How Important is a Conference?

The PASS Virtual Summit is coming up next month, and Andy has a few thoughts on how to get your employer to send you to the virtual conference. As someone that has been through this many times, Andy has good advice, and his thoughts are the types of things I’ve done in the past at various jobs I’ve had. Having a good reason why was important before I started speaking.

Once I started speaking, I often made a deal with my boss that I’d cover some parts of the event and they’d cover others. We both made a shared investment in my career, which made sense to me. I often used Andy’s line, which is what I was thinking about today.

This is important to me.

That’s a good phrase to use. Usually I do a good amount of self learning, I ask lots of questions, scan message boards, and I teach myself various things. However, a conference is a chance to help me think. I get to consider new technologies, I get to talk with others about how they solve problems, or more often, what problems new technologies can cause me. I get the chance to grow in a wider way than I can in the office.

That’s important to me, and it’s been valuable to my employers. I think that’s the case for some conference attendees, but I do think that some drive and desire are important if you get more out of a conference than a couple days off. Let your boss know you have that drive, and show it off. Remind them of the things you do to invest in yourself.

Can you put into words why a conference is important to you? Why it’s valuable for you personally, what you get, and does the chance to go to an event make you more likely to value your current position? If so, then maybe ask to go. There are some valuable packages to help you learn. If not, that’s fine, but maybe ask yourself why not. What don’t you get out of the Summit, or any other conference.

Maybe the main thing to think about today is what is important to you when it comes to benefits and requests of your employer?

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