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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 Turning Your Association into Something Your Members Can't Live Without

Posted by Christina R. Green


Ever leave the house without your cellphone?

It induces a slight panic, doesn’t it? You wonder who will try and call you and what you’ll do in an unforeseen circumstance. Even the weight of your bag or pocket doesn’t feel right. Most likely you go back to retrieve it.

Our phones are our lifelines, our connection to others, our communication devices, our ways to capture our days, fill in our knowledge gaps, and so much more.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could be as indispensable to our members as their smart phones?

You can. Well, almost, following these steps:

Become Part of Their Daily Internet Routine

What makes Facebook so popular? Is it the riveting information we get from it? Hardly. Logging in is just a habit. It relieves boredom and kills time.

Whether it’s your association’s social media profiles or your online community, give members a reason to log in every day. The more often they check your page, the higher your traffic numbers and (at least when it comes to Facebook) the more likely they are to see your posts. To do this you need to provide a reason. Maybe it’s a daily humorous post, or a trivia question, or bestowing points for logins through some sort of gamified platform, but giving them a reason will bring you one step closer to becoming indispensable.

Offer Something They Can't Get Elsewhere

This takes some brainstorming but find something you can do for your members that no one else can such as learning opportunities and CEUs or exclusive hear-about-them-first jobs. The more unique your offering, the more effective it will be as a recruitment tool. I can’t tell you what you can offer that others don’t without knowing your association more personally, but I can tell you what is not unique. It’s not networking or klout.

Solve Their Problems

What keeps your average member up at night? Concern about losing her job? Wondering how she’ll get all the work done? Even if you can’t directly help with her situation, your association may be able to help with something that is indirectly related such as offering job counseling in the industry or education opportunities. If you can solve one problem for a majority of each of your members, you’ll become much more than a membership fee.

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Topics: association management, member retention, Association Views

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