Convincing your boss to send you to UI19

Lauren Cramer

July 29th, 2014

Convincing your boss to spend more than $1,700 to send you to the User Interface 19 Conference is no easy task. Your boss wants to understand how it benefits the organization, team, and you.

In part 1 of of our 2 part series, you’ll learn how to explain the benefits of attending the User Interface 19 Conference to your boss. Part 2 – Laying Out the Costs to Your Boss to Attend the User Interface 19 Conference details the costs (including time) associated with the conference.

Understand what your boss wants

Before you present anything, find out what information your boss needs to say, “yes, you must go to this conference.” Often at the top of the list is cost and benefits to the company. Dive deeper – ask what they mean by benefiting the company. Is your boss asking to see:

  1. How you’ll solve a specific pain point within your organization?
  2. How the material you learn will help finish up a current project?
  3. How this new information is shared with the rest of the team?
  4. How your new-found UX knowledge saves the company from hiring someone to do a specific task or skill?
  5. Will you bring in a new skill set that the company is lacking?
  6. How are you adding to the basic UX knowledge of the team?

Addressing your design needs

Only you know which workshops will address your most pressing design needs. The UI19 workshop descriptions lay out what you’ll learn during the day, the practical take-aways you’ll get, and how to implement the new processes and techniques you’ll learn.

Explore the workshops that fit your training and design needs. Find 3-5 points within the workshop description that addresses the 6 questions above.

For example, after attending Dan Saffer’s workshop on Designing Microinteractions you’ll:

  1. Choose the right microinteractions based on context and device.
  2. Write microcopy that people can relate to
  3. Determine which elements to spend time on and which to ignore.
  4. Integrate microinteraction design in your existing process

Each workshop description has a section on what you’ll learn and you can copy the bullets from there.

Also once you register for UI19, you’ll get immediate access to All You Can Learn by UIE where you’ll enjoy an abundance of virtual seminars and past conference recordings on all things UX.

Training others

One of the best methods to reinforce a new skill is to train someone else. We call it the “watch one, do one, show one method.”

In the daylong workshops, you’ll learn by “watching” and “doing.” Then, once you’re back in the office, you’ll “show one” by teaching the rest of the team the fabulous material from the workshops.

Increasing your value to the organization

Most organizations care about and invest in their employees. They look for ways to increase your skills and provide the tools necessary to succeed. Amping up your UX knowledge makes you a better designer and a more valuable and productive employee.

Conferences are an opportunity for you to glean best practices and network with others facing the same challenges. You’ll gain more than you can get from simply reading articles or books.

In summary, provide a benefits worksheet

It’s difficult to put an exact figure on the ROI for attending the User Interface 19 Conference. Your boss will want something that quickly quantifies benefits and shows what the costs are. Here’s an example.

Conference Expenses
Conference fee with promo code BLOGUI19 $1,695
Hotel costs $920
Flight $300
Transportation to and from airport $40
Food $90
Total $3,045
Organization’s Benefits Specific need and how the conference addresses that need
Get the latest UX techniques Through the two workshops and 5 talks I attend, I’ll hear about the latest trends, research, methods, and techniques around UX design
Learn what others are doing in the UX field This conference has several opportunities to network with peers and the speakers. It’s a great environment to find out how others have addressed similar issues we’ve come across. The speakers are known for spending time with the attendees and giving advice.
Improve individual and team design skills I’ll do a lunch and learn on the various workshops and sessions I attend so the team gets the key take-aways I acquired at the conference. I’ll also have access to a library of over 170 UX virtual seminars and past UIE conferences.
Solve a current design problem We’ve talked about how to incorporate scenarios into our design process and a need to simplify interfaces and validate user inputs when it comes to mobile. There are 2 workshops that directly cover these areas. With this information we can move forward at a quicker pace to complete the projects.
Eliminate the need to hire outside UX personnel Many of the sessions and workshops address the missing skills needed to solve some of the issues we’re having. By boosting our skill set it may eliminate the need to hire outside to fulfill these needs.

As an added incentive, tell your boss you can save $300 if you register by August 15 with the promotion code BLOGUI19.

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