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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 Get Your Board on Board When Shopping for an AMS

Posted by Callie Walker


One of the biggest challenges association professionals face is a lack of forward momentum with their board. Time and time again, association professionals see their great ideas fall into a black hole of board approval, sometimes never to be seen again – and that couldn’t be more true of association management software shopping.

So how can a small-staff association professional with enthusiasm for a new, problem-solving technology work smoothly with their board to decide upon, purchase, and implement an AMS solution all before everyone retires?

Well, it may not be as difficult as you think. Here are a few tips…

Before you do anything, research

Before going to your board, it’s important to conduct some initial research. If you already have a few AMS providers in mind, start there. Otherwise, ask around, run a Google search, or check out a few software directories, such as Capterra. These directories are meant to help businesses and nonprofits find software for their organizations, so they’re a great resource to use during this time.

Highlight flaws in your current system

When it comes to approaching your board, start by highlighting the pain points you feel with your current membership management system. Whether you’re utilizing a file cabinet, a spreadsheet, or even an AMS that doesn’t quite cut it anymore, take some time to talk about the various hang-ups that your staff members deal with on a regular basis. More importantly, talk about what you could be doing if you weren’t having to deal with those hangups. For example, if you weren’t having to spend so much time manually sending out dues reminder emails, you could be spending more time recruiting new members for your organization.

Explain what an AMS actually is (in simple terms)

The concept of an AMS can sometimes be hard to grasp, so take a little time to lay out some of the primary functions typically available in AMS systems. If you need help having that conversation with your board, check out our guide, What Is An AMS?

Explain how an AMS can solve your current problems

Now comes the big one. Remember those pain points we talked about earlier? Well it’s crucial to tie those back to the features and benefits of an AMS. More importantly, talk about how an AMS can free up a lot of your time, giving you extra hours in the day to focus on more important matters, such as recruiting new members and increasing retention rates. It’s also not a bad idea to mention other associations that are successfully using AMS solutions. After all, that could be you.

Now there’s a lot more involved in getting your board on board when shopping for an AMS than this. For a full breakdown of tips and best practices, check out our new guide below!


Topics: association management, Small Staff Chatter, association software

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