With Clean Currents 2023 coming up in Cincinnati, Ohio, (October 10-13), the conference + tradeshow is calling, but have you figured out how you’re getting there? With ample opportunity to learn how to innovate and forge valuable connections with other waterpower industry professionals, attendees of Clean Currents develop strategies to better tackle the challenges and opportunities facing their organizations.
While Clean Currents has bountiful benefits, expressing the importance of the event to your Board or supervisor can present an obstacle; therefore, NHA has put together some resources as a way of guiding potential attendees through the process of justifying attendance at Clean Currents this October.
Check out these general tips, and then read-on for more detailed information on how to sell the benefits of attending Clean Currents.
- Focus on what you’ll bring back to your organization as a return for the investment.
- Offer to prepare and deliver a short presentation to your colleagues as a way of sharing what you learned at Clean Currents, allowing others in your unit to benefit from your attendance.
- Share the agenda and speaker handouts with your colleagues. As an attendee, you have access to materials posted by speakers at the conclusion of the event.
- If you are working to obtain or maintain your professional engineer (PE) designation, remind your supervisor that attending Clean Currents is a great way to earn up to 13.5 professional development hours (PDHs).
- Check out the registration page, where all the various rates are listed, to see if you qualify for lower rates or discounts.
HOW TO SELL THE BENEFITS OF ATTENDING CLEAN CURRENTS
While it’s easy to state your desire to attend Clean Currents, quantifying the benefits is another challenge altogether. With experts in agreement that networking represents one of the most valuable perks of conference attendance, learning how to frame these connections is critical.
When proposing a conference for approval, don’t focus on how much you want to go; rather, leverage what skills or knowledge you’ll bring back to your organization as a return on the investment. When thinking through how to frame this value statement, it helps to break down the successful elements of a good ask to better identify what details you should include to make your request stronger.
- Session Content: Identify the Clean Currents sessions that have relevance to your organization’s work. Focus on identifying the tools, technologies, and processes that will help your organization continue to innovate and succeed.
- Vendor Contacts: Will the conference showcase vendors with tools you either currently use or may consider using in the future? If so, consider framing the conference as an opportunity to compare competing tools.
- Best Practices: If there are training sessions in areas that offer immediate benefit to your group, then what are they, and how will they add value to your work?
- Training: What workshops are available? Highlight the ones teaching attendees a special skill and connect it back to how this knowledge would help your team a current tackle a current or future challenge.
By articulating why your attendance at Clean Currents is both beneficial to you and your organization, utilizing tools like NHA’s “Justification Letter” will help frame the benefits of attending Clean Currents in an easily editable and adaptable template. In addition, the inclusion of a detailed conference expense sheet helps validate the expense of attendance by laying out the costs in a transparent manner.
After identifying the specific knowledge benefits of Clean Currents attendance, as well as providing your manager or Board with the details – expenses and benefits – of your value proposition, then you can rest assured that you’ve done your due diligence in crafting the best possible conference proposition.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to pitch your attendance at Clean Currents, please check out NHA’s resource page on the topic, which includes the tools discussed in this article, as well as a webinar recording on “How to Get Travel Approval From Your Manager.”