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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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4 Tips for Writing a Great LinkedIn Invitation

Posted by Callie Walker


Imagine this: You’re at a conference and see someone you’re interested in talking to. So you walk up to them and say…

“I’d like to add you to my professional network.”

Sounds silly, doesn’t it? You wouldn’t use such a stale intro in person, so why use it online?

Sure, it can be tempting to use the standard “Let’s connect” message, but with a few extra steps, you can actually take your message above and beyond. Here are a few tips:

1. Personalize the intro

When connecting with someone on LinkedIn, always personalize the intro. Start your message with “Dear [name]” or “Hi [name],” as this will give the message a more personalized feel. Just remember to spell the person’s name right. After all, any misspelling could suggest a lack of care.

2. Introduce yourself or explain how you know them

If you haven’t met the person before, start by explaining how you came across their LinkedIn profile. Do you follow them on Twitter? Did a friend recommend that the two of you connect? Did you read an article that this person wrote? Whatever it is, be sure to let the person know up front. They’ll be flattered that something they said or did compelled you enough to reach out.

Now even if you have met this person before, it’s best to remind them how and where you met. Maybe you had coffee together at a conference or sat next to each other during a meeting. Either way, give them some background as to how exactly you know each other.

3. Remind them what you do

Again, even if you’ve met this person before, chances are, they don’t remember exactly what you do. That being said, always be sure to include a one or two sentence tidbit explaining where you work and what you do.

4. Explain why you’d like to connect

Now this one’s really important. Believe it or not, there are people out there who add people on LinkedIn just for the sake of increasing their number of connections. Don’t be that person! Always explain why it is you’d like to connect, even if it’s something as simple as “Just want to stay in touch!”

Here’s an example of a simple yet effective LinkedIn invitation:

Hi John,

I really enjoyed meeting you at Conference XYZ! I’m the Executive Director at Association ABC, and I really enjoyed hearing about your organization’s new fundraising initiatives. I’d love to stay in touch and chat about those initiatives again sometime.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out!

All the best,

Susan Akers

So there you have it. Four tips for writing a great LinkedIn invitation. But what about the other social media platforms? Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. How do you effectively use those? Check out our free guide below for more tips and best practices!


Topics: association leadership, social media for associations, Small Staff Chatter

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