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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 Justify an AMS to Your Board: 3 Key Talking Points

Posted by Callie Walker

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Let’s say you’re using a membership spreadsheet to manage your association - and you KNOW that’s not working. You know you need a technology partner and an association management system (AMS) to help lighten the load.

The trick, though, is selling that idea to your board. How do you get them to see that this isn’t just something you want, but need?

We’ve got a few tips. When it comes to “selling” an AMS to your board, consider the following three talking points:

1. An AMS will streamline tasks, giving you more time to focus on strategy

At the end of the day, what you likely care about most is membership recruitment, engagement, and retention. But what you likely do the most is a lot of administrative tasks - sending emails, sorting through member applications/event registrations, etc. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could eliminate some of those tasks so that you could focus more on strategies related to recruitment, engagement, and retention?

Well with an AMS, you can - and that’s probably something your board would appreciate. They probably don’t care too much about the emails you send on a daily basis, but start talking about recruitment and retention (particularly the numbers you’ve been seeing), and we bet their ears will perk up. An AMS is designed to help your organization thrive, not just function - and that’s something important to remember/relay.

2. An AMS will make tasks easier for your members (not just you)

Often, association professionals focus on how an AMS will make life easier for them - and it ABSOLUTELY will. But it’s also important to note that an AMS will make tasks easier for your members. For example, have you ever heard your members complain that registering for an event was difficult? Maybe there were too many steps or they had to login, find the event, and then register. Either way, an AMS can help simplify that process. Not only can it allow your members to register with just the click of a button, but it can even pre-populate form fields (since the AMS is tied to your organization's database), giving your members even less to fill out. And the easier it is for your members to fill out, the more likely they are to actually do so. (Hellooo increased member engagement!)

3. An AMS will take the burden of security off you/your organization

Here’s the thing - you have a LOT of data about your members, much of which is very personal (phone numbers, home addresses, payment information, etc.). If you’re housing that information in a spreadsheet and someone gets access to/steals your computer, all of that data is compromised - and that puts your organization in a pretty terrible position.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could transfer that burden of security to someone else? Well, again, with an AMS, you can. Partnering with the right software company means that they’ll help protect your organization’s data. Plus, the simple act of housing your organization’s data in a cloud-based, password-protected AMS is already more secure than housing it in a simple membership spreadsheet.

So there you go. Those three selling points should help you get the conversation started with your board. That said, if you’re still struggling to get your board’s approval - just on the idea of an AMS alone - allow us to help. Check out our free guide, How to Get Your Board on Board with an AMS, below!

How to Get Your Board on Board  How to work smoothly with your board when shopping for an AMS Download this guide

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

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