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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 Ins and Outs of Member Exit Interviews

Posted by Callie Walker


In a perfect world, all members would renew - all the time. But unfortunately, that’s just not how it works. Sure, losing a member is a real bummer, but rather than taking it personally and dwelling for too long, why not use that loss to your organization’s advantage? That’s right, we’re talking about conducting member exit interviews.

The benefits of conducting member exit interviews are HUGE. By doing them, you can learn why people are leaving your organization and make adjustments accordingly. Not only that, but you can align your organization’s offerings to people’s wants and needs. And folks, that’s some TRULY invaluable information.

So how should you go about conducting your member exit interviews? Well, if you’re a small-staff association, chances are you don’t have time to call every member that doesn’t renew. But not to worry. In these types of situations, email surveys are perfectly fine. And if you don’t get a response, feel free to send one or two follow-up emails. After all, this is your last chance to get that person’s feedback, so take advantage!

Now let’s talk questions. When it comes to conducting member exit interviews, consider asking the following questions:

  • What brought you to our organization initially?
  • What groups/activities were you involved in?
  • What is your main reason for leaving?
  • Are there any other reasons for your leaving?
  • What did you like most about our organization?
  • Would you recommend this organization to a friend?
  • Would you be interested in attending any of our programs or events as a guest rather than as a member? (Now this question may seem a little odd to you, but if a member is dropping because of financial reasons, this is a good way to still stay engaged with them even after they leave. Who knows, maybe in a few years they’ll be able to afford your membership again.)

Now keep in mind that conducting member exit interviews is your organization’s last resort. Ideally, you’d like your members to renew. If you need help improving your organization’s renewal rates, check out our free guide, Best Practices for Membership Renewals, below.


Topics: association management, association leadership, Association Views

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