Some association staff teams are inventing new ways for members to learn and connect. Boards are hopeful, committees are working hard, and staff members spend time and resources bringing the new event to life. Then they watch registration with some trepidation. It’s soon the day of the event, and far fewer people have registered than anyone expected and even less login.
What should we think about this lackluster launch?
First, know that people generally follow two different patterns when they see something new. There are curious early-adopters and everyone else. Most people are not early-adopters, so expect that only a small portion of your membership will attend that new event. But this is a blessing. It is easier to have fewer people and less pressure when trying something new.
Second, knowing your launch might be small, you can make the most of it. Set the expectation that this is an experiment; experimenting is alluring for early adopters. Ask for feedback to learn what went well and what can be improved; early-adopters will be thrilled to weigh in. Once the new event is good enough – the early-adopters will start telling others. Remarkable virtual events will gain traction through word of mouth, and the rest of your members will not want to miss the next one!
- In-person conference conventions don’t work online
- Will members really want to go back to in-person conferences?
- Your speakers want training before their next virtual conference performance