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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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How to Engage Millennials in Five Easy Steps

Posted by Callie Walker

If you have trouble engaging young members, you’re not alone. Many associations struggle to connect with the younger generation, particularly when there’s an obvious age gap in play. But let’s face it, Millennials pack power in numbers alone, and it’s critical for your association to connect with them. Not sure how? Check out these five easy ways.


Meet them online

Ok, this one’s a no-brainer. It’s no secret that Millennials love technology. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest – you name it, they’re on it. But don’t just post a few sporadic updates and call it a day. Engage with your members by asking them questions and sharing content that actually aligns with their interests. They’ll appreciate it and keep coming back for more.

Speak their language

Don’t give up on white papers and case studies just yet, but do understand that Millennials are a generation used to consuming content in small bites – think YouTube videos, tweets and blog posts. It’s fine to have some long content pieces here and there, but make sure you also have short pieces to capture the attention of Millennials.  

Minimize lecture-driven meetings

Take it from me, Millennials hate long lectures. They need meetings that are interactive and, if possible, hands on. For your next big meeting, consider breaking up into smaller groups or even encouraging your members to tweet using a certain hashtag. Not only will this keep them engaged, but it’s also a great way to get your association’s name shared throughout social media.   

Create a targeted event

To make Millennials feel more at home, try planning an informal event just for them. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but something as simple as a quarterly pizza night will inspire young members to get more involved. Plus, the more friends they make in your association, the more likely they are to remain a member over time.  

Go to the source

When all else fails, ask! I promise you Millennials will be more than happy to tell you what it is they want and need from your association. Use surveys, focus groups or even interviews to ask your members what motivates them to get involved, then use that information to better your association over time.

Looking for more ways to engage your members? Download our free member engagement guide below! 

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

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