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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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From #OSAE17: 3 Marketing Trends for Association Professionals to Watch

Posted by Callie Walker

2017 Marketing Trends.jpg

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the Ohio Society of Association Executives’ Annual Conference in Cincinnati. The sessions were great, but one in particular stood out: Dan Farkas’ Marketing on a Budget: Three Developing Trends for 2017 and Beyond.

The marketing landscape is constantly changing and it can be hard enough for full-time marketers to keep up, much less busy association professionals trying to balance a million tasks.

So what marketing trends should association professionals be mindful of? Farkas identified three:

Trend #1: The earmuffs reality. No one is listening to you, or anyone for that matter.

Did you know we receive roughly 30,000 messages per day - via email, social media, TV, billboards, etc.? And as you can imagine, most of those messages are in one ear and out the other - not what we, as association professionals or marketers, want to hear.

The solution? Repeat, repeat, repeat. You might feel like you’re repeating the same messages and information over and over, but in today’s crazy landscape, you’re really not. (In fact, did you know the average shelf-life of a tweet is only about 15 minutes? Yikes.) That means you have to keep sharing.

Trend #2: Trust is becoming a commodity.

For the first time in two decades, people trust just about everything (the government, the media, for-profit organizations, and nonprofit organizations) less, with one exception: online reviews.

Ninety one percent of people trust an online review, even if they don’t know the person making the review. That means your association can say something 100 times, but the second one of your members says it (even if it’s the exact same message), it instantly becomes more credible.

The takeaway here? Figure out how to leverage your members, fans, advocates, and constituents to better tell your association’s story. Member testimonials are POWERFUL.

Trend #3: Short-form multimedia storytelling isn’t nice. It’s necessary.

Video. You’ve heard it talked about a lot, but it’s no longer just a nice-to-have - it’s a MUST. Here’s why: Social media platforms are promoting the type of content they’re preferring, and right now, what many of them are preferring is video. (Facebook wants Facebook Live to work, so they’re going to push that type of content.)

That means if you want your organization’s content to show up in people’s newsfeeds, you need to be sharing that content in video form. (Tips for getting started with video at your association here.)

Marketing is tough, especially when the landscape is constantly changing. If you need help spreading the word about your association - via email, social media, your website, etc. - check out our free guide to association marketing below!

The Small-Staff Guide to Association Marketing  How to spread the word about your association Download this guide

Topics: association management, membership management, Association Views

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