How to sell your boss on sending you to ACES2017

You know you’ll come away refreshed and recharged, but how do you convince your boss that you need to attend an ACES conference? Here’s a cheat sheet for talking through the typical concerns:

We’re understaffed; we can’t lose you for that long.

The ACES conference is a chance for inspiration with extraordinary editors and colleagues from across the country. I’ll be attending educational sessions and events with people just like me, so I’ll come back with more energy, ideas and new methods that will make me more valuable and productive.

It’s too expensive/we don’t have a budget for this.

This conference offers a great value — it’s three full days of training, connections and experiences that can’t be purchased at a better price. ACES is among the least expensive communications and editing conference. Hotel rates in St. Petersburg, Fla., are quite reasonable and to save even more I can split the cost of hotel rooms with a colleague.

Carol Saller speaks at the 20th national ACES conference in Portland, Oregon. (Mark Allen photo)

Carol Saller speaks at the 20th national ACES conference in Portland, Oregon. (Mark Allen photo)

We can only send you to one conference. Why is this one the best?

ACES is recognized as the authority on editing excellence and an advocate for copy editors. Sessions at ACES cover a large range of editing issues and topics that have every day meaning. To get a sense of the what’s offered at an ACES conference check out archives from past conferences and this year’s list of sessions.

Don’t we already give enough money to ACES?

Our membership dues directly support the profession, pay for practical resources, promote professional standards, and provide members with specific benefits. Members also gets us a discount on registration (as much as $220 per person on early bird membership, which is well below the $75 cost of joining for a year).

How do I know this isn’t just an excuse for one long cocktail hour?

Sure, there will be networking receptions, but they’ll provide serious interaction with teachers, innovators, established editors and vendors. It’s an opportunity to allow me to share information, brainstorm ideas and solve problems. Plus, the bulk of each day is devoted to actual training sessions. Check out the general schedule.

What’s in it for us?

In addition to the countless idea-generating presentations, sessions and workshops, ACES offers programs specifically designed to increase accuracy and productivity. Plus, I can bring back handouts from the sessions I attend and share what I learned with everyone. And many of the sessions offer good training for all communications professionals, so what I share when I get back to the office will help all of my coworkers, not just the editors. (Bosses love brown-bag sessions.)

Sounds pretty convincing, doesn’t it? Don’t wait a minute longer — go have that talk with your boss now and register today!

SOME OTHER IDEAS

If begging doesn’t work, barter: Offer to pay for the airfare or hotel costs in exchange for registration fees (or conference fees in exchange for hotel costs) or being on the clock for the conference (or, heck, both). Many of our members do pay their own way, but that doesn’t mean you should lose precious vacation time to do it. Offer to switch your normal days off or cash in that comp time.

If your boss cares about helping you become a bigger asset to your company, he or she will want to consider helping you get to St. Petersburg. Consider sending them to our website and reading our testimonials and stories from past conferences.