Business case for attending a conference

I’ve been working with a fantastic website called Practically Perfect PA helping them launch and run a few events. As well as learning about a new profession (who knew assistants did SO MUCH for their executives?) I’ve loved that I have been able to learn a bit about events from the editor of the website. Nicky was a PA for a long while before setting up and running the blog and as a PA she’s organised a lot of events.

The business case for attending a conference

While tailoring the Gallus Events document pack for the first Assist Conference she asked me “Do you have a business case that attendees can use to help their boss / HR department sign off their attendance at the conference?” I answered that not only did I not have one in the document pack I had actually never used one!

Nicky said she’d put one together to see what I thought. I read it and it was lesson learned. It is now a Gallus Events staple within our document pack.

Reading it over a few times I thought how many more attendees could have attended the 800 or so events I’d organised had I took the time to create a business case document for potential attendees? 10, 100, 1000!

The case for the business case

Nicky knows that it is especially hard for PAs to get away from the office and this was her motivation when suggesting the need for the business case. But we all know that it is hard for anyone these days to take the time to attend an event so this is a cross sector and cross discipline issue: a business case for attending a conference is useful for every business event.

It’s a very simply document “Business Case” (this is the actual business case Nicky wrote for her Assist Conference 2016). Put simply every business event should have one.

Back to basics

We do take for granted that our attendees will be aware of our event and once they know about the event it will be an easy step to get them to attend. We are confident that all of our smart marketing will work its magic……but will it?

This is brilliant back to basic stuff and gets to the heart of one of the biggest issues affecting our events: hit is hard to persuade busy people to get away from the office. Event Planners should do all we can to help.

Attendees at one of the PPPA Events no doubt helped by the Business Case document

Attendees at one of the PPPA Events no doubt helped by the Business Case document

Why the case is so strong

The business case I think does three very important things:

  • It speaks directly to the attendee and it says – you are important and we really want you to come. It also lists exactly what is in it for them.
  • It is a very useful tool to place in front of the person who signs off your time out of the office. It shows your employer that there is value in that time away from the office and it demonstrates that as an employee you understand that you will be “working” while at the event.
  • It really helped me – as the organiser – focus on the value of the conference. We looked through the programme and though “how will this make our attendees better in their role?”

If you use Nicky’s business case as a template it shouldn’t take you more than 20 minutes to put one together for your next event. As an organiser you can make the business case for any business event you attend so it’s not just for conferences.

Once you’ve used a business case for attending an event you will consider it one of the most important documents you create for your event as well as helping you focus on the value of the event it really will put bums on seats.

The business case was for the Assist Conference which will be held in London on the 26th February and is one of the template documents that Gallus Events now supply when we support organisations to run their events.

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