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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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Setting Goals for Your Association

Posted by Sarah Hill

It’s officially 4th quarter. You have a ton of stuff to get busy doing, especially that budgeting. While you’re working on forming next year’s budget and reviewing last year’s, why not give some thought to other association goals? 


Let’s walk through some common ones and ways to break them down and make them achievable. 


Boost membership

Every association out there wants more members. We all know the benefits to an increased membership. Some ways to increase your numbers are to incentivize membership referrals for standing members, increase membership marketing, more widely promote events and vary the type of events.

Get more money

That’s right up there with most people’s personal goals for 2015. More money means a lot more possibilities for many associations. One way association make more money is to increase membership (see goal #1) but some other ways are: upping event attendance and seeking out donors. Also consider increasing dues or event fees, but keep in mind these price increases may be the catalyst for some members to find your association too expensive, then leave. 

Up more member engagement

Engaged members are happy and active members, which means more volunteers and more ambassadors recruiting for your association. Some ways you can up member engagement include broadening your events to appeal to a wider audience for members and potential members and linking up online through your AMS and social media. 

Here are some slightly atypical goals you can set for 2015: 

Establish clear priorities

When your members, committees, or board are faced with several things to consider, make it clear which ones are most important and require attention right away. This seems obvious, but for many associations which have many important thing to take care of, this is an overlooked step. Start by establishing what you believe to be the most important priority for the association then consult the board, your staffers, and some crucial members. 

Acknowledge victories as well as defeats

Many leaders have a kind of tunnel vision when it comes to goals. Sometimes the focus can be so directed that association leaders can miss victories like active new members and successful events. Those seem like small accomplishments, but remember that someone worked hard to get those victories, so making it a point to celebrate makes it more likely for your members to work hard for the next “little” win on the way to the big goal!

Encourage balance

This might be a bigger goal for you as an association pro. Make sure you and your staffers have a work/life balance that is workable. You can’t be performing top service if you’re not feeling tops, and you can’t be feeling tops if your personal relationships (and sanity) are suffering!

Let’s go back to member engagement. We have a guide for that, and it’s free! Get started on those 2015 goals early by downloading it today!

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

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