You know the benefits of professional development; it strengthens your knowledge and performance for your current job and makes you more marketable for future promotions (and positions). You’re ready for to attend a conference, but the trick is convincing your employer to share the same enthusiasm.
Getting sign-off for an expense like attending Content Marketing Conference can be a challenge. Maybe your boss struggles to see the ROI, worries your absence isn’t worth the trade-off, can’t find the budget, or expects professional education to be on your “own” time.
But making your case to attend Content Marketing Conference doesn’t need to be an uphill battle. By presenting a well thought out case, you can easily convince your boss to send you to CMC.
Here are three simple steps to convince your boss to send you to Content Marketing Conference.
1. Choose the Right Conference
Your boss is responsible for the bottom line. If employee development isn’t already a part of your marketing budget you will need to make a strong case for its return on your employer’s investment (ROI).
Choosing the right conference with the highest ROI is key to getting approval. There are literally over 100 events in the digital marketing space, but they do not all provide the same value. Content Marketing Conference is a premier event to learn actionable content marketing tactics you can put to work right away – all from top industry experts in an intimate learning environment.
Here are several specific benefits to convince your boss Content Marketing Conference is the right event to maximize the return on their investment in you.
10-to-1 Attendee-to-Speaker Ratio
CMC is one of the only digital marketing conferences that intentionally limits the number of attendees. Why? Because an attendee-to-speaker ratio of 10-to-1 means you get individual access to industry experts in a more meaningful way. We cap the number of attendees so you will never wait in line for a session only be turned away because the room filled up.
Speaker-led topic tables over lunch pave the way for candid discussions and educational opportunities that might not appear on an official schedule. Adrian Segar of Conferences That Work recommends these impromptu chats and roundtables as must-haves for a successful conference experience.
This unprecedented access to influencers and experts means you won’t leave before getting all your content marketing questions answered.
Practical, Actionable Content Marketing Tactics
An agenda full of grand speeches about the future of marketing or industry trends (like those you see at larger events) may yield interesting, even inspiring, information. But when you’re trying to convince your boss to send you to a conference they will want a quantifiable return on their investment. This means you need to attend an event like CMC that provides tactics you can put to work the next day. Attending an event known for tactical and actionable advice ensures your employer won’t wait long for a return.
Multi-Track, Multi-Day Agenda
While there are a number of events that feature a handful of solid speakers over a single day, a multi-track, multi-day event means more choice for you. When you’re spending good money to attend a conference it hurts to waste your time and money on a session that doesn’t directly apply to you. At CMC you get to select from three tracks over two days the sessions with the most applicable subject matter.
At single day events it can also be difficult to build strong networking relationships when there’s no space to “come up for air” between sessions.
Content Marketing Conference also offers a day of in-depth workshops. These workshops give you the chance to dig deep into the most important aspects of content marketing – side-by-side with your fellow marketers. Hands-on training, group work, and even a content marketing certification enable you to learn tools and tactics most critical your day-to-day. Workshop attendees can select two of four workshops that are most applicable to them
While you researched conferences with scrutiny, your boss might not be as thorough. Do yourself a favor and highlight the professional nature of Content Marketing Conference with features such as keynotes, book signings and frequently updated, well-designed media.
2. Invite Your Boss to Join You
While you’re trying to convince your boss to send you to Content Marketing Conference, don’t approach the discussion looking for an immediate red light/green light response. Your decision-maker should be invited into the planning process. Don’t be afraid to invite them to join you at the conference as a team-building experience, or to work with you on selecting the sessions that provide the most valuable knowledge to bring back to your team.
Be sure to offer to bring back materials – books, handouts, session recording, slide decks – and keep a running debriefing of your learnings to share with coworkers. Ask your boss candidly to name the areas of the business that need work, and offer to attend sessions that can address those specific challenges.
In general, it’s best to discuss your attendance not as an individual excursion, but as an experience that invites your employer’s eyes, ears, and mind along for the ride.
If you experience some resistance because your boss associates locations like Las Vegas with play rather than work, offer to build in accountability with end-of-day reports. If your company uses social media, offer to “take over” the accounts for the day and post customer-positive insights to promote visibility and discussion among followers. You can even offer to live blog sessions creating valuable and timely content for your website.
If you make work responsibilities an active part of your attendance, especially at your own insistence, it will make it much easier to frame Content Marketing Conference as the learning experience it truly is.
3. Start Now
If you’ve never breathed a word about professional development in the workplace and suddenly try to convince your boss to send you to a conference, you’re bound to get pushback. Before you even suggest attending, it’s important to do your research on the value of professional development, attending industry events, and networking then openly share this research with your boss.
Research your company’s current position in the competitive marketplace, as well as an achievable short-term goal. Jeremy Goldman of Inc. recommends that you channel that overall goal into a focus for your attendance, and make detailed cause-and-effect planning to offer to your employer. The more prepared when you sit at the proverbial negotiation table, the easier the discussion.
In addition to giving you more time to talk down potential problems, starting early gives you more time to book travel and hotel arrangements – saving your employer money.
Content Marketing Conference is happening May 17-19, 2016 in Las Vegas at the Rio All-Suite Hotel – a destination easily reached by inexpensive flights and a venue known for being friendly to corporate budgets. With an impressive roster of superstar industry speakers and a solid history of valuable, actionable content, it shouldn’t be hard to convince your boss that sending you to Content Marketing Conference is an investment they can’t afford to miss.