Convince your boss: Benefits of attending a conference as a team
Trying to talk management into sending your organization to the event of your dreams? Here’s how you can make the case for getting the budget you need.
You want to attend a conference like Button, but your boss may need some convincing. And if your boss’s boss controls the purse strings, you may have to do some extra context setting. So, let’s approach it as you’d sell any new content strategy or content design project!
Do your research and build a strong story
Step 1: Set the stage for content
If your boss is already a strong advocate for content strategy, content design, and UX writing, you’re in good shape.
If your stakeholders and partners are still wrapping their heads around the work you do (and why it even matters), it might take some extra work to convince them to invest in skills development and team training in the first place.
Let’s start with creating shared meaning and getting aligned on terminology:
Content strategy guides the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content. It connects your organization’s content efforts with business goals and user needs.
Content design and UX writing are the most sought-after skill sets on product design teams today. Content design defines and prioritizes content requirements along the customer journey based on user research and testing. UX writing is a highly specialized skill that focuses on language to help guide users within a product interface. These two roles are critical for product success!
Once we’re all speaking the same content language, we can all get on the same page: uncovering business priorities and how streamlined content can help.
Step 2: Uncover what stakeholders care about right now
What are their primary goals, motivations, and frustrations? What keeps them up at night? (except for endless scrolling on TikTok, we can’t help with that):
Manager-specific goals: It could be team morale, cross-department collaboration, onboarding new employers, or staying afloat during an impending recession. Or all of the above.
Project-specific goals: It could be anything remotely related to content: a web redesign, new marketing landing pages, improving a customer support chatbot, or testing new CTA buttons on the homepage.
Once you understand their immediate business priorities, you’re ready to tie this back to your goal: get that training budget!
Step 3: Connect the dots between team and business goals
When you apply for a job, you might scan the posting for the specific skills, tools, or competencies that the organization is looking for to include in your resume. Now we’re not recommending that you should "keyword-stuff your budget request proposal" to your boss, but we’re not not saying that either.
Look at the conference program, talk topics, and workshop themes to see how the sessions tie back to your stakeholder goals. These focus areas might include:
- Improving accessibility
- Adopting AI in the UX writing process
- Testing and iterating on content
- Exploring new content tools and frameworks
- Rolling out a new voice or chat assistant
- Collaborating with translation and localization teams
- Proving team ROI and business value
- Optimizing SEO
Once you have a strong understanding of what you’ll learn, you’ll need to articulate why it matters.
Step 4: Show the value of attending together
Your training budget might be tight, but not investing in your team can cost in employee turnover, burnout, and even bigger content challenges in the future. Your organization can’t afford that, can it? (The answer is no.)
Here are just a few of the many benefits of attending conferences as a team:
Represent your organization and build lasting connections in your industry
Teams of all shapes and sizes come together to swap insights and build relationships at conferences. You’ll have the chance to connect directly with your peers and learn from teams you admire from afar.
Increase team learning and knowledge sharing
By attending together, team members can divide and conquer sessions happening simultaneously and swap notes to create shared understanding. Teamwork.
Inspire your team with new ideas
It’s easy to spin our content wheels when we’re so close to certain projects. By taking a step back and seeing how others in the field approach critical tasks, your team will walk away with fresh perspectives, actionable insights, and creative solutions you can implement straight away.
Create long-term trust: Keep the conversation going
Success! You secured the budget and attended the conference with all of your content peers. Good job, you. But the work doesn’t stop after the event wraps.
It’s time to gather up all of your notes, learnings, and takeaways in an easily digestible format to share back with your leaders. We’ve seen folks compile Google Docs, slideshow presentations, Figma file walkthroughs, Miro board sketches, and even old-school paper notes. Yes, paper.
No matter the format, this is a great exercise to map out actionable next steps. We recommend doing this within a few weeks of the event while everyone is still buzzing with energy and ready to tackle the next big content challenge together.
Keep that momentum going! We hope to see you or your team at Button, and at future industry gatherings! This community is better because of you.