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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 Really WOW Your Members

Posted by Sarah Hill


There’s nothing quite like knocking your members’ socks off to up engagement and encourage them to bring their friends to your association’s next event. If you’re worried about a tight budget, never fear. There are a few small tweaks that you can do to your marketing and recruitment materials that can really impress members and keep them coming back for more. 

Emphasize the positive

When something really great happens: you bring on a load of new members, you land a big “get” for a speaker, when you make some serious moves in policy or some major networking inroads: celebrate! This is not to bury the not-so-great news, but a little positive PR spin can help a lot, especially with recruitment. Just be sure to give your members an opportunity to clarify on all issues they would like to discuss both positive and negative while highlighting the good news.

Point out the unique

When was the last time your association ventured out from the regular routine? There are a lot of benefits to sticking with what works, but when it comes to recruitment (especially millennials) it’s often helpful to showcase the unique. Perhaps put a selection of interesting pictures on your homepage galleries or in your blog. And be sure to pencil in something a little different every now and then on your association’s calendar!

Focus on how much there is to be learned

Education and career advancement are huge motivators behind joining any association. Take some time to shed light on all of the learning opportunities available with membership and participation in your association. This is a great opportunity to put some of that member feedback to work: pull quotes of what was interesting from your latest speaker or event and place them online or in your marketing materials.

Spotlight the wisdom and diversity of your talent

Your greatest assets are right in front of you. With your members’ permission and perhaps without naming any names, point out what kind of amazing range of diversity and talent your members possess. Remember how important networking is to your members and potential members. Be sure to point out that you have both today’s leaders and hiring managers and tomorrow’s talent with your younger members.

A good PR light on your association isn’t the only way to increase member engagement. Click below and download our free guide! It’s fun of all kinds of great ideas to keep your members active involved with your association.

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

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