Increasing conference attendance can be a seriously arduous task. You must convince your audience to commit not only their money, but also their time. (And we all know, time is money.) Tack on travel fees for a national (or international) in-person event and, well, it can be a bit of an uphill climb asking attendees to spend hundreds, even thousands to attend your event. Most wouldn’t even consider paying out of pocket.
That’s where their employer comes in! But, a potential attendee asking a tight-fisted manager to release funds without clearly outlining the costs and benefits will get questioned very quickly – so help get your audience to your event by providing an attendance justification letter template.
With the help of a template, potential attendees can easily craft a convincing letter. The biggest question your audience must be able to answer is: What’s the ROI (Return On Investment) of my attendance? ROI is traditionally expressed as an equation, but all it really means is that the participants need to prove that what they’ll bring back from your event will at least match the amount of money invested into their trip. To help justify the expense, their letter should include:
Event Details: The employer will want to know the basics — a description, where the event is located, dates and length of the event, etc. — before diving into anything else. Help your potential attendees give their employer a quick overview of the event to start off.
Expense Summary: They need to present all of the fixed and variable expenses that come with attending. Registration fees are one thing, but depending on the nature of the event there could also be food, housing, airfare/gas mileage to consider. If food (or anything else) is included with registration, be sure to include this information!
Benefit Summary: This is the important part! The benefits of attending the event need to be clearly articulated, and related back to the potential attendee’s current role. Some examples include:
Continuing Education Unit: CEUs are often necessary to keep professionals in practice. If you’re offering them for attendance, your participants will have a much greater chance of getting that funding.
Networking opportunities: The chance to obtain new clients or source a better vendor can often loosen a tight corporate wallet.
Technical training and best practices: Will your attendees come away with better habits and a wider knowledge base that they could put to use for their employer?
Career path: If your attendees’ organization promotes career paths for their employees, your event could assist them in reaching professional milestones.
Knowledge transfer: One attendee could potentially pass what they’ve learned to an entire department, making their participation more valuable to their employer.
Here’s a letter template we put together to get you started on creating your own. (Bolded words in all caps are for the potential attendee to fill in, lower case are for you!)
Hi [MANAGER NAME],
I’d like to get your approval to attend [event name] in [city] from [dates]. This event is [description]. I’m excited for the opportunity to come back and apply what I learn to projects we’re currently working on, such as [PROJECT NAME]
Going to [event name] will allow me to take a step back and focus on the big picture of how I can develop my skills and become better in my role at [COMPANY NAME]. Specifically, here’s what I’m planning to accomplish at [event name]:
• [GOAL 1]
• [GOAL 2]
• [GOAL 3]
When I get back from [event name], I’ll share my takeaways with the team, including the ones we can implement immediately and an action plan for how we can make that happen.
Below is a breakdown of approximately how much it will cost for me to attend [event name]:
• Airfare/Travel: [INSERT COST]
• Hotel: [INSERT COST]
• Event Registration: [INSERT COST]
• TOTAL: [CALCULATE COST]
[here’s where you add what is included in registration and/or discuss any price discount deadlines – early bird, promos, etc.]
To learn more about [event name], visit [event website].
Thank you for taking the time to review this request, and I look forward to talking to you more about it soon!
All the best,
Once you’ve completed your version of this template, it easily becomes one of your most convincing promotional tools! For other ideas on event promotion check out our free resource Event Marketing: Promotional Tactics to Amplify Attendance.