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Membership Management

Helping Your Members Justify Conference Attendance

MemberClicks Avatar MemberClicks October 10, 2017
Table of Contents
2 min read

You likely put a lot of work into your conference marketing – explaining the benefits to get your members to attend. But what if the real challenge isn’t convincing your members there’s value, it’s convincing their bosses?

Yup, many people need approval not only to have those expenses covered (which is the biggest hurdle), but to be out of the office in general.

…and that can be a tough sell (ESPECIALLY if that company/organization is short-staffed).

To help your members out, consider putting together a few collateral pieces they can use to pitch your conference to their bosses. Think of it like a conference justification toolkit.

What should go in that toolkit, exactly? Here are a few ideas:

A justification letter

First, consider putting together a letter your members can give their bosses explaining 1) what the conference is, and 2) why they should attend. The letter should be fairly short (1 – 2 pages, depending on the type of conference and cost), but more importantly, informative.

You’ll want to start off by outlining the benefits. So for example, this particular section might say:

This conference will allow me to…

  • Expand my professional skillset
  • Bring that knowledge back to the office/our team
  • Network with others in the industry
  • Talk to exhibitors first-hand (This is particularly important if the company/organization is seeking out a vendor partner)

Then, you may want to have a section listing notable speakers and sessions. The more concrete examples you can give of the type of information the attendee will learn, the better.

Last but not least, you’ll want to touch on price. Be very clear about what the cost to attend is, but don’t forget to mention early-bird pricing and discounts, if there are any. Remember, you’re trying to sell this thing!

So, a brief outline for your letter might be…

  • This conference is…
    • Who, what, when, where
  • This conference will allow me to…
    • Benefits of attending
  • Notable speakers include…
  • The full price to attend is…

Again, short, but informative!

A fact sheet

In addition to your justification letter, you may want to put together a fact sheet further explaining the benefits of attending your conference. Sometimes, fast facts resonate with people better, and you want to have as much “supporting evidence” as possible. Your fact sheet might be titled, “Top 10 Reasons to Attend Conference XYZ” – or something along those lines. Quick, but compelling!

Now let’s say your members DO get approval. The last thing you want is for them to be disappointed. So, for tips on making sure your next event is a HUGE success, check out our Complete Guide to Association Event Planning below! (It’s free!)

Free Member Retention Guide

Ready to retain members and keep them coming back forever and ever? This guide will teach you everything you need to know about member retention. We cover all the basics, like the first steps to member retention and how to map out your member journey. From there, we dive a bit deeper into retention tips.