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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 One Thing You Need to Know for Your Association’s Web Redesign

Posted by Christina R. Green


You can play with button colors; you can experiment with fonts; but the one thing you need to concentrate on when you’re considering a website redesign for your association is what you do.


What your association does - in real language. The way people talk.

Not as a mission statement that sounds something like:

To increase the role and expression that <insert group your association represents> hold in society through legislation, education, and authority, providing access to diverse services to stay relevant in tomorrow's world… etc., etc.

Mission statements used to focus on combining the most obscure, erudite terms imaginable in order to confuse the reader into thinking the group was extremely important and well-read. Today, your audience is looking for something simpler in words they don’t need to consult a dictionary for.

The Most Meaningful Change Your Association can Make to its Website

In addition to improving user experience and navigation, simplifying your content is one of the most helpful things you can do for recruitment.

This doesn’t just mean simpler words. It means:

  • Shorter sentences
  • Smaller paragraphs
  • Text callouts
  • Bolder images
  • Headers that tell, not hint to content (better for skimming)
  • Using bullets or icons for short text lists

Simplifying your content is also done through sharing a simpler message. Decide what benefit your association gives its members and use this to simplify your mission statement and content.

Why do your Members Join?

The benefit you provide is not something concrete like a monthly newsletter or nebulous like “helping advance the importance of engineering (for instance) in our society.” Very few engineers are likely to join your group because they’ve had a lifelong desire to advance engineering as a concept.

But they will join to advance their careers or hear about job openings first.

Drill down to the most basic need you provide your members. If you answered networking, you’re not drilling down far enough.

Why do they want to network?

Career advancement? Cultivating interest in their future publication? Continuing their education?

What pain are you solving for?

When you reach the pain, you have the basis for your mission statement and content.

Members don’t join for a catalogue of features they receive from membership. They join your association because you:

  • Provide them with something they can’t get on their own
  • Save them from something
  • Help them attain something (otherwise) unreachable

Use what you do for your members for the basis of your content redesign and you’ll see more people want to be a part of your association.

If they have a need that you fulfill, you’ll have loyal members, but it’s up to you to help them understand how you fulfill it.

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Topics: association leadership, membership management, Association Views, association software

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