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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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5 Budget-Savers to Look for in a Membership Management System

Posted by Colleen Bottorff

budget savers in membership management system

While having a membership management system means another line item on your budget, it can often pay for itself. After all, these systems are designed to specifically make association and chamber life easier.

There are a few areas in which a membership management system can both grow revenue and help you save. Here are some things to look for when you’re searching for that perfect system for your organization:

1. How does the system actively help acquire and retain members?

Let’s start with the biggie: growing and retaining your membership.

One of the best things you can find in a membership management system is an intuitive way to manage benefits, individually by member. Being able to easily track what benefits a member has, what they’ve used (and what they haven’t), and when they used it means being able to:

  • Offer members the benefits they want, at a price that makes sense
  • Eliminate surprise member drops by proactively managing individual members’ needs, benefits, and engagement
  • Encourage members to adopt higher levels of benefits packages as they grow their businesses and in their careers
  • Identify what benefits certain members may not be using and help them understand what they’re missing

Another thing to look for is some kind of value on investment reporting that shows members how the value of their membership compares to the dues investment they make. They’ll see an actual return in numbers they can understand and appreciate.

2. How does the system help manage non-dues revenue?

Your system should help you capitalize on non-dues revenue opportunities by giving you ways to add more non-dues streams. For example, the ability to create enhanced online directory listings lets you build on your most basic directory listing, by adding levels of extra features that members can invest more to have. And it’s not just a sales gimmick - these additional features will help them stand out! Talk about a win-win.

The benefits management capabilities I mentioned above also come into play here, by offering certain benefits that are out of their package in a la carte situations.

3. Similarly - how does the system help manage event revenue?

Ok yeah, event revenue is non-dues revenue, but it’s such a large and important part of member-based organizations that it deserves special attention! Here are a couple things to look out for:

  • Promo codes let you offer incentives and loyalty discount to members. (Realistically, some members need a little encouragement.) Get people in the door for a little less versus not at all. Hopefully they’ll be inclined to attend similar events at full price!
  • Sponsor visibility reports show your event sponsors the tangible benefits of their investment, by giving them a detailed report of just how many times someone clicked on their information on your website, driving the visitor to theirs. The more you can do to show a sponsor the value of their investment the better!

4. How does the system help you save time?

Because time is money, right?

A drop automation tool will let you drop members in batch (often an unlimited number), making it a one-click operation. No one likes to drop members, but at least this tool makes it quick and painless. And don’t panic! A good drop automation feature will keep a comprehensive record and make all the necessary financial updates - all on an individual member basis.

Another way membership management systems will help you save time is when it comes to communicating with specific sections of your membership. By assigning affiliation codes to your members, you can quickly identify and communicate with regular event attendees, members in a certain area of town, people who haven’t volunteered in a while - really, any category you’d like to be able to identify members by!

5. How does the system integrate with your existing accounting system of record?

Automatic recurring billing functionality is secure - and totally game-changing. With this tool, say goodbye to the 45-day average aging period! Allowing members to set their dues to automatically renew means their payment is instantly processed the day they are due.

Additionally, having the ability to directly post to your accounting software eliminates double data entry and ensures accuracy across systems. It’s as easy as review, confirm, post - done!

Membership management systems are seriously powerful - for more than just what applies directly to your bottom line. Take a look at our Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Right Association Management System to get started on the path toward finding the right system for your organization!

Selecting the Right AMS  A foolproof guide to selecting the right AMS for you Download this guide

Topics: Small Staff Chatter, association software

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