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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 Handle Collecting Dues

Posted by Sarah Hill


I don't know about you, but I always feel weird asking other people for money. Maybe it has to do with the fact that so many budgets (mine included) are pretty strapped these days. 

Alas, it's the burden of a Small Staff Association leader to take care of such things, however. So how do you go about collecting dues without being awkward or demanding?

You have a couple options:

Reach out directly!

The personal touch is never a bad thing. It's a lot easier to say no to an automated message than it is to say no to a machine. Whether it be an email or a phone call, often simply asking a member if he or she intends to renew can spark a serious conversation on why or why not which can give you some real insight into the member experience!

If you don't have time to call or send those emails, an automatic message may work. Set your AMS to email out reminders a set amount of time out from their dues expiration (maybe six to eight weeks? you know what works best for your association) and send out an email or two reminding them the deadline is approaching. It may be a little impersonal, but it's a pretty standard organizational move.


Your Association Management System should make it painless to setup an automatic renewal process based on your dues renewal structure. Once your members are in the system, you should be able to configure it to do the heavy lifting for you by sending out reminder and renewal emails automatically.  Members could easily renew their dues through your AMS without you having to lift a finger.

Ask your AMS provider what's possible for your dues renewal, and then decide what's best for your membership. There's no wrong answer as long as your members stick around for another year of fantastic programming!

Need some help picking an AMS? We can help!

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

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