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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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Turning One-Time Event Attendees into Long-Term Members

Posted by Callie Walker

Turning One-Time Attendees into Long-Term Members

If you market your organization’s events to prospects, in addition to members, good for you! It’s a great way to showcase your organization’s value and give prospects a taste of what membership is like.

But how do you get those prospects to take the next step and join? After all, that’s the main goal here. Read on for a few tips:

Send them post-event emails

If they registered and attended your event, then you likely have their email address. Use it! Create a post-event prospect email campaign and keep the communications flowing.

A few things you may want to include in those emails…

  • Content - If your organization has a blog or any industry-related content pieces, share those with the prospects who attended your event. This is a great way to highlight another value prop your organization offers - access to industry news, best practices, benchmarking reports, etc.

  • Upcoming events - If a prospect attended one event, who’s to say they won’t attend another one? Send them a list of your upcoming events and make it easy for them to learn more and register.

Note: If you have a membership management system in place and used that system to check attendees in, then you can easily follow up with your prospect attendees without manually having to sort through information. (That’s the beauty of having your database, event registration forms, and email marketing - among other things - under one roof.)

Extend a special discount

You want your prospects to take some kind of action. Ideally, to join! To get the ball rolling, consider extending some kind of special discount - a discount on membership, for example. Or, if not that, discounted registration on an upcoming event (in addition to the member discount).

Tip: The key here is to have a deadline associated with that special offer. In other words, if they want to take advantage of that discount, they must act by a specific date. That “puts the pressure on” and gives them a reason to act.

Give them a quick call

Yes, phone calls take a little bit more time than emails, but imagine how compelling (and impressive!) that could be for a prospect - if one of your staff members takes the time to call, asks how their experience was, and invites them to become a member of your organization? That’s quite a nice gesture, and one that might spark them to take action.

While events are great for engaging your membership, they’re also great for growing your membership. For more tips on fully leveraging your organizations events, particularly in terms of recruitment, check out our free guide, Using Events to Grow Your Association’s Membership!

Using Events to Grow Your Association's Membership  Tips and tricks to maximize the impact of your events Download this guide

Topics: event planning, Association Views

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