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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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Making Member Engagement Easy: A Monthly Checklist

Posted by Callie Walker

Monthly Member Checklist

When it comes to my work style - and lifestyle - the one thing I can’t live without is the act of making checklists. I have lists for my daily to-dos, what I need from the store, what to pack for an upcoming trip, etc. (And I do mean etc.)

Why my love for checklists? They’re easy to run through. Depending on the type of list, I can often sit down and knock out list item after list item, without getting distracted. (As long as I make it a point to dedicate time to that list.)

Which got me thinking, could checklists be beneficial to your members as well? You likely send them different emails throughout the month asking them to complete various tasks: to register for this, read that, sign up for this, etc. But when your members receive those emails, they may be at work (busy!) and think, “Oh, I’ll get to that later.”

...But later never comes.

That said, what if your “asks” were all in the same place? What if you sent your members a monthly checklist (key: it needs to be short) with ways to engage with your association? You could still send all the standard emails and communications you normally do, but in one email (for example, your monthly newsletter), you could summarize what you’d like members to complete that month.

For example:

May Member Checklist:

  • Register for our spring conference! Two days of hands-on learning and invaluable networking. (Early-bird registration ends May 31!)
  • Maximize your conference experience by downloading our 2018 conference app.
  • Connect with your peers (and potential employers) by updating your member profile.
  • Strengthen your skills by registering for our June webinar, [Title].

Checklists evoke the sense that something needs to get done. If your members see a checklist, they’ll likely think, “Oh, I need to complete this.” (Especially if it looks easy enough to complete - 10 or 15 minutes, tops.)

Now a few tips for your monthly checklists:

  • Remember, keep them short! Four or five bullet points max. The last thing you want is to overwhelm your members.
  • Use words that showcase member value. For example, in the checklist above, we used “maximize” and “strengthen.” Those imply the value that each to-do holds.
  • Include hyperlinks for each and every to-do. If it’s register for an event, include the link to registration. If it’s update your member profile, include the link to login to the member profile. Ease of completion is a MAJOR factor here.

Getting your members to engage with you is tough. Monthly checklists are one way to go about it, but there are tactics as well. For more ideas and best practices, check out our free guide, Membership Engagement for Small-Staff Associations, below!

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

Topics: member engagement, Association Views

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