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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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Live from Salt Lake City! Updates from ASAE Annual

Posted by Callie Walker


ASAE’s Annual Meeting & Exposition is officially underway, and with that comes loads of learning, networking, and of course, TONS of fun. In fact, it’s only Day #2, and we’ve already experienced all of that (with plenty more on the way).

It all started Saturday night with the Opening Celebration at Library Square. There were aerial dancers (insert gasp here), flaming donuts, great mountain views, and the best company around. Take a look!



(Behold, flaming donuts with gelato. YUM!)



Then, on Sunday morning, Mark and Scott Kelly, two twin NASA astronauts, presented the Opening Keynote. What do astronauts and associations have in common, you ask? Well actually, a few things - particularly when it comes to leadership.

In fact, here are three key takeaways for association pros:

  1. For all of us to be successful, we have to set goals. Mark and Scott learned this at a very young age, after watching their mother work day in and day out to become one of the first female police officers in the state of New Jersey. They learned the importance of goals and hard work - and applied both of those to their astronaut dreams.
  2. Attention to detail is the key to success. Whether you’re managing a space station or an association, attention to detail is crucial. As you can imagine, there are a lot of risks involved in space travel, and NASA makes sure that ALL of its employees prepare for those risks, no matter how big or how small. In order to achieve success, association professionals must do the same.
  3. In terms of leadership, you’re only as good as the team around you. This was my favorite point of them all. A big part of leadership is building a successful team. This doesn’t mean people who are “perfect,” and it also doesn’t mean people who just say “yes.” In fact, Mark Kelly explained he doesn’t like having “yes” people on his team. He can agree with himself; he wants people to ask questions and challenge him. That said, when building a team, be sure to recognize people’s strengths AND weaknesses - and work with them both!

Closing thoughts? “In life, we can choose to do the hard things, and if we can do that, then the sky is definitely not the limit.” How’s THAT for some out-of-this-world advice?

For more insights and key takeaways from ASAE Annual, follow us on Twitter, @MemberClicks!

Topics: association management, association leadership, ASAE, Small Staff Chatter

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