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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 Ways to Keep Your Association Calendar Tidy

Posted by Sarah Hill

Your association’s calendar is likely one of the most visited pages on your website or in your AMS. It's probably also one of the most updated features and can be a powerful recruitment tool. But your calendar is also very likely to get completely confusing and disorganized! Here are five ways to keep your calendar nice and neat for you, your members, and even interested potential members who may come along.  


1)   Limit access

The more people who can access and update the calendar, the crazier it’s going to get. Having one or two people responsible for keeping the calendar updated and accurate will help clear a lot of the clutter and avoid confusion!


2)   Update and check on it regularly, if not daily

Whether you’re the “calendar master” or not, you need to look in on your association calendar all the time. Make it part of your morning routine when you sit down at your desk with your coffee. Read the news, check your email, open your association's calendar. When you look in on it often not only will you be more in sync with the goings-on in your association, but you’ll be more primed to spot errors and duplications with enough time to notify the necessary parties. 

3)   Run it by committee chairs and board members often

Even though they may not have control over the calendar, be sure to check in with your board and committee heads to see if they have anything to add, remove, or change. Discuss adding things on the calendar that may not have been added in the past like decision deadlines, elections, and smaller meetings. This will fill out your calendar for anyone casually stopping by your website and encourage engagement with members who may find they are available for some things they perhaps didn’t know about before.

4)   Make it prominent on your website

Don’t hide your calendar on your website. The whole point of your association is for members to get involved and participate, right? It doesn’t have to be (and probably shouldn’t be) on your home page, but make the link prominent so nobody loses interest spending a lot of time looking for it. It’ll also help you remember to check in on it often!

5)   Color code or categorize

It may seem like calendar management 101, but color-coding is still a great visual way for you, your fellow leaders, and your members to easily jump to interests or priorities on your calendar. You should be paying attention to the whole thing, of course, but if you have a particular interest in a committee or a special interest group labeling it a certain way or assigning those scheduling items a certain color is a great visual cue.


Just keeping organized in your association can feel like a constant uphill battle, but it’s absolutely essential! Especially when you’re in a small staff association and don’t have a huge team backing you up.

If you need more help with organizing, an AMS may be the solution for you! But what is an AMS anyway? Click below to download our free guide to Association Management Software! You’ll read about how an AMS can help with your membership management, event planning, email, and more! Download our free guide today!

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

Topics: association management, small staff association, event planning, member engagement, membership management, Small Staff Chatter, association software

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