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The merits of the CPNP Annual Meeting are undeniable. Even so, with most organizations having limited travel and education budgets, it may be necessary to show justification when selling your attendance at CPNP 2018.

Understanding and Quantifying the Benefits of Your Attendance

For your organization to allocate resources, it is beneficial to quantify the value of attending and show what the return on this investment would be to your employer.

Understanding the Benefits

Let’s face it, many benefits from conference attendance are hard to quantify. For example, experts agree that the top benefit of conference attendance is networking value. Where else can you share information with 770+ peers that face the same patient and professional challenges?

When you propose your attendance at CPNP’s Annual Meeting for approval, focus on what you will specifically bring back to the organization as payback for the investment.

Some specific details you’ll need to identify include:

  • Session content. Highlight the sessions that have particular relevance to your organization’s work. Identify tools, processes, and knowledge that you will be equipped with through your attendance.
  • Best practices. Outline which sessions will immediately benefit your group.
  • Training.  Provide an overview of the workshops that will teach you specific skills and/or help your team overcome current or future challenges.

Quantifying the Benefits

Although you might understand the benefits of the conference that interest you, your manager may not. Therefore, to be most effective in justifying the annual meeting, clearly articulate the connection between your organization’s knowledge requirements and the conference program. Do not assume that your manager will automatically make those distinctions.

To support this process, CPNP has created a Benefits Worksheet  to focus on the benefits of attendance and included some tips and sample language. It is recommended that you develop your own worksheet by downloading a blank benefits worksheet and insert what makes sense for your organization, and omit the rest. In addition to benefits, expenses need to be calculated. Use the expense worksheet to factor in all aspects related to attending.

Selling Your Attendance

Now that you have done all the hard work in quantifying the benefits and expenses associated with attending the Annual Meeting, it is time to put the information into a written request. We can help with that too! Download our sample letter for a good starting point in how to communicate all of these benefits to your supervisor.

General Tips

  • Focus on what you will specifically bring back to the organization as return on the investment using the benefits worksheet to craft your proposal.
  • Offer to prepare and deliver a short presentation and Q&A to your colleagues when you return to share what you learned. That way others in your unit will get the benefits of your attendance, too.
  • Share the speaker slide presentations with your colleagues. As an attendee, you have unlimited access to speaker PowerPoint presentations.
  • Highlight that this is a great way to earn up to 19.5 contact hours or more of ACPE credit. 
  • Be ready with a plan that shows who will cover for you while you are attending the conference.
  • Offer to share a room to reduce hotel expenses by finding a roommate via the CPNP email list.

Modified from American Society of Association Executives documents.