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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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Welcome to MC Insider!

Posted by Colleen Bottorff

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New year, new blog!

MC Insider is a weekly series for our users, dedicated to all things MemberClicks: product features and pointers, training details, webinar announcements, a glimpse into our day-to-day lives at our three office locations (Atlanta, Indianapolis, and Vancouver)...and so much more!

Every Tuesday you’ll receive the new post straight to your inbox (don’t worry, you can unsubscribe...although that would make us pretty sad). Read, comment, share with your colleagues - and most importantly, let us know what YOU want to read about! Send us an email with your suggestions.

In the meantime, we thought you might be interested in what some Clickers anticipate will be hot topics for the association industry in 2018. Do you agree? Disagree? Have other thoughts you’d like to share? We wanna hear ‘em - comment below!

Tao Stadler - MemberClicks Director of Customer Success
Former CEO of the Oroville Chamber of Commerce

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Snowballs get bigger, not smaller. Trends in mobile, social, and even marketing/email automation will continue to grow exponentially over the year. Are you where your members will be? That’s key for effective communication.

Also, as politics heat up, so does the importance of associations. Who else sticks up for your profession and your industry at the state and federal levels? Are you ready for this extra responsibility?

Finally...the San Francisco Giants will win the World Series. 2018 predictions, mic drop.

Erin Hall, CAE - MemberClicks Product Manager
Former Director of Communications and Advocacy at BOMA Georgia; Former Director of Communications and Public Relations at National Association Management Group, LLC

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Generational shifts will continue to be of top curiosity to associations. How do they properly engage newer generations in order to remain relevant? How can non-C-suite staff and volunteers impact changes in this area? Along those lines, establishing a winning culture that works for both staff and members will become increasingly popular, and important to vitality.

Associations will also start to explore artificial intelligence opportunities, and its potential impact on their members and industries. This is still a fairly new technology but - as with all new tech - getting in on the ground floor can be a game changer! Association staffs will also start looking at their existing technological resources to evaluate if they can do more with fewer staff and more outsourcing as needed (which solves a sliver of the lack of “non-dues revenue” issue some associations have).

I agree with Tao that advocacy will be high priority. Relationship building on the relevant levels will be key to impact!

DJ Muller - MemberClicks Chief Strategy Officer & Founder of WebLink


For 2018, I predict we'll see a lot more chambers and associations expanding their influence by adding newer and easier ways for members to join. For example, more and more chambers will start to include all businesses in their community as "members" - however, only paying members will receive certain benefits, such as being able to register for events. This approach will prove to be a great lead source for new members this year.

I also believe that we’ll see an increase in chambers and associations embracing automated technology similar to what many businesses are already using. Time-saving automation features - such as allowing members to renew automatically with their credit card information versus the manual (or semi-manual) processing of printing and emailing out invoices for dues - will start to become the norm.

And, despite trends we’ve been seeing with younger generations, I think more and more chamber and association staff will choose to stay with their organization for career and professional growth opportunities. After all, member-based organizations are built to foster growth, inside and out!

Thought-provoking stuff, right? Now that you’re all jazzed up about ways to make an impact this year, it can be exciting, but challenging to know where to start. Take a look at our online resource center - there is a TON of material on many of these topics, and more! Personally, I recommend The Ultimate Guide to Membership Management to organize and align your path for 2018.

The Ultimate Guide to Membership Management  Everything you need to know about managing your membership online, from  acquisition to engagement to retention. Download this guide

Topics: association leadership, MC Insider

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