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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 Make the Most of ASAE’s 2017 Marketing, Membership & Communications Conference

Posted by Callie Walker

MMCC 2017.jpg

‘Tis the season for conferences, and next week is one of our favorites - The American Society of Association Executives’ (ASAE) 2017 Marketing, Membership & Communications Conference (MMCC)! Are you going? If so, now is the time to start planning.

In fact, here are a few tips to help you maximize your MMCC experience:

1. Identify your goals

In order to have a successful conference experience, you need to know what you’re trying to get out of the conference. Is it to learn about a specific topic? To meet certain people? To find a solution to a particular pain point? All of the above?

Whatever it is, it’s important that you identify that now, as it will dictate what you actually do at the conference and how you measure success.

Note: If possible, go into detail here. If you’re trying to meet industry leaders, list exactly who you‘d like to meet. In other words, say, “In order for this event to be a success, I need to meet X, Y, and Z.”

Another example: If you’re trying to find a solution to a particular pain point, do a little research and identify the sessions and vendors that might be able to speak to that topic. As with anything, the more you put into it - in this case, a little research and planning - the more you’ll get out of it (AKA your conference ROI).

2. Determine what sessions you’d like to attend

Once you have your goals outlined, it’s important to start picking your sessions. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT wing this. Even if you’re super busy leading up to the event, it’s important that you set aside at least 20 - 25 minutes to determine what sessions appeal to you and align with your goals the MOST. (Note: You can easily create and save your schedule through the ASAE Programs app.)

Speaking of educational sessions, here are a few that we’re most looking forward to:

  • Next-Gen Content Strategies for Associations - In this session, Robert Flynn, CEO of Aggregage, Inc., Elizabeth Engel, CEO & Chief Strategist at Spark Consulting, LLC, and Melissa Greene, Director of Strategic Partnerships at the State Educational Technology Directors Association, will talk about how to create and leverage content - and thus, boost membership engagement - for the rising generation(s).
  • Member Engagement: Strategy, Data and Informed Decision Making - It’s no secret that informed decision making requires reliable data. But what data should you be paying attention to? And how can you use that data to accelerate membership goals? In this session, Leslie Boucher, Vice President of Consulting and Customer Experience at ORI, and Christin Berry, Senior Director of Business Analytics at ASAE, will discuss how ASAE did it - and how your association can easily do it too.
  • Finding the Path to Increasing Membership - All associations have one thing in common: They’re ALL trying to boost membership recruitment. But how can you implement activities that will boost membership recruitment WITHOUT breaking the bank? In this session, Bridget Krause, Director of Member Relations at the Emergency Nurses Association, will explain - from first-hand experience!

3. Follow along on social media

Last, but not least, in order to maximize your MMCC experience, you’ll want to follow along (and better yet, participate) on social media. Why is this beneficial? Well first, it allows you to see who all is AT the conference. Maybe there’s someone you’ve always wanted to meet that you didn’t think would be there, but voilà - a single tweet revealed they were.

Social media also keeps you in the loop about what’s going on AT the actual conference - booth prizes, giveaways, a special refreshment section, etc.

Best of all, though, social media allows you to access other people’s key takeaways. Let’s say there are two sessions you want to attend, but they’re both at the same time. Well, if you monitor social media correctly, you can likely gather some of the key takeaways from the session you couldn’t attend. Pretty cool, right?

To keep up with ASAE’s Marketing, Membership & Communications Conference on social media, check out the following:

And don’t forget to follow @MemberClicks, as we’ll be live-tweeting as well!

Speaking of MemberClicks, we’ll be at the show and we’d LOVE to meet you! Come by Booth #307 to say hi (and learn why it’s time to fall in love with your AMS!).

For more tips on maximizing your conference experience - at MMCC and other conferences - check out our 2017 Conference Survival Guide below!

Your 2019 Conference Survival Guide  How to maximize your conference experience Download this guide

Topics: association leadership, ASAE, Small Staff Chatter

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