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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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Segmenting Your Membership by Generation (And Why That Matters)

Posted by Callie Walker

Member Segmentation.jpg

Do you currently segment your association’s membership for marketing campaigns? Do you send out varying email messages based on member type, geographic location, special interest group, etc.? What about by generation?

That last one’s a HUGE opportunity not only for engagement, but for retention as well. Different members have different wants and needs, and often, those tie back to a member’s age and career stage.

Here’s what we mean: You might find (after doing some research - sending out surveys, conducting focus groups, etc.) that many of your Millennial members are interested in job opportunities and industry training - getting a head start in establishing their careers. Your Baby Boomer members, on the other hand, are at a very different stage in their careers. For that reason, they’re probably more interested in just staying in the loop regarding industry updates and possibly even advocating on behalf of your association (raising awareness of your industry and organization, particularly for the next generation).

What about the in-between generation: Generation X? What do they want from your association? Well think about where they are in their careers. They’re not just starting off, but they’re also not exactly on the verge of retirement, like your Baby Boomer members are. They’re established and probably looking to take over some of those Baby Boomer positions. That said, they’re probably more interested in industry credentials and getting what’s needed to advance to that next level.

See? Three generations. Three VERY different sets of wants/needs. (And that’s not even going into Generation Z, who, like your Millennial members, are looking to break into their corresponding industries.)

The point here, though, is this: Your members are seeking different things (different benefits), and if you can identify what those benefits are, you can then engage - and retain - them better.

But you HAVE to communicate the right benefits to the right members - and that means segmenting your association’s communications. Don’t send your Baby Boomer members emails about internship opportunities. Similarly, don’t send your Millennial members emails with senior-level job opportunities. Those messages won’t resonate.

Instead, consider the benefits that will resonate with your members, then create targeted email campaigns based on those interests. For example, if you do offer some kind of industry credential, you can still promote that to everyone, but consider creating a special email campaign for your Gen X members. That message will resonate well with them (because it aligns with their career goals), and you might just see an up-tick not only in email opens/click-throughs, but program applications as well.

Now the good news is you don’t have to take this segmentation on solo. With the right tool in place (such as an association management system), you can easily segment your membership (and communications) however you’d like - by generation, by member type, by geographic location (by all three). And the more you do that, the more engagement you’re likely to see.

Want to see how else an AMS can help your association - with email marketing, dues renewals, event registrations, and more? Check out our free guide, What Is an AMS?, below!

What Is an AMS?  What exactly is an association management system? Download this guide

Topics: association management, member engagement, membership management, Small Staff Chatter

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