How do you convince your boss that attending the STC Summit is a smart investment? Build a business case that connects your organization’s needs with the Summit program.
Where to Start
If you’ve never written a business case, start by reading the Intercom magazine article How to Build a Business Case by Jack Molisani and Bonni Graham (in PDF format).
Next, list all the challenges you encounter in your job and how those situations cost your company time and money.
Then review the conference Schedule and highlight the sessions and workshops you think will address those challenges.
Build Your Business Case
To write the business case, use a detailed template or a simple one. Show how the sessions you want to attend will help your organization. (Remember to say what’s in for the organization, not what’s in it for you.)
Have you been working long hours? Back-to-back deadlines? Due any comp time? Mention to your boss that you have been contributing far above-and-beyond a normal 40-hour work week, and that attending the conference will not only result in the cost savings you outlined in the first part of your business case, but it will also pay back some of that comp time you have accrued.
Here are a few additional examples of the benefits of the STC Summit:
- Education sessions on content design and delivery; tools and technologies; and management and career development.
- Invited sessions by industry leaders.
- Exhibit Hall — information about tools and services that could improve systems and processes, and the opportunity to meet vendors of the ones we currently use.
- Networking opportunities with colleagues and vendors who can be future resources on technologies and processes.
Use the Convince Your Boss Template
Do you need help justifying why your manager or supervisor should send you to the Summit? Try sending the sample letter below! You might also want to peruse this website with your supervisor to give him/her a better idea of what the Summit is all about.
FROM: [your name]
TO: [your supervisor’s name]
RE: Professional Development Opportunity
I would like to attend the Technical Communication Summit, from 17-19 May, presented by the Society for Technical Communication. The Summit is packed with educational sessions over three days with topics covering all aspects of technical writing, editing, project management, and publication production. The Summit will not only benefit me as an employee, but will also provide me with tangible takeaways for our entire team. [When/Now that] the full schedule of sessions is released, we can go over the list together to determine which ones will benefit the company most.
- Registration: [fill in the amount based on dates and your membership status]
- Hotel: [List estimated cost].
- Travel: [Estimated from (your location)]
- Meals: Refer to GSA Per Diem Rates for estimated meal costs
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 tools training. This knowledge will enable us to handle [a particular client or project] with more professionalism and confidence, which will reflect favorably on [your company].
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.