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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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Volunteer Recruitment: Crafting a Compelling Email

Posted by Callie Walker

Volunteer recruitment Email

Does your association or chamber currently have a volunteer recruitment strategy in place? Or is that strategy, we ask for volunteers as we need them?

If it’s the latter, while that might work on occasion, chances are, at some point in time, you’re going to come up short. For that reason, it’s best to have an ongoing recruitment strategy.

What exactly does that look like? Well it could be as simple as a page on your website and a series of email marketing campaigns. The key, though, is what you include on that web page and in your emails. See below for ideas and suggestions:

What’s in it for them?

Often, when talking about volunteers, organizations typically approach it from the “what’s in it for us?” standpoint. And that’s not a bad thing! It’s important to state how volunteers will help your organization and the industry, as a whole.

But in addition to that, it’s important to state what’s in it for your volunteers. What are they going to get out of it, aside from the personal satisfaction of giving back, of course?

Rewards may include…

  • A bigger professional network
  • Leadership experience
  • A more powerful personal brand
  • Discounted events (if that’s what they’re volunteering for)
  • The opportunity to be awarded

Now a little bit on that last note: Does your association or chamber have any kind of Volunteer Awards Ceremony? If so, let that be known! And not just to existing volunteers, but to potential volunteers. Why? Awards can be VERY enticing. They’re good resume boosters, career boosters, and honestly, just big mood boosters! If people know that awards are on the table and that winning is a possibility, they might be more inclined to get involved.

Let them hear from the source

You could go on and on about how great volunteering is, but people are always going to take that with a grain of salt. That said, if you can include a volunteer testimonial, now your message has credibility. And if you can include a photo of some sort with that testimonial, now you’re giving people someone to aspire to be like. That could be them!

Now we’d be remiss to not include an example here, especially when the American Marketing Association does this so well. See below for an example of an email they sent out to recruit more volunteers:

 AMA Email Example

Good stuff, right? It definitely got our attention! (And notice the number of calls-to-action, which all link to their volunteer web page. They’re giving people plenty of opportunities to click and get involved. You have to make volunteering EASY.)

Want more tips for not only recruiting volunteers, but for onboarding and retaining them as well? Check out our free guide to volunteer management below!

The Ultimate Guide to Volunteer Management  Everything you need to recruit, onboard, and retain volunteers Download this guide

Topics: Association Views, volunteer management

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