These days it’s harder for folks to justify attending conferences. Here are a few suggestions that might help towards making the case. As soon as you get the go-ahead, be sure to register.
- This is one-of-a-kind education experience. With education sessions in dedicated breakout tracks for Application Development, Enterprise Mobility and Enterprise Integration you have access to more Magic education than in any other setting. Be sure to send at least one person from your organization for training in each track.
- You are an asset to your company. All assets require maintenance and enhancements. If instead of being a person, you were a piece of machinery, part of the corporate budget would go towards maintaining and upgrading you. You are an asset to the company. They should be investing the same percentage of budget towards maintaining and upgrading your skills as an IT manager or developer as they do for tangible corporate assets.
- Offer to train others in what you learned when you return. You can pitch your trip to a conference as a way to bring back skills and knowledge to the rest of the organization. If you have any experience in training or teaching, you can use that as your justification to attend instead of other co-workers. Get extra copies of the tutorial notes from other sessions.
- Trip report. Arguably one form of teaching others, the trip report is a write up of the sessions you attended, written for other folks in your group. The best trip reports make it easy for folks to dig up the right reference, or trigger people to come ask you questions. There’s rarely much value in 10 page trip report documents: no one reads them. Instead, a 2 or 3 page summary, with URLs and pointers to stuff for specific questions gets much more mileage.
- Connect the value of the conference to business goals. If ease of use or customer satisfaction are company or division goals, sending folks to conferences on those subjects will help pull in more expertise and knowledge towards helping the business. This argument puts less of the focus on your professional goals, and more on the company.
- Networking. One of the reasons to send people to conferences is to network with other businesses involved with Magic technology. The Magic Software Users Conference networking opportunities are unbeatable; you are attending sessions broken down into specific tracks for the products you use and therefore are surrounded by individuals of great value to your network. Networking can aid in business development, problem solving, recruiting and innumerable other ways.
- Professional development. If you have career discussions with you manager, tie your career goals and future development to specific kinds of training or growth opportunities that you need. This year at the Magic Software Users Conference, we have an entire professional development track of education that ties into your career directly. While this year’s session schedule is established, you can still volunteer to contribute to a session presentation on the agenda.