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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 Sharing an Event Space

Posted by Sarah Hill

If you’ve ever planned an event from a birthday party to a huge conference, you know that often the opportunity to share your space presents itself. This could be great news! It could also present a lot of challenges. Let’s look at the pros and cons of sharing your event space!


  • Pros

It could seriously cut down on costs

Splitting the rent is a huge deal, and cutting costs may mean that a more convenient or trendier spot could fit into your budget. A bonus to having a cool or trendy location is that you could get some traffic just from members who see your locale on the invitation and say, “Oh I’ve been meaning to try that place!”

Traffic crossover

Have you ever happened to pass a party or event and thought, “They’re having so much fun! I wish I was over there!” or eavesdropped on a compelling speaker that you didn’t necessarily come to see? These opportunities are more prevalent when you share event space.

Opportunities for Collaboration

Working with another group has its own challenges, of course, but as all association leaders know, collaboration is key. You could meet some really cool people or, at the very least, get some ideas from other event planners. Networking is almost always a good thing!

  • Cons

Could be confusing

The last thing you want is for your members to get lost or for attendees at the other event to spend an hour in yours without being invited or paying. Make sure signage is very clear about which event is taking place and where!

Look out for crashers

Party crashers are a real thing, and having two events very close just make it easier. Keep an eye out for anyone you’ve never met sampling your snack bar, but remember to always approach with politeness! You don’t want to accuse a potential new member of mooching!

Crowding happens

Lots of bodies in one room can be uncomfortable. Make sure that if you are doubling up on a space that it can accommodate the FULL size of both groups. You know to not expect 100% attendance, but better safe than sorry!

Ultimately it’s up to you if the pros outweigh the cons. There’s nothing wrong with seeking out your own space! It’s expected and you never HAVE to share if you don’t want to or it doesn't work with your association. Make sure you work closely with the event planner at the venue and talk out any concerns you may have before proceeding.

For EVERYTHING you need to know about association event planning, download our free guide! Just click below!

Download our Event  Planning Guide for  Small Staff Associations

Topics: association management, association leadership, event planning, Small Staff Chatter

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