How to Get Your Supervisor to Approve
Your Visit to IPC Midwest
As an engineer, one of the biggest challenges in attending any trade show is getting your boss’s approval. Some upper-level managers view trade shows as an excuse for going out and having a good time. Therefore, you need to sell your boss on the value of trade show participation. Here are somehelpful hints on getting the approval you need to visit IPC Midwest this fall.
- The value and knowledge gained at the show is difficult to replicate elsewhere. Industry experts will be at the show to provide education and training. Take time after the sessions to address your company’s specific questions and concerns with the speakers. Provide a written list of issues you hope to address, and if possible, list the specific training seminars or technical sessions you plan to attend. Use this document to demonstrate the value of the show to your company.
- Face to face interaction facilitates valuable information exchange and problem-solving. Set up meetings with vendors you need to see to resolve specific issues. Consider your attendance at the show as an investment rather than an expense. We hear again and again of visitors saving thousand of dollars from finding solutions to problems or even new markets — often from vendors they had not even known about before the show!
- Boost productivity back at the office. Offer to host a “lunch ‘n’ learn” seminar upon your return. Use the data you’ve picked up at the meeting to educate the entire team. Quantify the benefit: imagine if you can boost your productivity (or the team’s) by just 5%, a very conservative number, it would mean 100 hours per year per team member.
- After the show, prepare a brief written report for your boss. Use this report to document the outcome of your meetings with vendors, information gained at various seminars and solutions for your company’s current problems and concerns. Don’t forget to work in the value of networking and the information you obtained on how companies are solving similar issues. Finally, remember that the best time to get permission to attend next year’s show is while the value of the show you just attended is fresh in your manager’s mind. Give your boss a heads-up on when the next show will be held and how much you are looking forward to building on the relationships you established this year.
Throughout this entire process, you will have educated your boss on the issues and concerns you deal with in your day-to-day responsibilities; demonstrated your own professionalism; and opened the door to continuing your education by attending future trade shows. And, if you’re really lucky, you may be able to convince your boss to attend next year as well!
With thanks to the National Truck Equipment Association for the concepts expressed in this memo.