Convince Your Boss

How to Justify Attending the STC Summit in Today’s Economy

Here are some suggestions for justifying why your manager or supervisor should send you to the 2015 Summit. Below is a sample memo you might send. And see our executive summary for a printable synopsis of the 2014 Summit and its sessions that you can give to your supervisor. You can also read this article by John Sgammato of the STC New England Chapter that he wrote for the 2014 Summit for his advice on how to make your case to attend!

Click here to download this letter as a Microsoft Word document.

FROM: [your name]
TO: [your supervisor’s name]
RE: Staff Improvement

I understand that our company is cutting back on training costs and we are looking for ways to get the most for the money we spend in every area. There is a cost-effective professional education conference in June that will help [your company] reduce expenses in translation costs, structured authoring, project management of reports and publications, as well as several other areas.

I would like to attend the 2015 Technical Communication Summit in Columbus, OH on 21-24 June, presented by the Society for Technical Communication. The Summit is packed with more than 80 sessions over the three full workdays with topics covering all aspects of technical writing, editing, project management, and publication production. When the full schedule of sessions is released, we can go over the list together to determine which ones will benefit the company most.

With most conferences, the challenge has always been to get to as many of the higher priority sessions as possible. That’s where the Summit is different! STC now includes SUMMIT@aClick in the registration fee. This is an online collection of the conference’s content. It’s like being able to bring the entire content of the conference back to share with the rest of the company. This increases the value of my participation tenfold. Not only does it capture the audio and visual presentations of the speakers, its content can be shared and revisited for a year after the conference.


[List transportation costs, registration fee, cost of meals, and the price per night of the hotel room.]

Summary of Benefits for [your company]:

With the current economic conditions, everyone at [your company] is being asked to do more and control costs wherever possible. This conference is a small investment in empowering me and others involved in [technical communication efforts] to do even more. The sessions will provide us with more knowledge of report production, editing, writing, management concepts, and government contracting. This knowledge will enable us to handle [a particular client or project] with more professionalism and confidence, which will reflect favorably on [your company]. And with SUMMIT@aClick, I will be able to pass on much of this information to coworkers. All of this is in addition to the fact that there are plenty of direct, inexpensive flights in and out of Columbus and overall costs are low.

Thank you for considering my request. If I’m able to attend, I think you and I will both find that this was an extremely worthwhile investment and one that we may consider repeating year after year.

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