Attending Conferences for Instructional Designers: Part One – Selecting and Justifying a Conference

EKU Online > News & Updates > Instructional Design & Learning Technology > Attending Conferences for Instructional Designers: Part One – Selecting and Justifying a Conference

Would you like to attend a professional conference? This post offers some brief advice for those new to ID or in their first job role on attending conferences.

Know Your Goals

Has someone asked you to attend a conference, or will you ask for approval to attend? Do you consider attendance at this conference a necessity or a convenience?  What does this conference offer you for the cost of attendance?  I urge you to be frank in your choices and decisions and be prepared to discuss the return on investment attendance offers.

Consider the Cost

Live conference attendance is becoming prohibitively expensive. Many registration fees cost hundreds of dollars, and over $1,000 for a multi-day conference is not unusual. This fee does not cover your hotel, air travel, ground transportation, meals not covered by the conference, and other incidental expenses. Given the current amazing state of streaming video technology, it is  more challenging to convince supervisors to encumber this type of cost. While live attendance can be worthwhile and even desirable, it pays to know exactly why you would like to attend and why this conference is better than many others.

Convince Leadership

Embody Excellence at Work

Being at the top of the list in terms of exceptional performance, congeniality, and teamwork counts. Good managers who have the resources always want to help their employees progress and reward good performance. Employees who look for reasons to say yes on the job will often find their managers saying yes to their conference attendance requests.

Be Accepted to Present at a Conference

I have only been denied the opportunity to attend a conference where I was accepted as a presenter one time in many years of attending, and it was due to timing and budget issues. Presenting at a conference is a great experience and a very attainable goal for any ID professional. An invitation to present is an honor for you and recognition for your organization, an opportunity few managers with the means will pass up.

Explain the ROI and Deliver

Showing convincing evidence of increased knowledge, investigating future trends in a specific area, or networking and informally interviewing colleagues and experts on a given topic can help justify the expense and cost of sending you to a multi-day conference. Demonstrating the return upon your return to the office will help ensure you may attend conferences in the future.

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