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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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Conference Checklist: 4 Things to Do When You Get Home

Posted by Callie Walker


Ok, we’ll admit it - conferences can be exhausting. So it only makes sense that you want to go home and relax.

Well, some R&R is definitely needed, but before you go home and fully embrace that, we recommend completing a few post-conference tasks:

1. Type up your notes

You likely spent a LOT of time taking notes, so don’t let that information get lost. Shortly after coming home, take some time to type up your notes and save them in a place you’ll be able to easily access later.

Tip: Don’t forget to check Twitter! Did you tweet any key takeaways or “ah-ha” moments during your educational sessions? Did you “like” any major insights from other Twitter users/attendees? If so, be sure to include those in your recap notes. Tweets can be just as valuable as handwritten comments.

2. Connect with other attendees on social media

Remember all that networking you did? Well now is the time to put it to good use. As soon as possible, try connecting with other attendees on social media. A good rule of thumb is to follow up with people within 72 hours of attending an event.

And note: When connecting with people on LinkedIn, don’t just send them a standard “Let’s connect” message. Personalize it based on the conversation you had. Tips for doing that here.

3. Meet with your team/discuss key takeaways

Were you the only person from your team who was able to attend the conference? If so, that’s an amazing opportunity you had! But now it’s time to share that wealth of information with others.

Get together with your team and go over what you learned/key takeaways. See what they think of your notes and if they have any thoughts or ideas to add. (Brainstorming is where the magic happens!)

4. Prioritize your action items

Consider this an extension of point #3. As you’re talking with your team, figure out which items and to-dos you’d like to execute first. What are your biggest needs? What problems are you trying to solve? Go off of those and plan your next steps accordingly.

Now this covers what to do after a conference, but what about before? And during?! For a full list of best practices to help you maximize your conference experience, check out our 2016 Conference Survival Guide below!

Your 2019 Conference Survival Guide  How to maximize your conference experience Download this guide

Topics: association leadership, ASAE, Small Staff Chatter

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