The Core Forum lasts three days, but the value to your organization lasts all year.
Making the case for time off, support, travel, and expenses to attend a conference requires a solid understanding of the potential benefits to your organization, supervisor, and colleagues. Help your supervisor understand the many ways your attendance at Forum will be a smart investment in your organization.
- Go through the full program to identify sessions directly applicable to your work that you believe can help you be more productive and efficient. Put together a list of the specific programs that will provide best practices, highlight current trends, discuss case studies, and help your organization overcome challenges it’s facing. Be sure to include programs that align with your job or organizational goals.
- Share the list of programs and events with your supervisor. Don’t forget to include any topic-specific preconferences where you’ll gain experiential learning.
- List how essential tasks will be handled while you’re away, noting how colleagues can get in touch with you during an emergency.
- Draft a plan that shows how you’ll share action items and fresh ideas learned at the conference with the rest of the staff after you return (e.g., notes from speaker presentations, knowledgeable vendors you met, best practices, contacts you made through networking, etc.).
- If you’re asking for funding, tally your potential costs if you feel it’s important to estimate the amount. This sample budget worksheet (XLSX) can help you build a budget request.
- Highlight the ROI of attending versus not attending. For example, detail how the cost of not attending means paying for virtual learning opportunities, spending time conducting in-depth research, and purchasing print & electronic resources.
- If you’ve attended the Forum or other events in the past, list the follow-up actions you took post-conference and the value to your organization.
- Put your request in writing. Here’s a template to help you get started (DOCX).