Part 1: Convincing Your Boss – Selling UI18?s Benefits

Convincing your boss to spend $2,000-$3,000 for to attend the User Interface 18 Conference is no easy task. Your boss wants to see the total costs and how this conference will benefit the organization.

In part 1 of of our 2 part series, you’ll learn how to explain the benefits of attending the User Interface Conference in Boston, October 21-23. Part two outlines the expenses associated with sending you to the conference.

Understand What Your Boss Needs

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 will this conference help complete a current project?
3. How will you share what you learned with the rest of the team?
4. How your new-found 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 UI18 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 Kim Goodwin’s workshop on Using Scenarios to Design Intuitive Experiencesyou’ll know:1. How scenarios relate to use cases and Agile user stories.
2. How to determine the scope and focus of your scenarios.
3. How to tie research data directly to the cross-platform solutions you create.
4. Techniques for using scenarios to drive structure and flow.

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.

To help with the sharing/showing, you’ll receive audio and video recordings of the short talks plus all the materials from every workshop and talk. These items are included as part of your registration.

Increasing Your Value to the Organization

Most organizations care about, and invest in, their employees, wanting them to have the skills and tools necessary to succeed. Expanding 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 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 BLOG $1,489
Hotel costs $920
Flight $300
Transportation to and from airport $2.50
Food $80
Total $2,712
Organization’s Benefits Specific need and how the conference addresses that need
Get the latest in 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 approachable and open to discussion.
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. Additionally, the conference provides recordings from the short talks and all the materials from every session. These are available for everyone within the organization.
Solve a current design problem We’ve talked about how to incorporate more user research into our design process and a need to incorporate responsive design. There are 2 workshops that directly cover these areas. With this information we can move forward at a quicker pass 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 $200 if you register by September 12 with the promotion code BLOG (the promo code BLOG will still be good even when the rate increases). And of course, suggest that your boss explores the site at

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