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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 Simplify Speaker Selection with a Submission Management Tool

Posted by Colleen Bottorff

MCI_ Microphone speaker in school lecture hall, seminar meeting room or educational business conference event for host, teacher or coaching mentor

While conferences are exciting to plan and execute, the actual process of sifting through and managing your submissions for session presenters can often be incredibly daunting. Without a system in place, you’re looking at hours of work between reading them, organizing your review team, gathering feedback, and ensuring that selections are made fairly, timely, and securely.

That’s where submissions management comes into play! Submission management tools take all of that headache away and more, allowing you to manage submissions - and their reviews - with ease. Here are just a few ways that using a submission management solution will save your association staff time (and energy) during conference season:


A good solution will give you complete control over the submission process: who can submit their work, when they can do it, the types of submissions you’ll accept and more. Take a moment to sit down with internal stakeholders at your association to determine exactly what content you want to showcase (and what will attract attendees). Doing so will help you be specific with your form, allowing you to filter out submissions that make zero sense for your conference, or just aren’t what you’re looking for this time. This is an incredible time saver - reviewers won’t have to wade through irrelevant submissions, because it’ll be done for them!

These tools also allow you to give submission access directly to your members and their affiliates - meaning, they’ll be able to log in with their own credentials and complete the submission process right in your system. Not only will you be creating a seamless experience for those submitting their work, but it also means less friction for you and your reviewers. Everything will be submitted in the same forum and format. Which brings me to...


Submission management solutions also give your association complete control on the reviewer side. You can decide who will have access to reviewing your submissions and how they’re rated. Reviewers can also find all submissions directly through a dedicated reviewer portal - which means no more manual distribution for you! What’s more is, in this secure portal, reviewers can actually interact and collaborate with each other. This makes for a stronger review process, and allows you to capture all of your reviewers’ comments to refer back to.


Continuing with this theme of everything being all in one place - these solutions can also help you completely optimize your process by gathering and tracking scores directly within the review portal. The tool will monitor submissions for you, so that you and your association colleges can focus on selecting the best out of all of them for your conference. Easily make your final selections based on this reviewer feedback and immediately alert your hopeful presenters of whether or not they were selected.

And finally, when all is reviewed and done, you can quickly export all of your submission content with the click of a button! This functionality allows you to more easily build out your conference program and biography pages for selected speakers. Bonus - by including the highlights of their submissions on your conference page you’ll be providing your chosen speakers will additional value, giving them a boost in notoriety in their field!

Whether it’s for managing your call for papers process or speaker submissions, MemberClicks is all about making your life easier. We’ve just introduced our own submission management tool as an add-on to your MemberClicks solution that - you guessed it - ties right into your existing database! The tool makes speaker selection do a complete 180, from totally frustrating to arguably the easiest part of your conference planning.

Review Panel  Simplify the full submission, evaluation, rating cycle Request information

Topics: event planning, MC Insider

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