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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 Essential Pre-Conference Packing List

Posted by Callie Walker


What’s more stressful than attending a conference? Packing for a conference. What’s the dress code like? Is it going to be hot or cold? What type of shoes should you bring? The list of questions goes on and on.

And then there’s the fear of forgetting something. Oh boy.

If pre-conference packing has you stressed, take a deep breath. Here’s a pre-conference packing list to help you stay sane:

  1. A map of the area - If you’re venturing into unfamiliar territory, be sure to pack a map of the area. Make that two maps: One of the city you’ll be exploring and one of the conference center, itself.
  2. Comfortable walking shoes - Conference centers are HUGE. (See point #1 about the maps.) And since your sessions will likely be spread out, comfortable walking shoes are a MUST.
  3. A light sweater or jacket - We all know how cold those conference rooms can be. Save yourself from shivering by packing a light sweater or jacket. (You can’t concentrate if you’re cold!)
  4. Your laptop/charger - You’ll want to take notes during sessions, and not to mention, catch up on work/emails in between. That said, be sure to bring your laptop and charger (or iPad, if that’s what you prefer).
  5. Your phone charger - Don’t forget to bring a phone charger, too! Especially if you plan on tweeting throughout the conference.
  6. A stack of business cards - If there’s one thing you can’t forget, it’s this. You can always buy a phone charger if you forget yours. Business cards? Not so much.
  7. Tylenol - Conferences make for some long days. You’re up early and out late, and sometimes, that leads to headaches. Pack some tylenol just in case.
  8. A list of sessions you’d like to attend - Conferences have a LOT of offer, and chances are, you won’t be able to see it all. Take a look at the conference schedule and make a list of all the sessions you’d like to attend. It’s also not a bad idea to have a list of backups, just in case your first-choice sessions are full.

Still feeling uneasy about your next conference or event? Check out our free 2016 Conference Survival Guide below!


Topics: association management, association leadership, event planning, Small Staff Chatter

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