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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 Pros and Cons of Live Tweeting your Event

Posted by Sarah Hill

It’s hard to go anywhere, even a big association event, without seeing people buried in their phones. A few may be texting or checking email, but there are probably a few who are live tweeting the event in question. With smartphones, why not? Let’s weigh the pros and cons of live tweeting an event so you can decide if it’s a good move for you!


Pro: Share information with people who can’t attend

There are always going to be some people who can’t make your event, no matter how much you tweak the time and how often you ask for feedback. The great thing about live tweeting the event is that you can engage with these non-attendees even though they aren’t present. Those online “attendees” are likely to share your content and build buzz too!

Con: Why attend if you can get the info online?

For many associations, information is an asset. One of the biggest perks of joining an association is free or cheaper access to that information. Associations get their money from dues and event registrations for that very reason. So why would you give away that information online for free?

Pro: Making online connections

So many people interact and network online these days, and the relationships you form online can turn into real-life connections. The best way to impress the heck out of some online influencers is to become one yourself with great content! What better way to get great content than from your associations events?

Con: Interrupting face-to-face interactions

There’s something definitely missing from human interaction when everyone has their nose buried in their smart phone. What, or more importantly who, will you miss while you’re live tweeting your event? Don’t forget that one of the most important benefits to live events is the networking. Just because you’re an association leader doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the great opportunities!

Pro: Tap into Trends

Let’s face it: cool stuff is shared online. How will you see it, and how will those innovations benefit your association, if you’re not there to catch it? As for your live association events, social media can really help boost interaction and discussion. Online contributors can enhance events by sharing points or related links in real time.

Con: You could miss important stuff

Have you ever been caught checking your email or surfing Facebook and suddenly realize you have no idea what was just said to you? Imagine this for an hour or more while you’re live tweeting. Of course these events are designed for the benefit of your members, but there’s no reason you should miss out!

One final word of advice: you can “live tweet” your event without being glued to your phone the entire time. You can also enlist help! Coming up with and sharing a hash tag ahead of time will encourage others to tweet about the event as well. When it comes to tweeting live events, you can have your cake and eat it too!

Click Here For Our Guide To  Social Media Engagement!

Topics: social media for associations, event planning, member engagement, Small Staff Chatter

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