No matter how excited you may be to attend the SHRM Conference, you still have to convince your boss to let you go. Getting approval to attend the conference is a two-part endeavor. First you will need to demonstrate the benefits of the conference to your organization. Next you’ll need to persuade your boss that it’s worth the investment of time and money. It also never hurts to prove that you’re the right person to go!
Step 1: Review the program
Determine which sessions you want to attend and justify this selection to your boss. Look at the sessions. Craft a curriculum that will provide you and your organization with the information you need. Select the sessions that are most beneficial to you and your company. When explaining the selection to your boss, be specific. Is your organization struggling with employee engagement? Show your supervisor 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 your development (and then save some money)
Say it like it is, the better you are informed on all things HR, the better it is for your organization! The pace of legislation, trends, and even social media can be a real landmine for your organization- from recruiting to compliance to strategic planning. It’s your job to help reduce risk for your company. Stay on top of these issues (and many, many more) by attending the Conference and getting the resources you and your organization need. Boss still not convinced? Your boss may be worried about the cost or even your time out of the office, but remind her it’s worth it in the long run. And finally, let her know you’ve figure out a way to make it as cost-effective as possible. By registering early you will lock in savings before rates increase.
Step 3: Review the exhibitor list
You can visit the Exposition Hall and be among the first to learn about the latest HR business solutions. You will have the opportunity to discover answers to on-the-job challenges and find the tools your organization has been looking for; recruiting software, a rewards program, or wellness strategies, and more. Talk about the business opportunities that could develop from establishing connections with industry professionals and partners – and maybe remind your boss once again that you’ll be provided lunch in the Exposition!
Step 4: Bring it all home
Set the stage for next year. Don’t leave what you learn in the convention center – share your new knowledge. Let your boss know that you will commit to a post-conference briefing for staff. This can include senior management or your team, where you’ll highlight what you’ve learned from the conference. Be sure to tie your learnings to your organization’s strategic plan and goals. It’s important to show your boss that the conference wasn’t just good in theory. You received real, actionable solutions that you can implement for your company immediately.