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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 Perks and Pitfalls of Using Snapchat for Your Association

Posted by Krissy Conant


With so many social applications at your fingertips, how do you decide which platform to reach your audience? Today we are making the case that Snapchat isn’t just for your average teenager. Snapchat debuted into the social media arena in September 2011 and has kept up with the times fairly well considering the turnover in the realm of social applications.

We believe that Snapchat has come up with some practical applications for your  association and decided to create a list of pros and cons on whether you should start including Snapchat into your social media plan. So, let’s get to it:


  1. Honesty Hour - More than ever, audiences are becoming engaged through authentic and genuine material. One of the key qualities of Snapchat is that you have the ability to document your real day-to-day activities without all the fluff. Yes, there are filters. Yes, there are silly sketch tools. But when it comes down to it, this platform lets users see your fun side. And that’s when audiences feel like your association goes from a stiff organization to a charming club.
  2. Behind the Scenes - People want to be in the know as it induces the feeling of being included. Using Snapchat to provide your members information that would otherwise be unknown gives you the opportunity to connect with them on a personal level. We recommend doing an employee spotlight, a secret promo code, and pre/post event moments on Snapchat to really immerse your members into the heart of your association.
  3. Easy Interaction - One of our favorites qualities about Snapchat is this idea of being interactive with your followers. While we understand there is a lot happening on a day-to-day basis in any association, we believe it’s important to make an effort to engage with your members. We recommend using geofilters at your next event and drawing based contests to allow your members have a direct line of interaction with your association. Not only is this a fun method of advertising but it also helps with your member engagement and retention!


  1. Quick Content Expiration One of the biggest factors of using Snapchat is that the content expires after only 24 hours - yikes! When it was first released, one of the biggest appeals (and downfalls) of Snapchat was this exciting idea of direct peer-to-peer communication. However, for your association, this could be a bit of extra work. We recommend saving any relevant content that you can and exporting it for future uses.
  2. Weak Search Tools - One of our biggest gripes with Snapchat is its rough search engine. Personally, we believe that any social media tool should make it easy for your account to be found and to be shared. Snapchat, unfortunately, hasn’t really caught up with this trend and still makes it a hassle to be found by your audience. At this point, your account can only be located by knowing the exact username or by scanning a snapcode.
  3. The Lonely Island of Snapchat - So, let’s say that you have a strong following on Snapchat - great work! However, Snapchat fails to let you link outside of the application into any other platform. In terms of sharing opportunities, this can be really frustrating as most of your audience will probably not be motivated enough to take this time to find your other outlets. We recommend that you get creative and try to compel your audience to other sites using enticing educational content.

While Snapchat may not be a perfect solo solution for your social media plan, we believe that integrating it into your current model may help engagement across the board with your members.

Still feeling overwhelmed by all your social media options? Don’t fret - we’ve created The Small-Staff Guide to Social Media to help you decipher what will best work for your association’s needs! Check it out here!

The Small-Staff Guide to Social Media  How to engage your members (and prospects) using social media Download this guide

Topics: association management, social media for associations, member engagement, Small Staff Chatter

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