We send people to events or conferences for 2 reasons:
- as part of a delegation to that event, with explicit goals we want to achieve and people we want to meet (strong, impactful presence)
- for personal development - to learn more about an area, to deepen their skills, expertise and network in that area
We have different decision making criteria for these 2 types of event attendance.
When considering whether to attend an event, you must answer:
How does sending a delegation to an event further our mission and support the current priorities?
It might help to explain:
- the goals the organization is trying to achieve by attending the event, including how you’ll measure if the goals were met
- which and how many people to send to make sure the goals are met
- any communication opportunities that could be an enabler for the mission
You should also consider:
- the costs (for example, cost of missing the event, opportunity cost of staff being at the event, and financial cost of the travel, logistics and any ticket).
The goals, delegation size and costs can be indicative rather than precise.
Another reason for attending events is for staff members to learn new things and extend their skill sets. Choosing events to attend should be personalized for the staff member’s role and career ambitions.
Personal development trajectories should be discussed in your 1-1s with your manager. This will enable both you and your manager to easily spot opportunities you might be interested in.
Get your manager’s support for your proposal to attend a personal development event before you email the CEO.
How to get approval for attending an event
A staff member that wants to propose an event to attend should:
- decide which type of event it is
- email a proposal for the CEO to make a decision on (including your analysis)
If the CEO approves, follow the event attendance guidance.