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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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Encouraging Hesitant Staff Members to Adopt New Technology: 4 Tips

Posted by Callie Walker

Encouraging Hesitant Staff Members to Adopt New Technology

You may be at the point where you KNOW you need new software in place, and maybe your staff and board are even in agreement. But admitting you need something versus actually using it are two very different things.

See, association professionals often find themselves in the following situation: They purchase a technology system (an association management system, for example), get up and running on it, but then...no other staff members seem to actually utilize it. They stick with their old ways. (Talk about discouraging.)

To get hesitant staff members to actually utilize new technology, consider the following tips:

1. Emphasize (and re-emphasize) the why

When it comes to “selling” technology to your staff, you must continuously emphasize the why. With change often comes discomfort, so you need to state why that short (and emphasize the “short”) period of discomfort will be worth it. Will it provide your members with more value, thus boosting engagement and retention? Will it help keep your association relevant in continuously evolving times? Will it help you adapt to changes at a quicker pace? Those are all benefits that need to be communicated.

2. Get not only buy-in, but action from the top

To have purchased the technology, you likely had to get buy-in from the higher-ups within your organization: the President, CEO, Executive Director, etc. But now that you have it, are those folks actually using it? If you want all staff members to utilize this technology, the influencers within your organization MUST be using it. And not just using it, but talking about it - talking about how they’re enjoying it, receiving value, etc.

If this becomes a pretty standard topic of conversation, other staff members will feel the need to pursue adoption.

3. Hold short, incremental training sessions

One of the biggest reasons people avoid new technology is the learning curve that comes with it. Learning something new takes time, and that’s one thing many association professionals don’t have an ample amount of. To make the process less overwhelming, consider hosting short, incremental training sessions. Maybe you do it once or twice a week, each time focusing on one specific feature. If you do this as a group, rather than leaving it up to individuals to learn on their own, you’ll likely see much higher adoption rates.

4. Celebrate your wins

Like we said, learning new software takes time. (And patience.) Let your staff members know that you understand that, and when they use the technology to complete something new or cool, celebrate that! Did they successfully use the system to pull a report that would’ve previously taken WEEKS to complete? Were they able to add a new widget to your website? Let others know so they’ll be encouraged to use the software as well. (Everyone wants a little praise!)

Now let’s say you’re not even at this point yet. You’re still trying to get board approval for a new technology system, such as an association management system. If that’s the case, check out our free guide below, How to Get Your Board on Board When Shopping for an AMS!

How to Get Your Board on Board  How to work smoothly with your board when shopping for an AMS Download this guide

Topics: association leadership, Small Staff Chatter, association software

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