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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 Use Disney Magic to Increase Member Retention

Posted by Colleen Bottorff

Unlock Disney Magic

If you’ve ever been to any Disney park, you KNOW they go above and beyond to provide an exceptional customer experience. What makes their approach so special is Cast Members (aka, park employees) are given the authority to go above and beyond for guests.

To give you an example of something I experienced personally: It was my son’s very first time at Disney World in Orlando, and he was SO excited to explore the Star Wars area. It was a particularly busy day, so when it came to meeting characters he had to choose between Kylo Ren and Chewbacca. He ended up choosing Kylo Ren because, as he informed us, he’s “his biggest fan.”

Afterward, we were looking at some of the movie props in the building when a Cast Member struck a conversation with my husband. When he mentioned that we didn’t have time to meet Chewie, the Cast Member simply said “Follow me,” and walked us straight to the front of the line! (True story, I have the pictures to prove it.)

This small act made all the difference for the then 7-year-old - and us, too! And it wouldn’t be difficult to apply some of the same principals at your association. What unexpected gestures can you do for members to show them that you care? We have some ideas:

  • Call them to thank them for coming to your big event last week
  • Send them a thank you note for commenting on your blog or Facebook post
  • Email them a link to an interesting article that pertains to their business
  • Stop by their office and drop off a treat or a free ticket to an upcoming event
  • Write a blog post about a member when they receive an award or expand their business
  • Connect them with someone who can help them solve a problem
  • Congratulate them on being featured in your local business publication
  • Introduce a member to other members or potential customers at events
  • Ask them questions and look for opportunities to make a difference for their business

Your association is in the service business. Small gestures can genuinely surprise your members and blow them away! And these gestures will have a big impact on increasing member retention and acquiring new members through referrals. You just have to give them something magical to talk about!

Take a look at our free membership engagement guide for more ways to offer members a refreshing experience!

Membership Engagement  A comprehensive guide to engaging your organization's membership Download this guide

Topics: association management, member retention, Small Staff Chatter

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