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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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The Anatomy of a Genuine Thank-You Note

Posted by Krissy Conant

Thank You Note.jpg

No matter what your industry is, we cannot stress the importance of nailing a thoughtful thank-you note. In the association world, this can be to your volunteers, your board, your executive director, or even your members! Either way, the ultimate intention for your note should be to make it personal, authentic, and concise. We outlined the six basic steps to make writing your next thank-you note a breeze.

1. Greeting

While fairly self explanatory, we recommend starting off your note with “Dear” or “Hey/Hi,” depending on your relationship with the recipient. Easy enough!

2. Showing Gratitude

Your first sentence should get straight to the point and thank the recipient for whatever task they accomplished. This could look like: Thank you… / I’m so grateful... / It made my day…

3. Be Specific

The next sentence should describe why their effort is appreciated in some detail, whether it’s for a professional or personal reason. People like to know the why behind a thank you, as it provides a authentic touch that really brings your thank-you note up a notch.

4. Reference the Future

The most underrated part of the thank-you: the follow up! Your recipients want to know what’s next and hear some updates or news about your association. This step allows them to feel that you’ve put a real effort into making it personal and helping to keep them informed.

5. Restate Thanks

While you’ve already thanked them once, this is a thank-you note so you might as well conclude on that same theme. The goal with this step is to thank them for being themselves. Some suggested themes to thank them on is providing continued support, having a generous nature, and acknowledging a job well-done.

6. Signature

Short and sweet, make sure that your signature includes the classic phrase “Sincerely” at the very least. You can also go for a “Many thanks,” “Yours truly,” and “Best wishes.”

A couple of final notes:

  • If possible, make your note handwritten! While sometimes this isn’t going to be possible with a large group of recipients, you should try to make this your goal.
  • Depending on the task accomplished, it might be nice to include a small gift card to just say thanks.
  • We recommend sending out your thank you notes no later than two weeks after the reason for the thank you (last day on the board, big volunteering event, going above and beyond for a last minute task).

Are you trying to think of other ways to thank your hard working volunteers? There isn’t an endless supply of them, and once you have them, they can be hard to keep. Take a look at our Small-Staff Guide to Volunteer Management to keep volunteers on board and active!

The Ultimate Guide to Volunteer Management  Everything you need to recruit, onboard, and retain volunteers Download this guide

Topics: association management, association leadership, Small Staff Chatter

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