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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 Lists to Make for a Knockout 2018

Posted by Callie Walker

Lists for a Knockout 2018.jpg

If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I LOVE lists. To-do lists, bucket lists, grocery lists - you name it, I’m all about it.

Why the obsession with lists? Well not only do they prevent things from falling off your radar, but they hold you accountable. (Putting things in writing just MAKES them more real.) Plus, there’s nothing more satisfying than checking something (or many things) off a list.

With 2018 right around the corner, you may want to consider creating a few lists of your own - to set yourself (and association) up for success. Here are five lists in particular you may find helpful:

1. Your association’s goals

Now you probably already did this as part of your association’s 2018 strategic plan, but in the off-chance you didn’t - or those goals are buried deep within the plan - you may want to consider creating a new, goals-only list. Why? Well if your strategic plan is 10+ pages long, chances are, you’re not going to look at it very much, and those goals may not be top of mind all the time. But you WANT them to be top of mind all the time. Everything you do should go back to one or more of those goals.

That said, if you can create a list of JUST your association’s goals (1. Increase membership by XX%, 2. Raise $XXX in non-dues revenue, etc.), you can then hang that list in plain view at your desk and reference it as you brainstorm, plan, and execute projects throughout the year. (Your association will be better for it, we promise.)

2. Your professional goals

While you have goals for your association, you also likely have goals for yourself - both personal and professional. We’ll start with the professional.

What would you like to achieve (professionally) in 2018? Would you like to secure a promotion? Would you like to speak at a well-known conference or event? Would you like to launch that podcast you’ve always dreamed of? Make a list of your top 3 - 5 professional goals and keep that list easily accessible. (This is where the accountability benefit of lists REALLY comes into play.)

3. Your personal goals

Ok, now let’s talk personal goals. Work aside, what do you really want to achieve in 2018? Do you want to visit a new country? Read a certain number of books? Run a half marathon? Whatever you want to do, list it out. These are the things that are really going to help you feel fulfilled (which will translate back into your job/overall work performance).

And tip: If you can put that list somewhere at your desk (or as a note on your computer), you can then use it as inspiration throughout the year. A 60+ hour work week isn’t *so* bad when it means a week-long exotic vacation in the fall.

4. “What worked well in 2017”

There might be a lot you want to achieve in 2018, but chances are, you achieved a lot in 2017 as well. (Give yourself credit.) To make the most out of 2018, put together a list of things that worked really well this past year. Was it a webinar you held at the beginning of the year? A silent auction item that was hotter than hot? A VIP reception at your annual meeting or conference? Whatever it was, note it and feel free to build upon it in 2018. No sense in reinventing the wheel!

5. Your personal and professional accomplishments

This one may seem weird, but hear me out. In 2018, you’re bound to have some “off” days - days where you feel burnt out, frustrated, and completely unmotivated. It can be hard to get work done on those days, so to prepare, consider putting together a list of your personal and professional accomplishments. That way, when you’re feeling down, you can glance at it and be reminded of all that you’ve accomplished and overcome. (Sounds cheesy, but it works!)

We really want 2018 to be your best year yet. If you need help achieving some of these goals - particularly your association’s goals - check out our Ultimate Guide to Membership Management below. It’s filled with best practices for membership recruitment, engagement, retention, and more!

Happy list-making!

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, association leadership, Small Staff Chatter

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