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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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Four Tips for Running More Effective Meetings

Posted by Callie Walker


Meetings are an inevitable part of our everyday lives. But while some are necessary and extremely productive, others leave us scratching our heads and wondering, “Why am I even here?”

It’s these inefficient meetings that hurt associations the most. When members feel like their time is being wasted, they’re more likely to withdraw from meetings, and even worse, an association altogether. So how can you improve your meetings to keep members happy and engaged? Here are four tips:

Set a clear objective

In order to be effective, meetings need to have a clear and defined purpose. So before you send out a mass calendar invite to your members, ask yourself: What am I trying to accomplish here? Am I planning to make a large announcement or am I seeking input from others regarding a specific issue? Whatever it is, make sure it actually requires a face-to-face meeting and isn’t something that can simply be conveyed via email. 

Choose your audience wisely

It’s important to share information across an entire association, but take time to consider if that’s really necessary for every meeting. If you’re announcing a change of some sort, invite the people who will be affected by the change. If you’re looking for feedback on a particular topic, invite the people who will be good sources of information on the topic. If members feel like conversations don’t apply to them, they’ll begin to feel like they’re just wasting their time with your association. 

Stick to a schedule

To keep people (and yourself) on track, create an agenda that outlines everything you plan to discuss in the meeting. Include time allotments for each section and then email it to members in advance. This will give everyone a good idea of what they can expect from the meeting, as well as how much time to set aside for it. 

Start (and end) on time

There’s nothing more frustrating than rushing to a meeting only to have it start 15 minutes late. If you’re a repeat offender of this one, beware. Members will begin to feel like you don’t value their time and may even stop coming to your meetings altogether. Be respectful of everyone’s time by starting and ending meetings in a timely fashion. Trust me, your efforts won’t go unnoticed.

Looking for more ways to keep members engaged? Download our free guide to member engagement below! 

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

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