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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 Ways to Make Your Members Look Good

Posted by Callie Walker

Make Your Members Look Good.jpg

There are probably a number of reasons people join your association - for professional development, to network with other industry-professionals, to have easier access to job opportunities, etc. But regardless of all those reasons, there’s one thing all of your members would love to have from your association - and that’s for you to make them look good.

I mean think about, who DOESN’T want to look good?! We want to look good in our industry and to our peers. It makes us feel valuable and gives us an edge, and professionally, that’s exactly what you want to have.

So how do you make your members look good? We’ve got a few ideas:

1. Make it easy for them to share industry-related content

Think about the people you know who share valuable, industry-related content (particularly on social media). How do you perceive them? Chances are, as a thought leader. You feel like they have a good grasp on the industry and understand what’s really going on.

Help your members BE those people. If you’re putting out content - on your website, on your blog, etc. - include share links to help your members easily disseminate that information. Good share links to have would be for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn at the minimum. But note: If you can include an email share link as well, that’d be even better. Just imagine how good your members would look (and feel) if they could share a valuable, industry-related blog post with their coworker, or better yet, boss!

2. Make it easy for them to showcase their credentials (awards, certificates, publishing experience, etc.)

Your members are likely proud of their credentials, and they’d like for other people to be aware of them as well (whether or not they actually say that out loud). That said, make it easy for them to showcase those accomplishments. For awards, certificates, and accreditations, consider sending out high-resolution images that the member can then share on social media. (You’ve probably seen this done at meetings or events before. Sometimes, associations will send out images that say “I’m speaking!” or “I’m attending!” that speakers/attendees will share. This is a similar concept, but with awards and other accomplishments.)

Another idea: Let’s say you provide your members with an opportunity to publish content - in your newsletter, on your blog, on your website, etc. Well did you know that LinkedIn actually lets users add any and all published content? Let your members know about this! Not only does it make them look good, but if you’re looking for writers, it’s an added incentive.

3. Provide them with a professional headshot

You’ve probably pondered this idea before - and maybe you already offer them. But in the off chance you don’t, we’re still going to throw this idea out there. Professional headshots LITERALLY make your members look good - in their email signature, on LinkedIn, in their speaker/writer bios, etc. They’re a HUGE asset to your members and a quick and easy way to make them look good. Have a photographer set up a station at your next meeting or event and voilà - non-dues revenue for you and added value for your members!

4. Connect them with other industry professionals

Last but not least, make your members look good by expanding their professional network. When you go to someone’s Twitter or LinkedIn account and see that they have hundreds or thousands of followers/connections, you automatically assume that they’re high up or in-the-know. And that’s a good place to be!

Help your members get there by encouraging them to connect with other members. If you’re using an association management system, consider having your members add their Twitter handles to their member profiles. That way, not only can they follow other members, but other members can easily follow them.

At the end of the day, making your members look good is all about boosting engagement and retention. Want more tips for boosting not only engagement and retention, but recruitment and non-dues revenue as well? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Membership Management below!

The Ultimate Guide to Membership Management  Everything you need to know about managing your membership online, from  acquisition to engagement to retention. Download this guide

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

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