Make Your Case to Attend


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Making the case for time off, support, travel, and expenses to attend a conference requires a solid understanding of the potential benefits to your institution, manager, and colleagues. To help you communicate the benefits of attending, especially if your company is experiencing tight budgets and/or reduced staff, use the following information to help make your case.


Suggested steps:

  • Put your request in writing. Feel free to use this sample memo.

  • Tally your potential costs. This sample budget worksheet might be helpful.

  • Identify sessions, events, and programs that you believe can help you be more productive and efficient. Study any preliminary information about the program.

  • Share the preliminary program information with your colleagues. Let those who might not be able to attend know that your attendance can benefit them. Inform them of the type of information that you can bring back to help them, and which sessions you can attend on their behalf.

  • Share program information with your supervisor. List the sessions and programs that you think will be of greatest benefit to your workplace.

  • Review the topic-specific preconferences. Are any especially applicable to you and your workplace?

  • Draft a plan listing how essential tasks will be handled while you're away. Include how, if necessary, technology can easily keep you accessible.

  • Draft a plan noting that when you return to the office, you’ll share action items and fresh ideas learned at the conference  (e.g., notes from speaker presentations and discussion groups, knowledgeable vendors you met, best practices, contacts you made through networking, etc.) with the rest of the staff.

  • Inform your supervisor that you can focus on implementing new ideas that will promise a return on the time and financial investment made to attend

Illustration of three people standing having a discussion with large quote marks in the background.