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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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Holiday Gift Guide 2016 (Association Edition)

Posted by Callie Walker

2016 Holiday Gift Guide.jpg

It seems like December just started, and yet Christmas is only two weeks away! Where did the month (and year) go?!

Now we hate to bring it up, but…how’s your holiday shopping coming? If you still have a few (or more) gifts to grab, let us help! Check out our 2016 holiday gift guide below!

For your staff members…

  • A 2017 desk calendar - We all need a calendar for 2017, so why not save your staff members the trouble by picking out a nice one for them? If you go this route, though, try to get creative. Do you have someone in the office who loves dachshunds? Get them a dachshund calendar! Or what about someone who’s crazy about travel? Get them a travel calendar! The more you’re able to personalize your gift to the recipient, the more they’ll appreciate it all year long.
  • A small candle set - This is an easy gift to give and one that’s bound to get used. A small candle set with a note that says “I hope you have a fun and relaxing holiday!” is just enough to show your staff members you genuinely care about their health and well-being. And to take it a step further, you can even get a special or unique candle set - one that’s locally made or one that has a soothing crackling sound as it burns. (WoodWick candles are known for that!)
  • A thoughtful mug - People collect mugs for a reason: They’re practical and, often, good reminders of happy thoughts (places people have been, things they love, etc.). Now you may not have any mug collectors in the office, but that doesn’t mean your staff members wouldn’t appreciate one, particularly one with some thought behind it. Remember that world traveler we were just talking about? How about a mug with a globe on it for them? Or do you have someone in the office who loves football? What about a mug with their favorite team’s logo and/or mascot? If it’s near and dear to their heart, they’ll love it.

For your volunteers…

  • A nice framed picture or photo album - Your volunteers have likely given a lot of time and energy to your association. And not because they’re expecting anything in return, but because they genuinely care about your organization. Remind them of the time and energy they’ve given - and thank them again and again and again - by giving them a nice framed picture or a small photo album. Do you have any group pictures of your volunteers? Any action shots of them working hard? Print those and gift them. Your volunteers will love them!
  • A personalized Christmas tree ornament - Your volunteer gifts don’t have to be lavish, but personalization does go far. If possible, try giving your volunteers a personalized Christmas tree ornament, complete with their name and the current year. You can even make a tradition out of this. That way, when people see these ornaments on their tree for years to come, they’ll be reminded of your organization and all the fond memories that those years entailed.
  • Baked goods - Again, holiday gifts don’t have to be lavish. It really is the thought that counts. If you’re low on money, consider baking some homemade treats: cookies, brownies, small cakes, etc. And for an added touch, you can even write out the recipe or type it up and print it on nice paper. Some of the best gifts are the ones that cost little but come from the heart.

For yourself…

  • An association management system - If you’ve been drowning in work this year (and it only seems to be getting worse), it might be time to give yourself the gift of an association management system, or AMS for short. An AMS is a technology solution that’s designed to make association management easier. Dues renewals, email marketing, event registrations and more - you name it, an AMS can help with it. If you’re an overwhelmed association professional, it really is the best gift you can give yourself.

Still not convinced you need an AMS? Allow us to explain in more detail. Check out our free guide, Why You Need an AMS, below!

Happy shopping!

Why You Need an AMS  Overwhelmed with membership management? Here's how an AMS can help: Download this guide

Topics: association management, association leadership, membership management, Small Staff Chatter

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