You are probably aware that the annual Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) showcases simulation, education, modeling and training technology for the exchange of information among industry, the military, and the educational communities.
But, how do you share the value of this event with your board or supervisor in order to help justify your attendance?
We've gathered some tools and articles to help you "make your case" for your attendance. Feel free to cut, paste, paraphrase to suit your particular situation or needs.
Some things to consider to justify the travel and training expense:
- Focus on what you will specifically bring back to the organization as return for the investment.
- Offer to prepare and deliver a short presentation and Q&A to your colleagues to share what you learned. That way others in your unit will get the benefits of your attendance, too.
- Share the Program Agenda and Program Guide with your colleagues. As an attendee, you will receive a CD containing all of the Papers that are presented as well as the Tutorial Slides.
- If you are working to obtain or maintain your Certified Modeling and Simulation Professional (CMSP) or other professional designation, remind your supervisor that this is a great way to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or Contintuous Learining Points (CLPs).
- Be ready with a plan that shows who will cover for you while you are attending the conference.
- Be sure to check out the registration page where all the various rates are listed to see if you qualify for any of the lower rates or discounts.
Quantifying the Benefits
Although you might understand the benefits of I/ITSEC, your manager may not. Therefore, to be most effective in justifying the conference, you need to clearly articulate the connection between your organization's knowledge requirements and the I/ITSEC program. DO NOT assume that your manager will be able to automatically make those distinctions.
Use the Expense Calculator (above) to develop a cost estimate for attending I/ITSEC.
Many benefits from I/ITSEC attendance are hard to quantify. For example, experts agree that the top benefit of conference attendance is networking value. Where else can you find so many contacts facing the same issues as your organization? Are there solutions you're not aware of? Although networking is undoubtedly the most important aspect of a conference, it is also the toughest for which to quantify any value.
If an employee came to you and said, "I want you to fund me for $x and I don't know what it'll do for you," that is not a convincing argument.
When you present your request for I/ITSEC, focus on what you will specifically bring back to the organization as payback for the investment.
Some specific details you may want to identify include:
- Session content. What sessions have particular relevance to your organization's work? (The full agenda will be set and posted by early Fall.) You'll want to specify relevant Tutorials, Special Events, Papers, Workshops.
- Vendor contacts. Will the conference showcase vendors with tools you use or are evaluating for potential future use? Is this an opportunity during which you'll be able to compare competing tools?
(This page is meant to provide information for attendees, though some of the material is relevant for Exhibitors as well. For more Exhibitor related material, please see http://exhibits.iitsec.org/2015/public/enter.aspx.)
- Have you seen other examples of material that could be adapted for I/ITSEC?
- Perhaps you have developed a packet that may be useful to your fellow attendees?
- See a gap that we could help fill? Let us know and we'll be glad to add to the information posted here.