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The costs of attending a conference can be considerable. They include conference registration fees, travel costs, hotel and time away from work. It is likely your managers want some justification for you to attend Cannexus.
Below is a list of suggestions that may help:
- Print the Cannexus preliminary programme and highlight the sessions you plan to attend and how they will benefit your work. Be specific. (i.e. I will learn more about managing social media and it affects clients and hence my work);
- If they apply to you, find out what if any Continuing Education Units/Credits will be granted from associations where you hold a membership for attending the conference sessions;
- Download the sample letter for Cannexus and customize it for your situation;
- If necessary, have a plan for who will cover for you at work while you are at the conference;
- Research the keynote speakers or other presenters and have specific questions lined up relevant to their topics and your work or industry;
- Find out if other colleagues are attending the event to prove it is a must-attend event. Suggest to your manager that networking with these peers can be invaluable;
- Inform your manager that visiting with an exhibitor can be like interviewing a high-priced consultant for free;
- Tweet about the conference speakers, agenda and venue and print-out some of the follows for your manager;
- Have specific follow up objectives and strategies you plan to implement after Cannexus (i.e. following Cannexus, CERIC, ContactPoint/OrientAction social media groups online, or building your LinkedIn connections);
- Have a plan to share what you have learned. (i.e. You will spend 10 minutes at the next staff meeting speaking about new industry trends presented at Cannexus; or write an article for your in-house newsletter, or offer to write an article for an association newsletter. Multiply the company’s investment.);
- Justify the cost of Cannexus by comparing it to other educational courses and offerings. Almost any alternative will prove to be more time-consuming and expensive; and
- Visit the speakers’ websites, read and comment on their blogs and start some conversations before the event.