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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 Unique Member Types Your Association Should Consider

Posted by Krissy Conant

Member Types.jpg

We all know about the standard memberships in the industry: Individual, Student, Corporate, Retired, etc. But what about those member types that you need to cover your more particular members? We’ve selected five types of members that you should try to include in your association to cast a wider net for potential new members.

Recent Graduate

Who: For members who have graduated within one-year (or whatever time-frame works for your association).

Why: While it’s common to see Student Memberships, we think it’s important to also focus on those recent graduates. We all understand that, typically, these members are going to be low on funds after graduation and are looking for the best bang for the buck in their continuing education. By providing these folks a little leeway, you’re letting potential members know that you understand the post-graduate struggle. This campaign can go a long way in providing a positive image of your association.  


Who: For those members who are dedicated for the long-haul.

Why: Just like with any sales package, having your members commit to a long-term investment is more cost-effective for your members. By having a discount for multi-year memberships, you’re almost guaranteeing better retention for your association. We see this as a win-win situation for both parties. In addition, this member type allows for your members to feel a deeper sense of commitment to your association, signalling to you that they may be a good potential fit for future board appointments.


Who: For members who want to have a joined membership that extends to family members only (parents, children, partners, etc.).

Why: By having a joint membership, you’re encouraging potential members to get involved with your association by making it a family activity. In addition, providing that additional value might be the tipping point to get these individuals to commit. We recommend that you try to keep this member type to only two individuals, but more importantly we believe that you should check in to see what that need looks like for your association (or if it’s even applicable).


Who: For members who have a sponsorship or partnership with your association.

Why: When you have a sponsorship (money-exchange focused) or a partnership (service-exchange focused) with another organization, it’s important to show you appreciate your professional exchange and are focused on building stronger relationships with these groups. This member type is a win-win for both groups as it allows for your association to receive more funds and provides the sponsors/partners the ability to mingle with your members.


Who: For members who want to be involved, but aren’t able to have the on-site participation.

Why: You might have some members who believe in your mission, but live abroad or can’t be as active otherwise. You still want to keep that revenue, so why not have a discounted rate for those members who want to support your cause. This member type allows your association to keep that continued patronage and have online access to your association, but not use resources for any on-site events.

Now that you have member types squared away, it's time to recruit those new members. A great place to do this is online. In our guide, Best Practices for Online Member Acquisition, we will go over the top tips to get those recruitment numbers up.

Best Practices for Online Member Acquisition  Learn all about marketing to and acquiring new members online in this free  guide. Download this guide

Topics: association management, membership management, Small Staff Chatter

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