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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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Don’t Let Them Get Away: 5 Tips for Onboarding New Members

Posted by Callie Walker


Onboarding new members is an essential, yet often overlooked, part of the association management process. The likelihood that a new member will engage with your organization – and thus, remain a member of your organization – drops significantly over time. That’s why it’s so crucial to engage with them upfront.  

If your association lacks an official new member onboarding process, check out these five tips to help you get started: 

Send out a warm welcome message

While this step might seem obvious, you’d be surprised at how many associations get it wrong. Don’t just send new members a standard email welcoming them to your organization. Personalize it! Or better yet, have someone give them a call. New members like to be acknowledged, and they’ll appreciate the effort.

Create content that caters to newcomers

Sure, members join your association because they believe in your mission. But that doesn’t mean they’re familiar with all of the resources you have to offer. Put together some collateral pieces specifically for new members. These can be brochures, fact sheets, infographics or even blog posts. No matter what they are, just make sure they’re informative, and more importantly, valuable. 

Create a new member social community

Creating a social community page exclusively for new members is a great way to get newcomers involved in your organization. Not only that, but social communities allow new members to get to know each other. And the more friends a member has in your organization, the more likely they are to stay.  

Develop a member-mentoring program

Every organization has brand ambassadors. These are the members that know your organization better than anyone else. They’re your champions. So why not pair your champions with your new members in a member-mentoring program? New members will see the other people’s enthusiasm and be more likely to get involved. 

Check in

Don’t just welcome new members and send them on their way. Check in with them periodically to make sure everything is ok. For example, two or three months after welcoming a new member, send them an email asking for feedback on your organization. That way, if they have any problems, you can fix them upfront rather than losing that member.

For more tips on retaining new members, download our free member retention guide below! 

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Topics: association management, member engagement, member retention, Small Staff Chatter

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