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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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Going, Going, Gone: Highlights from #ASAE15

Posted by Callie Walker


To say the 2015 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition was a success would be an understatement. Seriously, there was no shortage of ideas, takeaways, and best of all, laughs. Take a look at some of our favorite moments from this year’s annual conference! 

Opening General Session with Josh Linkner

We really loved Josh Linkner’s presentation on the Five Obsessions of Innovative Thinkers. According to Linkner, a New York Time’s best selling author and top-rated keynote speaker, the five obsessions of innovative thinkers are as follows 

  1. Get curious – Innovators are always asking lots of questions. When you ask questions, it challenges you to think about conventional wisdom. 
  2. Crave “what’s next?” – Innovators are future-oriented instead of clinging to the past. They always look to the future for ideas and next steps.
  3. Defy tradition – Tradition is a strong barrier to innovation. Innovators do a “judo flip” by trying the opposite of what tradition would suggest and seeing what happens.
  4. Get scrappy – Innovators are known for doing more with less. They find solutions to their problems using more unconventional methods.
  5. Push the boundaries – Last but not least, innovators often push the boundaries. They don’t follow the norm and they take ideas above and beyond.   

So how does this apply to associations? Well, in order to stay relevant and grow your organization over time, it’s important to find “that next innovation.”

Learning Lab with Joe Vallina, Maddie Grant, and Jamie Notter

On Tuesday, Joe Vallina, CAE, of the American Nurses Association, Maddie Grant, CAE, and Jamie Notter of Culture That Works, took a deep-dive into the definition of engagement. We all talk about engagement, but what does that term actually mean?

Well, according to this trio, it’s members that define what engagement means, not associations. Each and every member has an individual reason for engaging with an association. It’s up to the association to determine what those reasons are and then serve those members accordingly.

The Classic and The Small Staff Shindig

We’d be lying if we said the evening festivities weren’t among some of our favorite moments at ASAE Annual. Two of our favorite events were the Classic and our very own Small-Staff Shindig, where we were able to meet both old friends and new!






We hope everyone had as much fun as we did! See you next year in Salt Lake City!

Topics: association leadership, small staff association, ASAE, Small Staff Chatter

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