You’re convinced that you want to attend the 2020 SIOPSA virtual conference, and we really want you there; now it’s time to convince your boss! Most managers will be concerned about the return on investment. Cost to attend a conference includes more than just registration. You will have to factor in time away from work. All things considered, your manager will want to hear deliberate reasons for your attendance. Convincing your manager to let you attend the SIOPSA conference is all about being persuasive and communicating how the conference will benefit your organization.


Here are some simple steps you can take to help you prepare your request:


Step 1: Familiarize yourself with the agenda and speakers.

Before you discuss the conference with your boss, you’ll want to ensure you’ve explored the conference agenda and speakers thoroughly. Familiarize yourself with all the options available and start thinking about which sessions align best with your organization’s objectives and aspirations. Select the ones that are most beneficial to you, your team and company and when explaining the selection to your boss, be specific.  Is your organization struggling with employee engagement?  Show your manager the sessions that cover talent management and engagement tactics.  Do you need to advance your leadership and communication skills?  We have a large number of topics on this from speakers who are trusted and recognized for their expertise.  If your organization has a challenge, there are definitely sessions that will provide you with a solution.


Step 2: Stress the value of investing in your development

The more knowledgeable you are, the better it is for your organization. If you are not leading your organisation through the innovation revolution from a people management point of view, your organisation is in trouble. Stay on top of the latest people management issues by attending the 2020 SIOPSA Virtual Conference and getting the resources you and your organization need.  Your boss may be worried about the cost or even your time out of the office, but remind him/her it's worth it in the long run.  


Step 3: Outline your top three reasons for attending.

You will want to explain to your boss as succinctly as possible why the conference is unique and why it is worth attending.


Step 4: Send a formal request letter to your boss (if required).

A good request letter contains all the necessary information your boss needs to make an informed decision:


  • You should be upfront in your introduction and state your top three reasons for attending.

  • You should articulate how the event will benefit you, your organisation, and any relevant initiatives.

  • Consider including a few sessions you’d like to attend and a list of 5 speakers you’d like to network with.

  • You should also include an estimated cost breakdown. 


Customize this letter to help your manager understand why the SIOPSA conference is one of the most cost-effective and valuable conferences for you.



Step 5: Review the exhibitor list

The virtual exhibitor hall will host vendors showcasing a wide-range of innovative HR-related products and services that help meet your needs.  You can visit the virtual expo and be among the first to learn about the latest people management solutions. Consider the business opportunities that could develop from establishing connections with industry professionals and partners.



Step 6: Bring it all home

We guarantee that the learning you get at the conference will be excellent and thought-provoking. So don't leave it at the conference - share your results!  Let your boss know that you will commit to a post-conference briefing for staff, senior management or your team, where you’ll highlight what you’ve learned from the conference.   Tie your learnings to your organisation's long-term and short-term goals or strategic plan - it's important to show your boss that the conference wasn't just good in theory but that it gave you real, actionable solutions that you can implement for your organization.