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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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Say It Quick, Say It Well: 3 Tips for Handling Short Attention Spans

Posted by Callie Walker


I recently read an article in Time Magazine that said humans now have a shorter attention span than goldfish. That’s right. The average attention span for goldfish is nine seconds, but according to a study from Microsoft Corp., people now generally lose concentration after eight seconds.


So what’s an association to do? Well check out these three tips for handling short attention spans:

1. Provide Snackable Content

Offering up content in small bites is a great way to engage your members without taking up too much of their time. Try putting together some blog posts, infographics, YouTube videos, and social media posts. These are all quick, snappy pieces that can be just as valuable as long eBooks and white papers.  

For more ideas on generating snackable content, click here.

2. Minimize lecture-driven meetings

People space out in meetings regardless of their attention span. To combat this a little, try minimizing your lecture-driven meetings. Better yet, try making your meetings more interactive and, if possible, hands on.

Here’s what we mean: For your next big meeting, try breaking up into smaller groups to encourage interaction. Another option is to encourage your members to tweet using a certain hashtag, particularly if you have a speaker present. Not only will this keep your members engaged, but it’s also a great way to get your association’s name shared throughout social media.

3. Liven up your organization’s events

Your events definitely need to match your membership, but too many calm mixers or social hours could get boring. Why not switch things up a little by adding a unique spin? For example, you could do a movie screening (bonus points for outdoor!) or some other kind of interactive team building to make networking a little more fun. Think about it and ask your members for suggestions!

Really, this is less about attention span and more about engagement. It’s hard to stay on everyone’s radar when everyone is so busy. But having happy, engaged members is what’s going to drive your organization to success. Need more tips for engaging your organization’s members? Check out our free member engagement guide below!

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Topics: association management, member engagement, Small Staff Chatter

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