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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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Why Member Friendships are Great for Your Association!

Posted by Sarah Hill


Even if your association is a professional one, you'll be surprised how many members join for personal reasons. The most common personal reason? Make friends. 

You should help them with that!

Not that your members' social lives should be your priority, but you should strive to create an environment where networking is easy and friendships can naturally occur. It'll benefit your association in the end. How? Glad you asked!

  • People enjoy hanging out with their friends, which means they'll enjoy your meetings!
  • Networking is that much smoother when some people are already pals
  • Members can help each other overcome obstacles that prevent engagement like child care, work issues, and personal life stuff.
  • Committees form easily and things get done
  • Membership expands when members are friends with other members, they'll naturally want to bring other friends along, too.
  • Multimedia presentation goes up when friends are around. People want to take pictures of themselves and their friends!

One word of warning: Watch out for cliques! Friendships are great, but pals who stick together and don't try to get to know other people can be off-putting and create an unwelcoming vibe. If you see that problem starting to crop up in your association, consciously split up BFFs and assign them different roles so no backs are turned to new members. Don't make it impossible for them to hang out at various points throughout your events, of course, but offer different responsibilities to mix up the mingling. 

Want to program an event that'll knock your members' socks off and foster friendships and professional relationships? Let us help! Download our free guide to planning an association event. 

Download our Event  Planning Guide for  Small Staff Associations

Topics: member engagement, membership management, Small Staff Chatter

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