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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 Little Ways to Delight Your Members in Q4

Posted by Callie Walker

Delighting Your Members.jpg

Can you believe we’re in the final stretch of 2017? We can’t. This year has FLOWN by!

That said, why not end the year with a bang? We’re talking about delivering those “wow” moments that’ll leave your members happy and delighted.  

Not sure how to delight your members in Q4? Here are a few ideas:

1. Send them a surprise coupon

Who doesn’t love a good coupon? Better yet, who doesn’t love a SURPRISE coupon? (It’s always better when you’re not expecting it!)

The king of customer service - Chick-fil-A - does this well. From time to time, they’ll just randomly give out coupons - for a free sandwich, a free ice cream, a free lemonade, etc. And it’s so nice because it’s so unexpected. Many companies only give out coupons when a customer is unsatisfied. Chick-fil-A does the opposite - and it pays off in customer loyalty.

Can your association give out a surprise coupon as well? Maybe it’s for a discount on your next webinar or event. Or perhaps it’s for a discount on a new industry book. You can choose the “what,” just always remember the “why.”

2. Give away something entirely free

The only thing better than a surprise coupon? Something entirely free! Now we don’t want you to lose money here, but do consider this: Could what you lose in non-dues revenue (by offering something free) be made up in membership dues - with higher membership retention rates? Because that’s what this all boils down to. Happy members are often loyal members, and while this might take some experimentation in the beginning (to figure out what’s worth giving away - and practical), the end result should be worth it.

Not sure what to give away for free? Again, try out a webinar or a new book/industry report. If it’s valuable, your members will be appreciative.

**Added bonus: This could actually be a good way to get unengaged members engaged in your association. Maybe they haven’t attended a webinar before because of the price; they weren’t sure it was worth it. But if they can attend one for free - and it’s valuable - that might be enough to sway their opinion and behavior.

3. Check in with them

When was the last time you truly “checked in” with your members? And not just via survey - but actually person-to-person? If you haven’t done that recently, or at all, we highly recommend it. Think about when you’re at a restaurant and the manager comes over and asks how your meal is. It’s a nice touch, isn’t it? Your members will likely react to you reaching out in a similar manner.

Now you can do this via phone, but in person is always better. If you have an event coming up, plan to walk around and actually ask some of these questions. Sure, you won’t be able to get to everyone, but delighting a few people is better than none at all.

4. Compile your association’s best moments from the year - and share those!

Memories tend to make people smile. That’s why we have pictures placed on our desks and throughout our homes. They portray good times with good people.

If you can, make your members smile by compiling your association’s best moments from throughout the year. You can put these in a Facebook album, on your blog, in your organization’s newsletter, and/or in your online social community. Remind them of the good times! And if you really want to take engagement up a notch, ask your members to submit some of their favorite moments from throughout the year. (The added benefit here is that if you can find out what people enjoyed, you can then duplicate those activities next year!)

5. Say thank you

Honestly, a simple thank you can work wonders with people. Again, especially if it’s unexpected. Reach out to your members (via phone, letter, and/or in person) and thank them for their involvement in your organization. Like the check-ins, you may not be able to get to everyone, but the more people you can thank (and by extension, delight), the better off your association will be.

Again, delighting your members all boils down to retention. Happy members are often loyal members. Want more tips for boosting membership retention at your association? Check out our free guide, Membership Retention Tactics That WORK!

Membership Retention Kit  Best practices (and communication templates) to get your members to stay Download this guide

Topics: association management, member retention, membership management, Association Views

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