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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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Just in Time for Halloween: 5 Event Planning Horror Stories for Association Pros

Posted by Callie Walker


Murphy’s Law says that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong – and boy is that true of event planning! In honor of Halloween, check out these five event planning horror stories for association pros, and more importantly, a few simple solutions for each:

1. No one shows up!

Solution: No-shows are a frequent issue at events. Even when people have paid for their tickets, there are always a few who can’t make it on the day. For that reason, try overselling your event just a tad. For smaller events where every head counts, try sending out a reminder email closer to the event date and asking people to let you know if they can no longer make it.

2. There’s a technology mishap.

Solution: Be sure to leave time for a run-through prior to the actual event. It’s also not a bad idea to have a solid AV partner on site. Depending on the type of venue you’re using, there may be a designated AV person on staff, so be sure to ask about that when booking.

3. The weather is, well, a disaster.

Solution: When planning an outdoor event, always, always, ALWAYS have a back-up plan. In case of inclement weather, either have sufficient waterproof coverings available at your venue or have a back-up, indoor location ready to go. Even if there’s just a slight chance of rain, be sure to let your attendees know that there IS an inclement weather plan and that the event WILL go on.

4. There’s not enough food.

Solution: Prior to the event, keep track of registrations in case you need to make any last-minute food adjustments. And if your budget allows, try ordering a few extra hors d’oeuvres just in case.

5. The lines are long.

Solution: It’s easy for lines to build up – even at small events. To prevent this from happening, make sure you have enough staff at your check-in table at the start of your event. The crowd will likely taper off as the event gets rolling, so feel free to relocate your staff as needed.

Want more tips for event planning success? Download our free event planning guide below!

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Topics: association management, event planning, Small Staff Chatter

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