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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 Panic! Your Event is Almost Here

Posted by Sarah Hill

You can admit it. You’re freaking out just a little. Your event is drawing near and you have a million things to do! Take a deep breath, relax, and take a moment to read this blog. You’ll feel better when it’s over, I promise.

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Organize your thoughts. And probably your desk.

It’s a little crazy in your head right now, am I right? It’s also probably a little crazy on your phone, on your desk, in your car, and in your inbox. Take a minute and straighten some of that stuff out. You’ll be surprised how much better you’ll feel and how much easier it’ll be for you to focus once you get your space cleared! To tackle that frazzled mind, try having a cup of coffee and writing a list. Seeing your tasks in front of you will help you realize how much you have already done and what exactly you need to do next. That’s the hardest part!

Delegate

When you’re close to show time, people know it and are ready to help. How about that planning committee? How about your association leaders? Can you redirect some staff members’ assignments temporarily while you’re wrapping up your final tasks? Some things probably need to be taken care of by you personally, but surely not all of them. See which items you can take off your plate and pass them off to a willing (and responsible) volunteer!)

Double check- or triple check- as often as you need to

Are you a little worried about a vendor or maybe something like the A/V at your venue? Go ahead and check it, especially when it’s something really important. Don’t talk yourself out of this step if it’s something you really need to handle for peace of mind- it’ll just case you more anxiety. A few minutes to be absolutely certain that something is going according to plan is almost always worth it and is DEFINITELY worth it if there was a hitch somewhere along the line.

Get enough rest

It sounds ridiculous because you’re stressed and you have so much to do, but think about it logically. When you’re tired you’re more likely to get sick or make mistakes and nobody wants that (talk about a real disaster!) Eat dinner with your family, play with your kids, enjoy your hobbies and talk with your spouse. A few things may have to be cancelled or rearranged, but remember to preserve your health and sanity!

Know your backup plans

Nobody ever wants to have to use a plan B, but sometimes it’s necessary. Don’t expect disaster, but prepare for the worst. It’ll make you feel better to know what the back up plan is and as soon as you tell someone else (do that. ASAP.) they’ll feel better too.

You’ve got this! Your event will be amazing, your members will love it, and you’ll achieve your goals. Need a little help next time? Download our free guide to event planning! You’ll be glad you did!

Download our Event  Planning Guide for  Small Staff Associations

Topics: association leadership, event planning, Small Staff Chatter

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