Onboarding new members to your community is a critical process as it is their first interaction with your community.
The experience is very similar to going to a new place and meeting new people. Therefore it is necessary to have a proper onboarding process to remove the fear of socialization of new members.
The primary goal is to thwart off the fear of socialization and provide an engaging experience from Day 1, so as to make them come back as regular participants in the community.
Making people feel special with giveaways that would make them feel recognized. For example: hand written cards
Do something personal and do not worry too much about the instantaneous ROI
You could give every attendee a thank you note. Basically something non-attendees wouldn’t get.
In short, create moments. At CMX, they started giving hugs when people used to enter their events.
Generate Heatmaps and Take screen recordings to verify whether the newcomers are moving in the intended direction of onboarding flow.
Set up micro goals and gamify those goals, for eg. how many people are completely furnishing their profile data.
Set up 30, 60, and 90-day check-ins to understand if the members are on the right track and how much your onboarding process has influenced the same.
Also look at the below page to get more ideas about which metrics to track.