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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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Prep Like a Pro: Your #ASAE18 Checklist

Posted by Callie Walker

#ASAE18 Prep

Like many things, you get out of a conference what you put into it. You can’t just show up and hope for the best. A little preparation is necessary.

With ASAE Annual right around the corner, we wanted to help you prepare - to ensure you have the best conference experience possible.

That said, here’s a checklist of tasks to complete (they’re easy, we promise!) BEFORE heading to Chicago next month:

  • Follow ASAE Annual on social media
  • Follow the #ASAE18 hashtag
  • Download the mobile app
  • Review the schedule and select which breakout sessions you’d like to attend
    • Add those sessions to the schedule in your mobile app (*This will make your life MUCH easier)
  • Practice your elevator pitch
  • Prepare questions for networking events
  • Determine which evening events (parties, receptions, etc.) you’d like to attend (and RSVP if necessary)
    • *Pssst: We’re hosting a Small-Staff Shindig, and we’d love for you to come! Food, drinks, live music - need we say more?
  • Review the exhibitor list and jot down which booths you’d like to visit
    • If there are specific vendors you have your eye on, identify a few questions you’d like to ask them
  • Pack! Specifically…
    • Business cards
    • Comfortable walking shoes
    • A light jacket or sweater
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Tylenol (Just trust us on this one)


If you REALLY want to maximize your #ASAE18 experience, try preparing the following:

  • Identify (at least) three people you’d like to meet at the conference
  • Define what a successful conference experience would look like
    • What exactly do you want to learn?
    • What specific questions do you need answers to?

If you’re able to identify - and complete - those two tasks, you’re bound to leave feeling satisfied and accomplished!

Want more tips for maximizing your #ASAE18 experience? Check out our free 2018 Conference Survival Guide below! It’ll walk you through what to do before, during, and after a conference to ensure you get your money - and time’s - worth!

Your 2019 Conference Survival Guide  How to maximize your conference experience Download this guide

Topics: association leadership, ASAE, Small Staff Chatter

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