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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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Make 2015 Different for your Association

Posted by Sarah Hill

Be honest.

How are those New Year’s resolutions holding up?

Is January 2015 starting to feel a little like January 2014? Which felt like 2013? And so on?

Remember when you were younger and every year held something different: new experiences, new friends, new growth! Somehow when we reach adulthood that magic fades and the years start to run together.

2015 is the year you break out of that cycle! Make 2015 different! New! Productive! Dynamic! And Engaging!

Here’s how.


Make sure your goals are set and shared

If you have a specific goal in mind, make sure you decide on it, think it out, write it down, and, most importantly, share it! Tell your friends, family, colleagues, board… anyone to hold yourself accountable. Just the act of saying a goal out loud can make a huge difference.

Delegate your tasks

Ask for help! If your goal is for the health of the association, you should have no problem getting others on board to help. Change isn’t easy, but you can tackle it together one step at a time if you bring others into the loop.

Check in

Keep communication open with members. This gives them the opportunity to help you and yet another layer of accountability. Not to mention that the breath of fresh air and new ideas from your members will help inject that difference you’ve been looking for. 

Be spontaneous

In associations it’s easy to fall into bureaucracy because “that’s how it’s done.” Try mixing it up! Creating a more open environment could allow your members to think outside of the norm.

Mix it up

Spontaneity not your thing? That’s okay. How about starting with small ways to mix things up? Try a different meeting style, different type of mixer event, or heck even a new venue can make a big difference. 

Ask more questions

The greatest untapped resource for creativity in change in your association is your members. Find out what they would like to see change! You should always be in close contact with your members, but keep an open mind and challenge them to really think outside the box.

Find inspiration

If you’re still feeling stuck, shake your brain up. Take a walk, go to the symphony, see a foreign film

Is networking a big 2015 change you’d like to see more of? It should be! Click below to download our free guide to networking for the Small Staff Association leader.

Download The Small Staff  Guide to Networking

Topics: association management, association leadership, small staff association, member engagement, Small Staff Chatter

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