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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 Ways to Grow Your Association’s Membership

Posted by Callie Walker

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Member recruitment. Two simple words that often cause SO much stress. You NEED members to stay afloat, to be successful, and to accomplish your association’s mission. So where do you get those members from?

Well, a few different places actually. In fact, here are three ways to grow your association’s membership:

1. Events

We often talk about events in terms of engaging members, but they’re a great form of recruitment as well. Think about it. Events showcase your association in action. They showcase your network of people, your expertise in the industry, your ability to host fun gatherings - and more. So if you can get non-members to attend those events, they’ll be more inclined to join, particularly because they can see your association’s value first-hand.

Note: There’s a little more to this process than simply inviting prospects to your organization’s events. For a full list of best practices, check out our free guide, Using Events to Grow Your Association’s Membership.

2. Surveys

Surveys are another great way to grow your association’s membership. How, you ask? Well, by focusing on two primary groups:

  • Current members - In order to grow your membership, not only do you need to get new members, but you need to keep the ones you already have. To do that, try sending out member satisfaction surveys once every year. Ask your members what offerings they like and what areas could be improved upon. If you can get their feedback early and often, you can make changes to help entice them to stay.
  • Never-been members - Now this is really where the “growing” part comes in. Try reaching out to never-been members and asking them if they’ve ever been involved in an organization, why or why not, and what offerings would entice them to join. Then, use that information to better your organization. (Note: The real key here is surveying people who match your member personas. If your organization doesn’t have member personas, try creating them with these three easy steps.)

3. Inbound Marketing

Last but not least, there’s inbound marketing. Now don’t panic. You don’t have to have a marketing background to make this work. All you have to do, essentially, is create relevant and compelling content that showcases your organization’s true value. If you can do this, people will be drawn to your site and encouraged to join.

Now I wish I could say it was that easy. There are a few more steps involved, but they’re definitely still doable. For a full breakdown of the process, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Inbound Marketing for Associations below!

Growing Your Organization's Membership  A beginner's guide to inbound marketing for associations Download this guide

Topics: association management, membership management, Small Staff Chatter

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