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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 to Revitalize Your “Black Sheep” Committee

Posted by Krissy Conant

black sheep

If your association is like most, you have that one committee that just can’t keep the attention of your members and ends up feeling like a struggle to even keep afloat. Feeling lost at what to do?

Take a look at our four tips that will help bring life back into your “black sheep” committee and regain your members interest!

1. Choosing the Right Committee Leader

It’s simple: Your leadership is going to set the tone for any member group. So if you’re evaluating a committee that’s really struggling, it may be time to review the committee's chair to see if they are the best fit for that particular group. It’s key that your leadership (whether they are staff or a volunteer) is able to speak to the purpose of that particular group and inspire your committee and potential members to be more involved.

But don’t stop just there! Once you have some well-matched leadership put in place, you’re going to want to consider what the succession plan will look like to keep that committee successful. Do you have a vice-chair in place to could take over as the main chair? Or maybe you would only choose someone who was a member of the committee before? By being proactive, you’ll be saving yourself the hassle when it comes time to re-elect new chairs for any committee!

2. Incentives to Attend 

Sometimes, having an unsuccessful committee just comes down to the fact that some committee topics inherently aren’t the most exciting to most of your members (unless it’s their passion point!). So you may need to start thinking creatively to attract some members until they get involved and attached.

Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

  • Highlight your “black sheep” committee on social media and include member names, current projects, etc.
  • Give credit at your next award banquet for the committee's best metric.
  • Make sure you are always providing food for your committee. (You might be laughing, but you know this is true!)

3. Focus on Member’s Motivating Factors

While each of your committee members probably joined your association for a couple of key reasons, the overarching theme usually goes back to wanting to be more connected with your industry. You can use this to your advantage when it comes to revitalizing your “black sheep” committee by reminding your members of their personal reason for joining a committee.

As an example, if someone joined your association to build their resume, you may want to see if you can provide mini-projects within your committee that they can own for their resume. Those win-win scenarios will do wonders in helping booster any lackluster committee. Check out our post, One Size Doesn’t Fit All: 5 Reasons Why Your Members Join Associations, to see if you can focus some of your committees initiatives around these key motivators.

4. Evaluate that Committee’s Importance 

Ultimately, it may be time to re-evaluate if this particular committee is worth the hassle of trying to resurrect it back to life. It may have begun as a passion project of a member long gone or been a passing committee craze in your industry. Either way, we’re here to tell you that you don’t HAVE to keep any committee that isn’t providing your association or your members value.

Have you started feeling concerned on how to engage with ALL of your members from different generations? You’re not alone. It can be a handful to connect with the varying likes, dislikes, and personal preferences that define each generation. Take a look at our guide, How to Engage Different Generations at Your Association, to see what steps you can start taking today!

How to Engage Different Generations at Your Association  Different generations = different engagement tactics Download this guide

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

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