Tips to Justify Attendance at SLAS2016

With travel and training budgets scarce and often difficult to justify, making a case to management to attend an event like SLAS2016 can be a challenge in most organizations. Rather than just submitting a request, consider making your case by adding context and explaining the extent of benefits — for both you and your organization — you will receive by participating. Be sure to focus first on the benefits and ROI, rather than the cost.

Keep your employer's priorities in focus, and do not presume that your employer will automatically recognize what appears to you as intrinsic value. Be as specific as possible, and give examples.

Here are some helpful tips to consider when making your business case.

Consider what matters to your employer:

Consider what matters to you:

Examples of Appropriate Rationales

Examples of Inappropriate or Incomplete Rationales

Sample Request Memo

From January 23-27, more than 5,000 laboratory scientists and technologists will convene in San Diego, CA, for SLAS2016. I have carefully evaluated the conference agenda as well as the list exhibiting companies, and feel that if given the opportunity to attend, I can accomplish a great deal that will benefit our organization.

I believe these presentations would be of particular interest and value to our company and priorities:

[Insert list of presentations here, and note how each may relate to a current or upcoming project at your organization. Representative Special Sessions appear below; the complete program will be published by early October 2015]:

Personal contact with these exhibitors would allow hands-on access to their latest technology and one-on-one discussions with the product developers.

[Insert your list of exhibitors here, and note why contact with each may be of interest. The list of current exhibitors can be seen here.]

Including applicable registration discounts and travel assistance programs from SLAS, I estimate the total cost for participation to be [$ amount]. This is based on round-trip coach airfare, [#] hotel nights, transportation to and from airports, conference registration, and a [$ amount] per diem for [#] days.

I am highly motivated by this opportunity, and hope you will agree that it promises a meaningful return on our investment. I will follow up with you next week to further discuss the possibility of my participation at SLAS2016.

In the meantime, more details are available at SLAS2016. Thank you for considering this request.