Justify Your Attendance
To propose an allocation of resources for attendance, you need to understand the expense and the expected return on investment. This page provides some easy-to-use tools to help you calculate the investment and identify your return.
Understanding Your Conference Expenses
Conference expenses are affected by a number of factors and to justify conference expenses you need to calculate what those expenses are and develop a cost estimate for attending. Below are some expenses to include in your estimate.
- Conference Registration
- Transportation - airfare or mileage reimbursement
- Cab Fares and/or Parking
- Meal Per Diem
Understanding the Benefits
Many benefits from conference attendance are hard to quantify and experts agree that the top benefit of conference attendance is networking value. Where else can you find so many industry contacts facing the same issues as your organization?
When you propose a conference for approval, it's best to focus on what you will specifically bring back to the organization as payback for the investment. Examples are listed below.
- Session content. List sessions that have particular relevance to your work. These sessions might identify tools, technologies or processes.
- Vendor contacts. Identify vendors you wish to meet with to discuss products or technologies you use or are evaluating for future purchase.
- Best practices. List sessions that will discuss best practices used in the industry.
- Training. Identify sessions designed to learn a special skill and/or help you overcome current or future challenges?
Quantifying the Benefits
To effectively justify the conference, you need to clearly articulate the connection between your organization's knowledge requirements and the conference program. Do not assume that your manager will be able to automatically make those distinctions. Below are some conference benefits to include in your proposal.
- Networking Opportunities
- Discuss Industry Trends
- Learn Best Practices
- Discover Current Technologies
- Future Technology Exploration
- Discuss Current Processes
- Future Process Exploration
- Meet Current and Future Vendors
- Continuing Education Credit
Provide the specific knowledge benefits and expenses your manager needs to decide the value of your proposal for attending the convention. Express your desire to learn more about the industry and grow in your profession.