Thank you for your interest in attending the 2020 AIChE Virtual Annual Meeting!
Providing a justification to management is a key part of securing your attendance at the Meeting -- and it may be even more important now that the Meeting is virtual. We have put together a few resources to aid in your business justification and make sure that you are maximizing your time and money.
FAST TRACK YOUR CAREER DEVELOPMENT
Use the AIChE Annual Meeting as a unique training and career development opportunity. At the Annual Meeting, you can learn about the latest technological advances, meet with exhibitors, gather industry contacts, and network with people across a wide range of disciplines. In just one week you can expand your knowledge and network to become a better employee and a better engineer. And now, it's even easier to join from the comfort of your own home!
Quantifying the Benefits
It's important to show your supervisor why your attendance will benefit not just you, but your entire team. Here are a few considerations to make sure that you are capturing all of the benefits that the Annual Meeting has to offer.
- Focus specifically on bringing back key take-aways for your organization. What new skills, techniques, or approaches will you bring back?
- Offer to deliver a short presentation or written report for your colleagues to share what you've learned and multiply the benefits of attendance.
- Identify specific session content. What sessions have particular relevance to your organization’s work? Focus on what content you can use in your work, and how you plan to use it.
- Seek out sessions and opportunities geared toward leadership skills development. Building these skills will offer long-term benefits for you and your organization.
- Be strategic about networking. Will there be speakers, exhibitors, or potential partners in attendance who can help advance your organization’s goals?
EVEN MORE BENEFITS -- wHAT ARE THE UPSIDES NOW THAT IT'S VIRTUAL?
There are many advantages of attending the Annual Meeting virtually, here are just a few of the upsides you can reference!
- A virtual Meeting allows for a more flexible schedule throughout the conference week, allowing you to drop in and out as needed.
- In case you miss a session, presentations will be recorded, allowing you to access the recordings for approximately one month after the event.
- Virtual networking can be fun and easier for some than networking in person. Do you sometimes feel a bit socially awkward at large in-person networking events? At a virtual conference, you can get to know people by chat.
- The Meeting will still be highly interactive with live Q&A sessions and networking rooms where you'll meet many attendees and exhibitors in a short time.
- Get educated, network, and stay safe & healthy at the same time.
- And finally - save on travel expenses and time out of the office, while still getting many of the same benefits as an in-person Meeting.
Present a Justification Letter to Your Supervisor
To help explain to your supervisor the benefits of attending the Annual Meeting, you can use this sample letter (.doc) to demonstrate how your attendance can bring value back to your team and boost efforts to accomplish your organiziation's goals. Are you presenting your work or serving as a session chair or in another leadership capacity at the Meeting? If so, make sure to highlight this important contribution to your supervisor.
Calculate Projected Expenses
Before you can justify the expenses of attending, you'll need to calculate what they may be. Use this expense template (pdf) to help estimate the cost of attending the Meeting. As a virtual event, many costs traditionally associated with a virtual event (such as airfare, food, or lodging) are no longer a consideration- saving your organization money while offering all of the same benefits as an in-person event.
Follow these tips to help you maximize your time and money:
- Register early to access the lowest conference rates. Plus, if you're an AIChE member you can take adavantage of discounted rates.
Once registered, access the platform a few days early to get familiar and explore all of the possibilities
Make sure to put your best foot forward with a polished profile
- Make a checklist of the technical sessions that you want to attend or exhibitors you want to meet. The app is a great resource to help organize your time!