How to Convince Your Boss to Send You to a Conference
You know the benefits of continually working on your professional development. It strengthens your expertise, your level of knowledge in your line of work, and your confidence in your current role and in obtaining future promotions. Luckily for you, you’ve found the perfect conference to attend to help accomplish this, but how exactly do you get your boss to be as enthusiastic about the opportunity as you are? Approaching your boss to ask for the amount of time off work required to attend the conference as well as requesting for the potential expenses to be approved can be challenging and intimidating, we know. However, if you follow this, we think that these three ways can help set you up for success when trying to convince your boss to send you to that conference you’ve been hoping to be a part of.
Have a Structured Plan
The first step in convincing your boss to send you to a conference? Have a detailed plan of what exactly you’ll be doing at the conference; including: which panels or fireside chats you’ll go to, which speakers are attending that you plan on seeing and what topics are they presenting on, as well as how each of these can relate back to developing your professional experience.
Other things to keep in mind include: What’s the actual cost/what does this price include exactly? What dates will you need time off from your job to attend? Is this a local conference or will you also need to factor in travel costs? Once you’ve answered these questions, present a suggested timeline for the above. Doing this prior to your initial conversation will not only help you in your own planning, but will definitely impress your boss and showcase that you’re taking this opportunity seriously.
Show The Value
Of course, you already know the value in going to this conference (have you seen the speakers?). But how do you convince your boss to feel the same? Outside of the above, you want to also make a point to discuss what your presence at the conference can do not only for your own professional development, but also for the company. One major benefit from attending any conference is who you have the opportunity to meet there. If you haven’t already heard, networking is a critical component of personal and professional development, and what better place to meet the right people to help you get ahead in your career than at a conference. Trust us on this, we’re kind of the networking experts here.
Be sure to walk your boss through the attendee list if available, so they can see exactly who will be there that day. Make it a point to mention any sponsors of the conference that would be relevant to your boss and to your company— including competitors. Stress the fact that through successful networking at this conference, you have the opportunity to meet your organization’s next partner, corporate sponsor, or even a potential new hire. In addition to this, showing that your attendance will benefit the whole organization is another great way to convince your boss to send you to the conference you’ve been dying to experience. Offer to hold a training with colleagues on key takeaways afterwards or present a recap of the conference and what you learned to the team and how it will benefit everyone in their day-to-day work.
Think Like Your Boss
You know your boss much better than we do. Come to the conversation prepared to have the answers to questions that you know are most important to them. Is your boss focused more on potential business they could bring in as a benefit from you being at this conference? Maybe you’re on a leadership track and you know seeking professional development like this will show them the dedication you have to the position. Discussing your plan of action and the value that you feel attending this conference will bring are obviously important factors, but it’s imperative to view this opportunity from your boss’s perspective as well.
Once you’ve completed these steps, your chances of convincing your boss should be much higher! Plus, this is great timing because registration for this year’s Mobilize Women Summit is still open! Secure your ticket while they’re still available.
Interested in sponsoring the Mobilize Women Summit? Learn how your company can get involved.
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