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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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Pictures, Please! 4 Reasons Visuals Are Important to Your Association

Posted by Sarah Hill

Do you ever leave an association event saying, “Darn it! Why didn’t I get out my phone or camera and snap some pictures?” That’s a tough regret to have, but listen to that nagging voice next time. There’s a reason you wish you had pictures without even having a clear reason why you need them!

Let’s go over why visuals are so important to your association and why you should keep your camera out.


1. Future marketing

You might not need to have any pamphlets, promotional videos, or website slides made up right now. Your Power Point presentations about your association are probably all up to date and relevant and as fresh as can be. But can you honestly say that will always be the case? One day you’ll need to update your promotional material and you’ll want recent, high quality pictures with current active members and leaders. Plus your events and activities are getting bigger, better, and cooler with each passing month, right? It’s important to document that progress so you can showcase it later!

2. Social media

There’s no better way to pull people together on social media than to post pictures. Pinterest, which is growing for many associations to be a real engagement tool and not just recipes and cleaning tips, is based exclusively around pictures. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to constantly update your social media and AMS with pictures of your associations’ successes? Even posting pictures of meetings shows that your association is thriving and active with members who participate. Not to mention that tagging pictures on social media leads to...

3. Camaraderie

A picture really is nothing more than a captured moment. Seeing photos from a successful event can really solidify relationships. Your members will love going on your social media pages or into your AMS and looking up those pictures, tagging themselves and their friends, and maybe even sharing them with their non-association friends.

4. The unknown

Finally, you never know what will happen and when you will need these pictures. Storage is easy and it doesn’t take long to get a few good snaps during an event. I mentioned promotional materials and presentations, but you really never know.

A few words of caution:

-Don’t be discouraged if people shy away from the camera. Be clear about when you’re getting the camera out and where you’ll be and people can choose to avoid you if they choose.

-Don’t miss the event by taking pictures! There’s so much more to experience than just through the lens. Trade off photo duty and solicit members for pictures they may have snapped on their own.

-Don’t tag bad pictures. It’s annoying! When you post pictures, ask yourself “If that was me, would I want that picture public?” If the answer is no, leave it untagged or don’t put it on social media to begin with.

Happy Snapping! Photos are one powerful tool for member engagement, but what are some other ones? We have an easy answer to that question, and it’s in our Small Staff Association guide to member engagement. Click below and download for free!

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Topics: association management, association leadership, social media for associations, Small Staff Chatter

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