Justify Your Attendance
If you're like many people who attend this important conference every year, you rely on your company to cover the expenses of attending and you need a stamp of approval before funding is released to enable you to attend.
Use this Sample Budget Worksheet to illustrate the value of attending.
What's the best strategy for acquiring funding approval? The tips and ideas provided here are designed to help you make a strong and effective case for attending the 2016 BOMA International Annual Conference & Expo in Washington, DC. Use any or all of them to suit your unique situation.
1. EMPHASIZE THE BENEFITS OF ATTENDING.
Talk to your supervisor about how your organization can profit from the new ideas, information, connections and innovations you'll acquire as a result of attending. Here are some key points:
- "I can find new ways to save the company money." The new strategies, best practices and innovative solutions available here will help increase operational performance, reduce costs and boost NOI—potentially offsetting the costs of attending.
- "This is the best way to compare and evaluate vendors." If you're in the market for a specific product or service, the Expo is an unbeatable one-stop resource that enables you to source new suppliers, talk directly to top manufacturers, work all your options and make the smartest buying decisions—all in one place.
- "The educational opportunities are the best in the business." The insights you'll gain, information you acquire and expert advice you get can be put to use in your own buildings to help heighten asset-performance, maximize efficiencies and increase profitability.
- "I can learn all about the latest innovations we need to stay competitive and profitable." As the commercial real estate industry's premier event, the BOMA International Conference & Expo is a showcase of all the newest technology solutions, leading-edge products and innovative service offerings. No need to look elsewhere for the energy-saving, cost-cutting ideas that will keep your company on top of its game.
- "We can solidify our relationship with the companies who are already doing business with us." By getting to know your suppliers better, you can build collaborative partnerships that result in enhanced service, more responsive solutions—and bigger savings.
- "What I gain from three days here would take months to acquire any other way." Piecing together an experience that's equivalent to the BOMA International Conference & Expo would be almost impossible—and would keep you out of the office much longer and cost much more than this one quick trip to Washington, DC.
- "Our entire team will benefit." Is your expertise different from your colleagues? Are there overlapping sessions and events that you can tag-team? BOMA education and networking opportunities benefit professionals at all levels, and can provide an excellent opportunity to advance your company's performance across the board.
- "I need to learn the ropes." If you're new to the industry, this event is the best way for you to make connections that can help you be more effective in your position.
- "Our competitors will be there." By joining them, you'll stay abreast of the industry, learn more from your peers and maintain a level playing field.
2. DEMONSTRATE HOW YOU INTEND TO SPEND YOUR TIME.
Put your plan on paper to show your supervisor that your trip to the BOMA International Conference & Expo will be productive:
- Use the Schedule of Events to build an agenda that includes seminars, networking functions and time to work the Expo floor.
- Study the Conference Sessions and choose the ones that apply to your position, as well as your company's specific objectives. Conference sessions will be announced in February. Check back then for a full list of offerings.
- If you purchase products and services for your company, check our the Exhibitor List for suppliers that offer what you need. Include the vendors you'd like to visit in the written plan that you show your supervisor.
3. CRUNCH THE NUMBERS TO ILLUSTRATE THE VALUE.
Your boss will want to know, not just what it costs to send you to the Conference, but what it's worth. Use the sample budget worksheet to break it down, and be sure to emphasize the $100 early-bird registration discount. Other important considerations:
- Your registration expenses will depend on your goals. Do they require that you attend the entire conference, or will a single day of sessions meet your objectives? Or perhaps attending the Expo is enough. Click here to see your registration options.
- Is money the make-or-break issue? If so, see if you can quantify the value of certain aspects of attending. For instance, can you attach a dollar estimate to the savings you negotiate on the Expo floor? How about the cost-cutting techniques you learn in the education sessions?
4. FOLLOW UP AFTER THE CONFERENCE
Assure your supervisor that you will give a full report on your conference activities upon your return. Your report should include:
- The sessions you attended, along with your evaluation of each.
- The vendors you visited.
- The products and services you learned about.
- The savings you realized by taking advantage of Expo discounts.
- News and information that you collected through networking, plus specific ideas and strategies you learned at the conference that will help your company save money and run a better, more profitable business.
We hope these ideas will be effective for you in getting your boss to say "yes" to the 2016 BOMA International Annual Conference & Expo. See you in Washington, DC in June!
(If you have additional ideas that you can share to help others make the case for the Conference, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org)