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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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Techniques for Clearly Communicating Your Organization’s Purpose

Posted by Colleen Bottorff

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Do you ever feel like you’re spending too much time explaining what your organization does to prospects - or even to members? A chamber may be easily confused with the local convention and visitors bureau, or a state chapter of a professional association may struggle to differentiate themselves from the national organization. Luckily, there are some ways that messaging can help you stand out!

Clearly communicating your organization’s purpose just takes some intention. We put together a few techniques for you to try!

Incorporate an emotional connection

You’re much more likely to make a connection with your audience on an emotional level. That concept is especially true to purpose-driven organizations like yours! Start by looking at your traditional branding elements (your logo, tone, even colors) to see how they help to subtly advocate your mission. Then, be sure to continue focusing on making that emotional connection by communicating value and impact in everything you do.

For example: If your chamber has a strong focus on developing its economy by bringing new companies into the community, consider imagery and verbiage that evoke a feeling of joining and growth.

Talk about your vision

Don’t be shy, now! Your vision for the future of your community or industry ties directly into your purpose. Be bold, and don’t be afraid to share your thoughts for the future (as well as the now). Doing so will help with that emotional connection, set your organization apart, and reinforce a clear purpose to the masses.

For example: If your local home builders association chapter has challenges specific to its region, talk about how your efforts will help the local industry overcome them.

Look internally

Communicating purpose starts from within, so it’s important that your staff embodies your organization's mission and values. Think about how you can incorporate mission and values into internal activities and conversations. Trust us - once your staff starts to feel it every day, your members and the outside world will, too! Authenticity speaks volumes!

For example: Reiterating your mission and values in group settings (think staff meetings or outings) will reinforce their importance to the organization, and keep them top of mind.

Create a cohesive experience

If clear communication is your goal, your messaging should remain consistently purpose-driven. Otherwise it’s just confusing! Moreover, it’s not always easy to drive that message home the first, second, or even fifth time a prospect or member sees it. Be thoughtful in how you communicate your purpose in every single touchpoint (your printed magazine, each part of your website, in person at events etc.) so that people will easily start to associate your organization with its purpose.

For example: If your mission is centered around educating your industry, make it easy for members to find educational opportunities in your magazine, sign up online, and give feedback in person.

More show, less tell

You know what they say - actions speak louder than words. Through images and video, you can easily communicate your organization's purpose. (And, visual mediums are often received better online). Moreover, if you and your staff are actively embodying your purpose like we talked about before, then you’ll know that the decisions they’re making and how they interact with your members will all be purpose-driven.

For example: Does your organization advocate for community service efforts? Show pictures and videos of staff participating in their own! And, take it a step further by asking them to share those experiences with prospects and members in their conversations.

A lot of this boils down to your organization’s strategic marketing efforts. Need some guidance there? We have a resource for that! Take a look at The Small-Staff Guide to Association Marketing!

The Small-Staff Guide to Association Marketing  How to spread the word about your association Download this guide

Topics: Small Staff Chatter

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