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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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Event Planning: Expectations Vs. Reality

Posted by Callie Walker


According to reality TV, event planning is HOT - so fun, so glamorous!

...but is it? If you’ve ever taken on that role yourself, you’re likely to think ‘no.’ In fact, your event planning experience might have been a little bit more like this...


Expectation: Of course I’m going to stick to my budget. I’m financially savvy and organized.

Reality: It costs HOW much to print invitations?! BRB I’ll DIY...

Selecting a theme...

Expectation: This is going to be so much fun! I love themed parties! Plus I’m great at making decisions.

Reality: A western theme! No, 80s. No, western. Western 80s? Are themed parties even still cool? Ugh, I don’t care. You guys decide.

Utilizing technology…

Expectation: All we need is a projector and a few microphones. How hard can it be?

Reality: ...what’s an ethernet?

Ordering food…

Expectation: Surely three meat and cheese plates will be enough. How much can 150 people eat?

Reality: Savages. Just savages!


The day of...

Expectation: I’m going to be SO calm the day of this event. We’ve been planning it for months. What could go wrong?


Ok, ok. So planning an event isn’t that bad. In fact with enough preparation and of course a lot of teamwork, it can actually be a breeze!

Still not convinced? Check out our guide, 8 Simple Steps to Event Planning Success, below!

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Topics: association management, association leadership, event planning, Small Staff Chatter

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