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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 Share Your Members

Posted by Sarah Hill

Many associations in larger cities or communities have similar groups in the same area. A restaurant professional, for example, may belong to both a tourism association and a local farming collective. If you have several members who also belong to other groups, you might run into an issue here or there! Here are the steps to flawlessly sharing some of your members with a second (or even multiple) organizations.


  1. Introduce yourself and open up lines of communication

Reach out! Say hi! Get the ball rolling! Ask a member or colleague for a contact at another organization or do some online research and send an introductory email.

  1. Get together

While this doesn’t necessarily have to be a face to face meeting, often this kind of collaboration is better done in person than over the phone or email .

  1. Make a list

Even if you’re just keeping track in your mind, pay attention to areas and people that overlap. What do members who belong to both organizations have in common?

  1. Pull out the calendars

One of the major challenges that pops up when two groups have members in common is the good old event calendar. First nail down your big events and make sure they don’t overlap. Sometimes even the same season is too much. Then take a look at the smaller ones, prioritizing by what you consider the best most “unmissable” event and find out theirs.

  1. When you see overlaps- then collaborate!

Your groups may not be similar enough to combine, but there’s already an overlap with your mutual members. Make it easier on everyone! Share the workload, put your heads together, and figure out how you can help each other out! Your members will thank you.

One final thing to remember when working with a similar group: never let the word “competition” or “rival” enter your mind. Even though your initial run in with this other group may be low attendance due to another event on the same night, consider similar organizations as potential partners, collaborators, and friends. When you tackle the issue with a positive attitude, great things will happen!

Top 10 Tips for  Member Retention

Topics: association leadership, member engagement, member retention, membership management, Small Staff Chatter

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