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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 Make FOMO Work for Your Association

Posted by Callie Walker


Imagine this: You were out late and had to record Game of Thrones on your DVR. The next morning you wake up and see all of your friends posting about it on social media. You’re bummed! XYZ died and EVERYONE’S talking about it! You feel like you’ve missed out on the energy of this really cool experience.

Welcome to the world of FOMO. 

FOMO, or fear of missing out, is a very real phenomenon that was first studied in 2013. FOMO is the anxious feeling that you’re missing out, whether it be on an experience that your peers are taking part in or a product that everyone seems to have but you.

FOMO can be a powerful feeling, but it’s one that can actually be used to your organization’s advantage. In fact, there are three specific ways to make FOMO work for your association:

1. Utilize time-sensitive offers

We’ve all seen those commercials that say “call within the next 10 minutes and get a second pair free!” With that kind of pressure, buyers are tempted to make a purchase immediately just to avoid missing out. Have you ever considered incorporating this concept into your organization? For example, if you have an event coming up, why not offer an early-bird registration? If people register within the first two weeks, they’ll get a discount. If not, they’ll have to pay full price. Chances are, more people will sign up early for the discount.

2. Limit the number of attendees/spots

This technique works in a similar way as the time-sensitive offers. If there are only 50 spots available for an upcoming dinner or workshop, members are more likely to register pretty fast to avoid missing out. By limiting the number of attendees or spots available, you’re prompting a sense of urgency for your organization’s event.

3. Promote social sharing

Social sharing is the driver behind FOMO, so it’s crucial that you encourage this type of behavior. Start the conversation yourself by posting about upcoming events and special offers. If people say they’ll be attending, retweet them. When the event is over, post pictures on your website and on social media. If people see how much fun others had at your event, they may be more inclined to attend the next one.

For more tips on engaging your organization’s members, download our free member engagement guide below.

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Topics: association management, member engagement, Small Staff Chatter

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