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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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Five Tips for Generating Non-Dues Revenue

Posted by Callie Walker


For any membership group, raising non-dues revenue is essential for overall success. But people are cautious about spending extra money, particularly in an uncertain economy, and your association might be feeling some of that pain. If your association is looking for ways to generate additional revenue, take a look at some of these fundraising ideas:

Tip #1: Host an event

Hosting events is the ultimate win-win – members can receive entertainment and value while associations can generate revenue on the back-end. Events can be anything from auctions and festivals to conferences and lunch and learns. They don’t have to be anything fancy, but they do need to provide members with value, so be sure to give it some thought if you do decide to go this route.

Tip #2: Secure a company sponsorship

Another great way to generate revenue is by asking companies within your industry if they’d be willing to sponsor your organization. Associations, like your own, provide industries with value, so many companies are willing to form some kind of partnership. To generate interest in a corporate sponsorship, post information on your association’s website and ask members to assist with recruiting.    

Tip #3: Offer an educational program

Educational programs come in many forms – certifications, training programs, webinars, etc. – and are a great way for members to interact with your association. Generally, members don’t mind paying a small fee for these types of programs as long as there’s some level of educational value associated with them. 

Tip #4: Create a job board

Associations can often generate non-dues revenue by serving as an employment resource for their industry. Many companies will pay to list their job openings online where engaged, career-minded professionals will see them, so consider adding a job board to your association’s website.  

Tip #5: Sell branded merchandise 

Selling branded merchandise, such as t-shirts, bags, and mugs can be another great way to generate revenue for your association. Sell your products year-round and encourage members to wear branded apparel at your association’s annual meetings and events.  

If managing programs to generate non-dues revenue seems overwhelming, perhaps it’s time to consider an AMS. Not sure what an AMS is? Download our free guide below to find out!

What is an AMS, exactly? Download our free guide and find out!


Topics: association management, small staff association, Small Staff Chatter

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