Tips for Turning First-Time Attendees into Event Regulars

So you have managed to register new attendees for your event. Congratulations. That is an achievement since getting a person to sign up for your event takes a lot of hard work. But, there is still more work to do. Remember that first-time attendees aren’t fully committed. You have a task of converting them to event regulars. While it is important to enhance the experience for every attendee, you need to employ strategies that are focused on first-time attendees if you are to win them over. Whether you are holding your event at a physical location or virtually, here are 5 tips that can help you create the best event experience for first-time attendees.

Offer tips, tricks and FAQ for first-time attendees

First-time attendees with zero experience probably have tons of questions. Create a guide for them focused on answering most of their questions. Think of ways that you can set them up for success in every step. You can include tips on what to pack, wear and how to prepare in case of a physical event. You can also include tricks on how to make the most of the event. Inform them on what they need to know such as the hashtags and social media pages to follow. You can also create an FAQ incorporating answers to all questions in one place. Think of different ways to share this message with your first-time attendees. You can email them, put a page on your website, create a blog post or share some dedicated posts on your social media accounts. You can also make a video for your virtual event.

Make networking easier

Besides learning, event attendees have a goal of connecting with new people and resources in a bid to grow their professional networks. That can be a little harder for first-time attendees. Going the extra mile to help them make the connections that they need can go a long way in getting them hooked. Here are some strategies that you can use:

  • Make use of the attendee list to connect first-time attendees with veterans based on shared event goals and common interests. Ask veterans to serve as event buddies and encourage them to reach out to their match
  • Create an online community for first-timers before the event. You can include discussions moderated by your staff or veteran attendees
  • Create an exclusive space for first-timers where they can meet for snacks, coffee or happy hour. This gives them a less intimidating environment to connect with other first-timers

Consider using translation services

Technology has made it possible to attract event attendees from all over the world. This gives you an extra task of ensuring that every attendee follows your event in a language that they can understand. You can bet that your attendees will bounce at the highest rate if they are struggling to understand your message. Engaging translation services in your online or physical event not only ensures that you have a better attendance, but it also communicates to first-timers that you know and value their preferences. For physical events, consider hiring translation equipment to deliver the message in different languages. If your event is virtual, make sure that you use a platform that supports video remote interpretation for your scattered attendees.

Create a lasting first impression

First impressions last forever. It is important that you make a good one with your first-time attendees if they are to come back in future. There are several ways that you can make them feel welcome, which includes:

  • Offering them a welcome gift such as a gift card or a branded gift with a lovely message or email gift vouchers for your virtual attendees
  • Having an identifier for first timers such as a name badge with a different color and encouraging staff and veteran attendees to be extra nice when they spot them. They can offer to show them around, make introductions and generally make them feel welcome
  • Reserving some VIP seats for them
  • Hosting an exclusive welcoming breakfast for first-timers to give them a chance to meet their event buddies and other first-timers

Make a post-event follow up

Creating a lasting impression doesn’t end with the event. Make it a point to get in touch with first-timers a few days after the event. You can seek to thank them for attending and implore about their experience. Don’t forget to mention about future events and how you think it can benefit them. You can also encourage even buddies to follow up with their first-timers.


Turning first-time event attendees to regulars boils down to creating a wonderful event experience. This means creating a helpful and welcoming experience right from the time they sign up until the last minute and even after the event. If you play your cards right with the help of the above tips, you are raising the odds of seeing first-timers become loyal attendees.

Infographic displaying tips for creating the best experience for first time event attendees


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