Are you itching to attend a conference, but aren’t sure how to approach getting approval from your boss? Perhaps it’s the Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference (HITMC) that you are hoping to go to?
Good news. We can help.
We know as well as you do that there are a number of marketing and PR events that can help augment our industry knowledge. Unfortunately, it’s never as easy as “pick the event and go.” There is that little factor of convincing your boss that the event is worthwhile.
Asking for funds for a personal development activity is a delicate thing, but just remember that it’s all about being persuasive and communicating how the conference will benefit your organization.
Below are some simple steps we’ve put together for you to help justify your request.
Step 1. Familiarize yourself with the conference details.
Before speaking to your boss, make sure you do your research. You will want to familiarize yourself with key information about the conference. Be sure you know:
- How long the conference has been running
- Attendee demographic
- Dates of the conference and the time you will need to be away
- Event format (main session versus breakouts versus networking etc.)
Step 2: Create a list of sessions you’d like to attend.
In your pitch to your boss, be sure to leverage the conference agenda and speakers. Look for sessions and speakers that align with your company’s overall goals and objectives.
Once you’ve done that, make a list of the sessions you would like to attend and a justification for each choice. For example, you could say something like “Attending the Taking Healthcare Social Media to New Heights session aligns with our organization’s goal to increase social conversion rate by 30 percent.”
Step 3: Outline the benefits of attending.
Be prepared to articulate the benefits of attending – both for yourself and for the organization.
Look at the learning objectives for each of the sessions that interest you. Think carefully on what you will take back from that session to your organization. Try to make the benefit as tangible as possible.
For example: “From the Taking Healthcare Social Media to New Heights session I will learn 5 Twitter shortcuts that will help us reduce our ramp-up time. It will also help me craft better social media posts for our upcoming campaign.”
Don’t forget that networking and social events at conferences have value too. You will likely meet peers that you can ask questions of, when you are back in your office.
Step 4: Prepare a formal request letter to your boss.
A well-crafted letter that includes all important information regarding the conference will be key to helping your boss make an informed decision regarding your attendance. In the letter, be sure to include:
- The specific conference and event information including important dates
- A detailed budget that lists any costs that will be incurred while at the conference including admission fees, hotel, meals etc.
- A plan on how you will report your key learning back to the organization
- A promise that your work will be covered while you are gone (include timelines on how you expect to complete the work despite being away)
If you have prepared well and followed these steps, you will leave your boss with a great impression and they will likely treat the opportunity seriously as they consider their decision. Good luck!
Are you hoping to attend the Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference (HITMC) but haven’t yet asked your boss to fund the trip? We’ve put together a justification letter that will help you get the permission you need. DOWNLOAD JUSTIFICATION LETTER.