Growth doesn’t happen on its own. Whether you’re growing a business or a personal brand, you need to help and learn from others. Build your network. Experience new things. Go out and grab — and offer — opportunities before waiting for them to come to you.
Sales and marketing conferences give you the chance to do all those things under one roof. (Or in our case, with HYPERGROWTH, one room.)
PLUS,we’re giving tickets away at 70% OFF with the code BLOGUNVEIL
But like anything of value that helps you grow, they’re an investment. Even an amazing opportunity like HYPERGROWTH has its share of people on the fence — like our friend Adam here:
— Adam Smith 🔥 (@AdamSmithBiz) July 31, 2018
Well we think it’s worth traveling to, for many reasons. In fact, we don’t think people can afford to miss it.
Do you know what the #1 secret is to getting buy-in from your boss to attend a conference? It’s so simple.
Focus on value, not cost.
Even more, focus on the value to you personally *and* the value you plan to bring back to your org. Both are important.
If you want to learn how to build an indisputable case for going to a conference, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll break it down brick by brick. But first, a little context.
Why is attending a conference so important? Nailing your “why” will set the foundation of your case.
The Top 3 Benefits of Conferences and Seminars
- Networking: Conferences are hands down the best place to network. Where else can you meet so many like-minded professionals at once? And networking is important for two reasons: to learn from others, and to find ways to contribute to (or collaborate with) the community yourself.
- Education: The best conferences are jam-packed with fresh, vetted lessons from people who have been there, won that. Ideally, you’ll come away with at least three or four proven insights you can apply to your life or business right away — at a fraction of the cost of hiring each speaker.
- Fun: Yes, FUN. Good conferences include social time on the agenda to encourage people to connect on a more personal level, and great conferences know how to party.
Its helpful to have a clear idea of why you want to attend. Your boss may not be impressed to hear “everyone else is doing it.” What problem do you want to solve for your organization? What about other team members who might join you?
With your reasons at hand (more on that later) and the benefits top of mind, it’s time to win your manager’s approval.
With the following 3-Step process 👇
- Call out the value.
- Do the math.
- Package, assess, pitch.
Let’s jump right into the first step. We’ll add HYPERGROWTH examples to illustrate how it’s done.
Step #1 Call Out the Value
The idea here is to pick out relevant features of the conference and figure out how you’ll get the most out of them.
Think about all the components that bring an event together. They fall into three main buckets:
- The program. Which sessions align best with your company’s long-term goals and aspirations? Do any of them address a specific business problem you’re experiencing? Do any offer opportunities for personal growth?
- The people. Who on the speaker or vendor list can you namedrop? What expertise or tools can they bring to your world? Any potential to scope out competitors, partners, mentors, or leads?
- The opportunities. Whether training, networking, vendor solutions, sales, or even the event’s location, what opportunities could benefit you or your team now or in the near future?
First, pick a few sessions and people (up to five of each) you think would bring the most benefit to you and your company, noting down any skills you’d learn or questions you’d ask. You can address as many of your objectives as needed, but no need to go into too much detail.
If you wanted to pitch HYPERGROWTH, you’d find everything you need to know about sessions and speakers in 👉 this 👈 list. You could also find attendees on Twitter using #HYPERGROWTH18 to see who’s going and why.
Now for the opportunities. Remember when I recommended identifying reasons for attending? Let’s call them value statements. Here are a couple value statements for HYPERGROWTH as an example:
- “It’s a one day self improvement class. That’s the investment. Grant Cardone and Jocko Willink charge thousands for their sales coaching & workshops. HYPERGROWTH provides this on one stage, for one day — for a FRACTION of that cost.”
- “HYPERGROWTH brings together entrepreneurs and business leaders who have built brands, sparked movements, and found ways to unlock unprecedented growth.”
To add a bit of color to your own value statements, don’t forget to focus on value specific to you and your company. Try to list three before moving on to the next step.
Step #2 Do the Math
You need to know the numbers before you can speak to them.
For most conferences, you’ll need to factor in:
- Main conference registration. PRO TIP: Search [conference name] + promo code to see what discounts are running.
- Pre- and post-conference registration.
- Travel. That includes any flights or cabs to and from the airport, hotel, and conference. If you’re driving, estimate your mileage.
- Parking at the airport, hotel, or conference venue.
- Lodging. PRO TIP: Check with the conference’s organizers to see if they can get special rates with a partner hotel.
- Food. Though most events cover breakfast, lunch, and breaks.
Some of these may not apply to you. Shave those off, add up the rest, then multiply your total by the number of employees attending. Easy-peasy.
Step #3 Package, Assess, Pitch
To recap, here’s what you have so far:
- A list of relevant sessions and speakers.
- Three opportunities (value statements).
- A cost breakdown.
As long as all the benefits you came up with clearly outweigh the costs (no matter whether the ROI is tangible or intangible) your boss is more likely to go all in.
The next question is how best to approach your boss. In person? By email? Your company might have a formal process, but when in doubt, email your pitch with a call for a meeting.
What goes in that pitch? Start with what you collected in steps one and two:
- Introduce the conference and your three reasons for wanting to go.
- Highlight the sessions and speakers and how they align with your company’s goals. Don’t be afraid to mention personal goals, too.
- Be upfront about the cost. Keep the breakdown brief and high-level.
Then seal the deal with a summary of the benefits, the projected results, and how you plan to cover your absence.
Go ahead and copy this template:
Good morning, [Boss Name],
This past weekend I came across [conference name] [date and location]. It looks like the event could add serious value to my role and the company. With your approval, I’d love to attend.
After reviewing the sessions and speakers, I’ve identified a number of opportunities to [summarize your value statements in one or two sentences].
Below are the sessions that look most valuable to [your team’s top project/initiative]:
[List 3-5 sessions/opportunities and a one-sentence benefit for each]
The lineup looks fantastic, too. I’m hoping to network with these people in particular:
[List 2-3 speakers and a one-sentence hype bio. See here for inspiration]
The cost to attend includes registration, travel to and from [location], parking at the airport, [x] nights at [hotel], and [x] meals. After wangling a discount [on tickets or hotel rates, if you indeed wangled them], the final investment comes to [total amount]. Here’s a breakdown:
[List each expense]
It seems that the opportunity to learn from the best in the industry and achieve [expected ROI] makes [conference name] a wise investment. I’d be happy to arrange for [colleague] to step in and cover [your tasks], and upon my return, to report back to you and the team on the insights I take away.
Thank you for your consideration. Can we discuss in the next week?
So there you have it. All your awesome research packaged into a concise but persuasive memo.
We hope by now, like our UK-based friend Adam, you feel like your conference is easy to justify.
It’s official. Tickets, flights, hotels are booked for @drift Hypergrowth in Boston next month. I was convinced. Cannot be more excited! Cheeky little New York three day adventure booked too! #hypergrowth #drift
— Adam Smith 🔥 (@AdamSmithBiz) August 1, 2018
Let us know how your pitch worked out?