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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 Small-Staff Guide to Social Media

Posted by Callie Walker


If you’re a small-staff association professional feeling overwhelmed by social media, you’re not alone. There are SO many platforms. How are you supposed to keep up?!

Well, start off by taking a deep breath. Whether you’re a seasoned expert or a total newbie, we’ve got some tips to help you master the big six:


  • You’re not limited by characters here, so feel free to make your posts a little longer. (One to three sentences is good.)
  • Photos are great, but don’t worry too much about hashtags. They were added to Facebook a while back but are rarely used.
  • Timeliness is key. If someone comments on your page – whether it’s positive or negative – respond to them ASAP. You don’t want people to think you don’t care.


  • Include an image or video to make your tweets stand out. (Tweets with images are 35 percent more likely to get retweeted than those with text only. Similarly, tweets with videos get a 28 percent boost.)
  • Unlike Facebook, Twitter hashtags are very valuable because they expose your organization to an even larger audience. That being said, be sure to include a well-chosen, industry-related hashtag in your posts.
  • If you’re talking about someone who’s on Twitter, use their Twitter handle (@username). It’s just polite and people want to know when you’re talking about them. Not to mention, it’s kind of an ego-boost!


  • Respond to any and all posts and questions. People are looking at you for professional advice and assistance, so always keep an eye on your organization’s page.
  • LinkedIn is a place for industry experts to gather, so share industry-related content and encourage online discussion.
  • If you’re looking for volunteers or have a position that needs to be filled, post about it on LinkedIn. This is where you’ll likely to find the most qualified candidates.


  • Not all of your pins have to be about your organization specifically. It’s ok to go off topic a little, just make sure your content is still relevant.
  • Repinning isn’t like retweeting. You need to change the caption of your repinned pins so that they’re relevant to your specific organization.
  • Post throughout the day, but don’t post all at once. You don’t want to flood people’s home feeds.


  • SlideShare is all about sharing valuable content. If your organization has a good white paper or perhaps a new eBook, take pieces of that and turn it into a SlideShare presentation.
  • Always include a call-to-action, or CTA. CTAs are words or phrases that try to provoke an immediate response, such as “click here” or “call today.” CTAs are a great way to get people to take that “next step.”
  • Keep the amount of text on each slide short. Just like PowerPoint, no one wants to read a novel.


  • You don’t have to be a top-notch videographer to jump on the YouTube train, but you do have to be sincere. Trust us, when it comes to nonprofit videos, sincerity is MUCH more important than expertise.
  • If you’re at a total loss when it comes to YouTube, consider forming a partnership with another nonprofit organization. They may have a little more video expertise than you.
  • Always include a description of your videos and include high-ranking keywords, if possible. This really helps when it comes to search engine optimization.

Want more tips for social media success? Check out our free Social Media Guide below!


Topics: association management, association leadership, social media for associations, member engagement, Association Views

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