Early Bird Deadline Reminder AND Grow Financial Support For Conference Attendance

image00Hello Region 8 Members!

We are less than 2 months away from the Region 8 Conference in Seattle, Washington! But before we can get there, everyone needs to get registered. The EARLY BIRD DEADLINE IS DECEMBER 16th!!!

As Seattle grows ever closer many of you may be worried about the idea of securing funding to go. You may consider in this economic time when funding is being cut from our institutions, how you will be able to get the support of your administration to fund your trip to Seattle.

Below you will find an article originally posted to meetingnet.com which may make securing that funding, just a little easier! This article has been posted to our Regional blog for several years, and people have been very excited for the advice provided to help them get funding to attend NACADA conferences.

Don’t just ask – SELL your Regional Conference!

(Ways to convince the people holding the purse strings!)

Making your case for participation (PART 1)

All too often, people who want to attend a NACADA event simply submit a request and cross their fingers. As a prospective attendee, you may need to SELL the need for your continued professional development by showing how conference participation will relate directly to the strategies and objectives of your institution.

Here are other some steps you can use to build a case for attending a NACADA regional conference!

  1. Write down three to five most important strategies or issues being addressed at your institution now.
  2. Think about how your work is aligned with the larger institution’s strategy or mission. Make a list of your “personal contributions to strategy. “
  3. Submit a presentation proposal! (the deadline for this conference has passed, but for future conferences, THINK EARLY) Acceptance of a presentation at a conference will not only help you share valuable information with the participants, but also gives your institution positive recognition among peer colleges. It may be the deciding factor in funding your participation.
  4. Look at the proposed agenda for the conference and mark the sessions you want to attend that relate to your institutions strategies. Make note of people at the event that you would like to meet.
  5. Write a short business case for how attending these sessions and meeting these people will help you contribute to the institution’s strategy.

For example, part of your request might read as follows: “At present, our institution is highly focused on transitioning undecided students. My personal contribution to this strategy is to be responsible for finding ways to help students graduate in four years. At the conference, there is a session entitled, “Tools for Students in Transition: Working with Undecided Students.” I would like to attend this session and also meet with the presenter privately in order to discuss how to incorporate relevant ideas presented in the session.

You would also want to include a copy of your presentation proposal and abstract of the session that was selected for the program. You may want to point out ways your presentation will give recognition to the university and provide an opportunity for positive interactions with colleagues.

Preparing for the Meeting (PART 2)

Once you get approval, you should prepare properly for the conference because you are going to need to demonstrate that you received the benefits (and more) that you promised to the person who’s paying your way.

 Here are some things you can do to prepare for the conference.

  1. Make a list of people you would like to meet at the conference and why you want to meet them. Don’t be shy about approaching presenters and other “luminaries.” They are more accessible than you might think, especially if you make plans with them in advance.
  2. About 1‐2 weeks prior to the conference, contact the people on your list. Make a specific plan for a meal, coffee, or a time and place to get together.
  3. One week prior to the meeting, make a personal agenda for yourself that includes the sessions you will attend and the people you’re meeting.
  4. When you are at the meeting, try to stick to your schedule as much as possible and take notes during the educational sessions and during your private conversations.

After the Meeting (PART 3)

  1. Immediately following the conference (perhaps on the airplane or car ride home), write or dictate a summary of what happened at the conference and how you will use the information you received and contacts you made. Write this summary quickly, while the information is fresh in your mind!
  2. Submit the summary to the person who sponsored your attendance, thanking him or her for the opportunity. The purpose of this summary is to make your next conference request even easier than the first. Once your administrators understand that you mean business when you attend a conference, they’ll be more likely to quickly approve your participation.
  3. If the knowledge you gained might also be useful to other in your organization, then you might consider rewriting portions of your summary or presentation as a blog or Twitter post to your colleagues! The NACADA Academic Advising Today is always looking for “Sparklers” or articles to share lessons learned, so investigate that possibility and share the wealth!
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