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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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What Is an AMS, Anyway?

Posted by Callie Walker


Many small-staff associations have the same story. They start off using a simple spreadsheet or an Access database to track their organization’s membership. Then when it comes to email communications and event management, they turn to different tools altogether. And to top that off, they’re still accepting mailed-in payments for dues renewals that they then need to sort through and process manually.

Is your head spinning? Ours sure is. Needless to say, these association professionals are drowning in a sea of paperwork that’s only making their jobs more complicated.

Enter an AMS

So what exactly is an AMS? Well, an AMS, short for association management system, is a technology solution that allows you to manage your organization’s membership using one integrated system. Dues automation, event registration, email marketing and more - you name it, an AMS does it.

And best of all, an AMS streamlines your day-to-day administrative activities so that you can focus on what matters most - your members and your mission.

Below are just a few of the many powerful features included in association management systems:

Membership Database

First and foremost, an AMS houses your organization’s database, allowing you to securely store all of your member and prospect data. And not only that, but it integrates with other features as well (email marketing, event registration, website permissions, etc.) to provide you with a powerful membership management solution.

Email Marketing

Because an AMS integrates with your organization’s database, it can serve as one powerful marketing asset for your association to use. Not only can you personalize your member emails, but you can play around with lists as well. You can target specific member groups or send email blasts to your entire organization.

Event Registration

With the help of an AMS, you can collect event registrations and payments online and send automated, personalized emails directly following those registrations. You can even view registration data in real time and email all of your event registrants with just a few clicks.

Member Website and CMS

Many AMS providers will host your organization’s website, but some will even act as content management systems as well. This means you can easily manage and update all aspects of your organization’s website without having to have any technical knowledge.

Member Engagement Community

An AMS can give you several powerful options to increase online member engagement. For example, with the help of an AMS, you can offer your members a full-fledged online social community. This is a great way for your members to make their own friend and peer connections, share photos, and send member-to-member messages.

Accounting and Payment Processing

Whether you need help setting up payment processing, dealing with invoices, or exporting financials for use in QuickBooks or another accounting program, an AMS has all the tools needed to meet your payment and accounting needs. You can accept payments online, automatically generate invoices, and even manage your transactions via a powerful, searchable database. Accountants, rejoice!

Now that’s just an overview of what all an AMS can do. There’s plenty more where that came from! Want to know how else an AMS can help your organization? Check out our free guide, “What Is an AMS?” below!

What is an AMS, exactly? Download our free guide and find out!

Topics: association management, association leadership, small staff association, membership management, Association Views

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