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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 2017 Different for Your Association

Posted by Callie Walker

Make 2017 Different for Your Association.jpg

The new year has always been a symbol of change. How many times have you heard the phrase “This is the year I’m going to…”? Better yet, how many times have you said that? We’ve all been there. Change is what makes the new year exciting.

But implementing change is a whole different story. Life happens, and sometimes those resolutions we set are difficult to actually follow through on.

So if you really want to make 2017 different for your association (regardless of what specific resolutions you have in place), consider the following three tactics. They may be small, but they’re bound to have a BIG impact on your association:

Focus on your association’s value proposition

A lot of associations try to be all things to all people. They try to be an expert in this and that and offer X, Y, AND Z. But that’s such a mistake. When you do everything, you can’t necessarily do one thing well (and that “one thing well” is the thing people are willing to pay for).

So take a step back for a second. Think about your association’s value proposition - the one thing you excel at that really separates you from others. If you spend the next year focusing on that, you’re bound to reap the benefits (increased recruitment, engagement, and retention).

Say no

A new year means new trends, technologies, social media platforms, etc. And sometimes, those new trends can throw you off track - you feel like you have to stop what you’re doing to incorporate “the latest and greatest.”

But that’s not necessarily true. Next year, as new trends pop up, be very picky about what you decide to invest your time and energy in. If it’s a new social media platform, ask yourself, is this really a good fit for our organization? Is this where our audience is right now? If not, say no and continue on your way. This is how you’ll stay focused and really complete the tasks that need to get done.

Commit to creativity

Creativity is great, but it’s always the first thing to get pushed to the backburner when you just need to get something done. That said, do you ever feel like something could’ve been better if you had just had more time? For example, event attendance. If you had more time to think creatively in terms of your event’s theme and promo tactics, do you think it would’ve made a difference? It very well could have.

Now it’s easy to push creativity to the side (particularly due to time and resource constraints), but if you really want to see change at your association, it’s important to make time for creativity - because it WILL have an impact. (Tips on how to overcome the challenges associated with creativity here.)

Want more tips for managing your organization in 2017? Best practices to take it above and beyond? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Membership Management below! (Bonus: It’s free!)

The Ultimate Guide to Membership Management  Everything you need to know about managing your membership online, from  acquisition to engagement to retention. Download this guide

Topics: association management, association leadership, membership management, Association Views

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