Scientists discovered that first impressions are super important to us. We record and rely on first impressions heavily in our day to day lives. First impressions are hardwired into our brains. Not only do we experience first impressions of each other, but we also have first impressions for everything else from places to brands, and products, and organizations, and more. Our members do the same. They too, form first impressions of our association, website, conference, and staff.
First impressions are super important because they color every future interaction we have with that person, place, brand, product, organization, or company. Which means we as association professionals want to ensure the first impressions our members have of the association and us are very, very good.
Here is some fun homework I have assigned myself. I try to pay very close attention to all of the strong first impressions I experience in my professional and personal life. I try to notice and evaluate the first impression I am experiencing during and right after the encounter. Then I think how can I apply this to my business?
By doing this kind of homework we can reimagine all of the first impressions for our association. An excellent hotel check-in process can help with conference registration. That for-profit’s simple homepage and intuitive navigation for their content-heavy website might help us rethink our website. A great party host may help us think about new ways to connect members at receptions.
Let’s get out there and remember to notice all of the strong first impressions we are having. Both the good and the bad. How can you apply what you see to your association?