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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 Your Association Needs to Multiply Member Engagement

Posted by Callie Walker

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You have a website, post semi-regularly on social media, host various meetings and events, but you still feel like member engagement is an issue at your association.

What’s missing?

One thought: Personality.

Your association has personality - no doubt about it. The question is are you conveying that personality to your members?

See, people do business with people, and people like to be connected with other people. That said, the more you can show your members (and even potential members) that real people are behind your organization, the more they’ll want to engage with you.

In writing this, I started thinking about the companies and organizations I engage most with. What do those organizations have in common and why do I feel so connected to them?

The short answer: I feel like I know them. Even if they’re a large company or organization, they feel like a friend. And that’s because their personality comes through. They’re more human-like than company-like - and that makes all the difference.

So, how can your association showcase personality? Well first and foremost, I think it’s important to note that personality doesn’t have to mean “funny.” It can in some instances, but personality is so much more than that. According to Webster’s dictionary, personality is defined as “the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character.”

It’s character! And good news association pros: There are ample ways to showcase your character. For example…

  • Get creative with social media posts - Rather than sticking to the traditional post ideas (pictures of your event, pictures of your board, etc.), get creative every once in awhile. Did four of your staff members show up wearing a red shirt and black jeans? Snap a picture of it! Is your office so cold that everyone’s (hilariously) huddled around tiny space heaters? Photo op! See, those situations show the people behind the organization, and that’s what people are going to resonate with.
  • Get creative with email subject lines - If there’s one to-do you shouldn’t take so seriously, it’s writing the subject line of an email. I say this because your members receive TONS of emails in a day (just like you, I imagine). That said, feel free to have a little fun with yours. Make it an email they’ll want to open. Include a popular movie quote if it makes sense. Or, insert an emoji to make it fun and a little different. I’ve received emails with both of those examples, and let me tell you, I opened both.

Now don’t feel like you have to infuse personality everywhere. Some situations are more serious in nature and deserve that kind of attention/treatment. But if you can insert personality (when appropriate and where it makes sense), try it out. You’d be surprised at how much more engagement you can get.

Still struggling to engage your members - online and in person? Check out our free guide, Membership Engagement for Small-Staff Associations, below!

Membership Engagement  A comprehensive guide to engaging your organization's membership Download this guide

Topics: association management, member engagement, membership management, Small Staff Chatter

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