Many individuals need to complete a cost/benefit analysis when considering a conference. We all do it in our head — as we look over the speakers, see where the conference is being held and lastly peruse the cost — which can be expensive. But even if you are convinced you must be there, your management team may want something more. Rather than fighting with them, why not give them what they want? 

Below is a tool you can use to help justify your attendance. Use the parts that make the most sense, and by all means, find out in advance if this seminar is going to be offered in a hybrid or webinar setting. If it is, make certain you justify the reason you need to be there face-to-face

Conference Expenses Worksheet
Description Notes Expense
Conference Registration   $     
Materials Fee This could be the cost of software, books or CDs $     
Travel  Prepare the cost of a flight, train or driving. 
Show time and expense with each option. 
Lodging Show inside and outside the room block. $     
Transportation Airport shuttle, taxi or subway from transportation hub $     
Rental Car This can be expensive. Avoid this, if possible $     
Mileage Reimbursement/Parking For driving option $     
Meals Look at the company's per Diem policy $     
Total Expense   $    

Benefits are harder to quantify that expenses, but with the proper goals and tools they can be quantified. The key is to share with management that expenses are going to accrue in the next 30 to 90 days, while benefits may not actually be materialize for up to a year from now. Setting a realistic expectation will be paramount to the meeting participant's success in obtaining conference approval. 

Conference Benefits Worksheet
Description Notes Value
Networking Face-to-Face  Identify the total number of attendees, exhibitors and speakers that will be there. Set a goal for the total number of people you will network with.  $     
Session content How many sessions will you attend and what will you learn in the process. If professional credit is associated with the content, all the better.  $     
Technology What interactive technology tool rentals will you learn more about?
How will these skills benefit the company? 
Processes What new process will you learn? Is it best practices?  $     
Implementation What can you implement within the next 30 days? 60 days? 90 days? Spell out your plan before or immediately following the conference.  $     
Specific Vendors On the trade show floor, what specific vendors will you visit and what will you be evaluating or learning more about?  $     
Training What industry specific training will you learn? Is it required? How will you be able to do your job better after the training occurs?  $     
Team Building If you are going with multiple individuals from your organization, how will you work better together as a team?  $     
Total Benefit   $     

If the benefits outweigh the expenses, clearly your attendees should participate in your conference! If they do not, then it is your job as the event organizer to change some things on either the expense or benefit side.  

Are you event planning in California? Look no further than AV Event Solutions for all your conference equipment rental needs!