existing members) into wanting to get more involved. Make sure that you are able to clearly provide the benefits and opportunities of joining your organization. One way to be more transparent is to try having an open communication policy so that members don’t feel left high and dry. By providing the responsibilities and expectations in joining various roles, you’re allowing your members to feel included and connected.

Don’t forget that this goes both ways: Ask members (and even potential members) what they are looking for! The Millennial generation is known for its forward voice, so take advantage of that honesty to see what is appealing. You could create a survey to find out why they joined the association, what they are interested in and what opportunities they want to pursue. If they are transparent in what they are looking for, it will allow your organization to be more transparent about offerings that are important to Millennials.

Granting Autonomy

Remember the Millennial generation has a very different mindset than their predecessors. While they do want some direction these new graduates are looking to take on some real responsibility while putting their new degree to use. So give them the freedom to do so!

Make sure that your association is providing members the ability to choose what tasks they’d like to accomplish as opposed to forcing them into a committee that isn’t in their interests. When you allow for members to feel like they have some control of their participation level, it allows for them to take ownership of their projects and foster a real connection to the mission of your association. Otherwise, you could very likely lose these members during the retention phase.

And there you have it! By trying these three tips, you should be able to recruit new graduates who will find value in joining your association and stay around for the long-haul.

Now you have some ideas of how to engage Millennials but what about your other members? Check out our guide, How to Engage Different Generations at Your Association, for more tips on engagement techniques for different generations.

How to Engage Different Generations at Your Association  Different generations = different engagement tactics Download this guide

Topics: association management, member engagement, membership management, Small Staff Chatter

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Struggling to engage your organization's membership?  Check out our guide, How to Engage Different Generations at Your Association! Download Now!

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