A goal of any association is to grow membership, as it's an integral part of the organization. Members provide a means for the association to have a voice in the industry, allow the association to represent their interests, as well as create policies and standards that help set the agenda for the entire industry. In order for an association to succeed, though, there must be conversion of everyone interested in the organization and this includes the annual conferences. That's right! If you haven't thought about your attendee conversion rate, then perhaps it's time to start.
How does my association convert attendees to members?
Keep in mind that the best way to convert attendees into members is to make sure they would want to come back and do it again. So, what does that mean? Well, it means making sure that your events are well-organized and structured, with clear goals and objectives for attendees. It also means providing a great experience for attendees with engaging content and activities, as well as making sure there are plenty of opportunities for them to connect with each other and build relationships through the event. If you've succeed with those things, then you should have an easy time converting those attendees. That said, always consider the following 4 tactics to begin the conversion.
- Keep them engaged: The attendees had a great time at your event, but now you need to continue the engagement after the event has concluded. There are many ways to do this, but consider adding them to a weekly newsletter, so that they can learn what’s going on behind the scenes of your association. This way, you can see who’s engaging with specific content and easily convert them into members by giving them more of what they’re interacting with. You could also invite them to a networking event, so they can engage with other industry professionals. Knowing that these are opportunities for networking within your association will entice them to want more.
- Maintain easy access for joining: Make sure there is an easy way for people to sign up to become a member on-site at your event, so there’s no delaying the task at hand. You could also give them a link where they can sign up later and get notified about future events if they don't want to sign up right away in front of everyone else who is also interested in joining! Outside of your event, make sure to have easy access on your website to become a member – and simple forms to fill out to do so.
- Make sure there's value: If someone is paying for something they need to know what they're getting out of it before agreeing on anything too soon! You should always provide detailed information about what membership offers and how much it costs, so they can make an informed decision before signing up. If there's not enough value in what you're offering, people won't be willing to pay for it!
- Offer exclusives: Offer potential members something useful or unique like exclusive access to a resource, or some other kind of special treatment that shows you value their attendance to the event and future membership. For example, if you're having an event for people who are interested in learning more about your products or services, then maybe you could offer them priority access to purchase something at the event (or even after it's over) if they register beforehand.
"Birds of a feather flock together"
You've probably heard the above many times, but know that the statement is true for associations. The more people who join your organization, the more useful and impactful it becomes for everyone involved. When it’s time for your next event, make sure to get your entire staff together, so that you can utilize these tactics for a much better member conversion rate.