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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 Use Survey Feedback to Recapture Member Interest

Posted by Krissy Conant


No matter the time of year, membership retention is always on the mind of any association professional. Earlier this month, we highlighted the importance of using thoughtful member surveys to improve your member retention plan. But now you may be asking yourself, “What do I do once I get all of this feedback?”

Worry no more! Check out these three effective ways you can take your member’s survey responses and turn them into quick and easy action items.

1. Content Inspiration

For most of us, one of the hardest parts of the job is trying to figure out the up-and-coming trends that will keep your members invested in your organization. We suggest framing this investigation by analyzing your member’s survey feedback as a way to peek inside their minds to find out what they’re missing.

Ideally, your survey will ask the question “What content do you want to be seeing from us?” as well as provide some real-world examples. More often than not, your members might be providing the bare minimum answers for some of your short answer questions. To resolve this, try including some more detailed options (such as marketing trends, legal regulation updates, more efficient technologies) to provide more context for your members. From there, it’s just a matter of gauging interest and sharing the content that your members want to see!

Pro-tip: To take it a step further, make sure that your content is being distributed in a fairly routine manner (a weekly newsletter, a daily blog, a monthly webinar) as to build a stronger reader/listener audience.

2. Niche Committees

Much like trying to decipher what content your members want, it can be a struggle to determine how to get your members to invest their free time in your organization. There are only so many hours in a day, so you’ve got to make a compelling pitch to get your members to make the plunge.

Once you determine your member’s main priorities for joining your association(from your survey), you should re-evaluate your current active and dead committees to see where your members want to participate. Most organizations have a handful of standard committees that run year round: Executive, Finance, Fundraising, Marketing, Program Development, Public Relations, etc. However, have you thought about advertising some of your more colorful ad hoc committees? To start, try thinking about special events, necessary audits, or helpful research and tailor some groups based off of your member feedback.

Pro-tip: The best part about ad hoc committees is that if they do poorly, you can adjust how they are run the next time through. Let yourself great creative to see if you can spark some interest from the most unassuming members!

3. Event Reminders

While your association may be a huge part of your everyday life, it’s the simple truth that this is probably not the case for most of your members. With work taking up most of the day, your members will have to use a portion of their precious personal time to put toward your organization.

The best way to convince your members to do this is to keep the communication between your members and your organization consistent and timely. By scanning your survey feedback to see what events (either virtual or in person) that are the most appealing, you can be more mindful about sending event reminders out to your members to keep competitive with their work and social calendar.

Pro-tip: If you find that the interest in a certain event you’ve been doing is on the low-end of the spectrum, take some time to ask yourself if it’s something you want to improve or if it’s maybe time to retire that idea.

Looking for more tips to boost membership retention at your nonprofit? Check out our free Membership Retention Kit below!

Membership Retention Kit  Best practices (and communication templates) to get your members to stay Download this guide

Topics: association management, small staff association, member engagement, member retention, membership management, Small Staff Chatter, chambers

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