Passionate about Cannexus, but not sure how to convince your manager to let you attend?

We all know that conferences can be an important way to learn new skills and strategies and to make new connections. But most of us need the approval of our boss to go. Convincing any manager to let you attend a conference is about communicating how the conference will help you do your job better, advance your organizational mission, and help you solve a problem. Given that the costs of attending a conference can be considerable (although virtual is a cost-effective option without travel, hotel or as much time away from work) your manager will still want you to make your case.

Below is a list of suggestions that may help:

  • Review the Cannexus schedule and highlight the sessions you plan to attend and how they will benefit your work. Be specific. (e.g. I will learn new approaches to supporting neurodiverse clients or I will learn how to apply AI to enhance my productivity);
  • If they apply to you, find out what if any Continuing Education Units/Credits will be granted from associations where you hold a membership for attending the conference sessions;
  • Download the sample letter (*docx) to request attending Cannexus and customize it for your situation;
  • If necessary, have a plan for who will cover for you at work while you are at the conference;
  • Research the keynote speakers or other presenters and have specific questions lined up relevant to their topics and your work;
  • Find out if other colleagues are attending the conference to demonstrate it is a must-attend event. Suggest to your manager that networking – whether virtual or in-person – with these peers can be invaluable;
  • Inform your manager that visiting with an exhibitor can be like interviewing a costly consultant for free;
  • Post on social media such as LinkedIn about the conference speakers, agenda or the overall experience you anticipate, and then share some what others are saying about Cannexus with your manager;
  • Have specific follow-up objectives and strategies you plan to implement after Cannexus (e.g. creating a strategy to engage faculty career champions or updating the content of your resume workshop);
  • Have a plan to share what you have learned. (e.g. You will spend 20 minutes at the next staff meeting speaking about new trends presented at Cannexus; or write an article for your in-house newsletter or an association newsletter. Multiply the company’s investment.);
  • Justify the cost of Cannexus by comparing it to other educational courses and offerings. Many alternatives will prove to be more time-consuming and expensive; and
  • Highlight the value to be derived from this year’s hybrid Cannexus including access to all of the virtual session recordings for three months