As pc/nametag's in-house Word Wizard, Meaghan creates educational content that brings people together and drives meaningful conversations in the events industry.
Attending a conference, workshop, training or seminar is the perfect way to gain new knowledge, meet like-minded professionals, expand your skillset and expose yourself to new perspectives in your field. However, while you may see the benefits of attending an event, getting the “thumbs up” from management may take a bit of convincing.
Your manager needs to know your justifications for attending, plus the costs of travel, lodging, time away from work, and other expenses associated with the event. The next time you find an event you’d like to attend, use the tips within this article to get your boss on board with letting you attend.
What to Include in Your Conference Attendance Justification Letter ✍️
1. What is the event and when it is being held?
An event justification letter should always start with a brief overview of the event. This way, you’ll give your manager a solid understanding of what the event is and why it appeals to you. Keep things simple by copy and pasting a description of the event from their website or social media pages.
Don’t forget to note the location, dates, and attendance options (I.e. will you attend in-person or virtually?). If your event has a great reputation, let them know! Communicate the importance of this conference.
- TIP: If you know of any prominent organizations that plan to attend the conference, make a note of this in your letter. This is a great way to build credibility, especially if your manager is familiar with the brands.
2. How will attending the event benefit you and the organization?
While events are lots of fun, remember to clearly articulate how attending will be highly beneficial to both you and your organization. Your manager will want to know that the organization’s investment in your attendance will pay off in a variety of ways.
For instance, how will attending the event help you find solutions to problems your organization faces? Place emphasis on knowledge transfer and problem-solving in your letter. The ideas you learn can benefit your whole department, if not your entire organization. Your participation in the event is valuable, so make it clear that you hope to learn new research, cutting-edge techniques, and insight from thought leaders.
3. Can you earn continuing education (CE) credits for attending?
For many employees, seeking continuing education (CE) credits or continuing education units (CEU) is a necessary part of remaining competitive in your field of work. Luckily, continuing education and training can be a lot of fun, especially if you can receive them by attending a conference or seminar.
If the conference you have your eyes on offers CEU credits for attending, make this known to your employer. This benefit can greatly improve your chances of getting funding to sign-up for your event.
4. Does the conference offer professional networking opportunities?
Whether your goal is to forge new business relationships or develop your personal career, events are a great place to make interpersonal connections with people in your industry. In your letter, highlight that attending the event could help you obtain new clients, source better vendors, gain new perspectives or form successful partnerships with other brands through business networking.
Conferences are the perfect place to build your professional network, attend networking events and hand out business cards. Let your employer know that you intend to share your perspectives and return with new ones, which you can share with the rest of the team once you return.
Jessica O'Dell, Tradeshow and Sponsorship Manager at pc/nametag
5. Will the event help you explore your field or areas of interest?
Exploring your career interests is important. This is how you discover your personal talents and ensure that your skills align with your values and preferences. Attending industry-related workshops or conferences can help you gain an understanding of what you enjoy most about your field.
Your letter should mention that attending this event will expose you to new disciplines and research within your industry. This information will improve your professional development and help you reach your career goals. While most conferences revolve around a single topic, chances are that you’ll find the perfect opportunity to explore different sub-fields you may not have known about before.
6. What expenses are associated with attending the conference?
The cost of registration is only one part of the overall expense to attend a conference. Be upfront and concise with how much it will cost for you to go to your event, including the cost of food, lodging, airfare, gas mileage, and other expenses.
Remember to mention any expenses that are included in the cost of your event registration in your letter. For instance, make a note if meals or any other perks are covered with your ticket purchase.
Did you know?
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says any "ordinary and necessary expenses" for attending business-related meetings and conferences are tax-deductible if they directly relate to your business, job, or profession. While limitations do exist, allowable expenses typically include travel, lodging, meals and associated out-of-pocket costs.
Remember to Emphasize the ROI of Attending the Event 📈
We know that convincing your boss to let you attend an event may seem nerve-wracking, but it’s easier than you may think. Our greatest advice is to focus on event ROI and how attending will yield a great return for your organization.
Ways to demonstrate the value of your attendance:
- Emphasize that the experience will help you expand your skillset and grow as a professional.
- Mention how the relationships you’ll form could lead to new clients or partnerships.
- Note how the event will help you promote the company’s mission and create brand awareness.
- Offer to prepare a presentation or write-up on what you learned to share with colleagues.
With a little persuasive writing, you’ll be on your way towards convincing your manager of the value and rewards you’ll gain from attending your seminar.
Download Your Free Conference Justification Letter Template ✉️
If you’re looking for help writing an attendee justification letter, we are here to help. Event planning professionals and attendees alike can use the following letter lay-out to improve their chances of attending (or creating) a successful event that draws a wide variety of audiences. For event planners, dispersing this template can be an integral part of your event marketing plan. Click the image below to get your free copy today.