Approval to Attend
Some tips to get SPECS attendance approval for you and your team
Anyone who’s been to SPECS will tell you it’s a game-changer. But, with busy schedules and a smaller workforce than ever before, making the case to be out of the office to attend an industry event can be a challenge. We get it.
So here’s some advice for garnering approval to attend SPECS, and also bring your team:
STEP 1 — Be Prepared
Review the full SPECS agenda with its concurrent workshops and sessions, as well as relevant keynote addresses and Main Stage presentations. There are sessions for every title and retail job description; review them all, read the session descriptions, and build a SPECS educational calendar that will keep you busy AND informed.
STEP 2 — Pick the Right Time to Talk About It
Once your calendar is prepared, schedule a brief meeting with your manager, as required, to state your case in person:
► Explain the ROI on sending you to the event.
► Tell your boss you’ll bring back best practices from leading retailers and brands.
► Tell your boss about the sessions focused on big ideas for brick-and-mortar retail, on nuts-and-bolts solutions, value-engineering and top design trends, remodel tips, experiential retail ideas, succession plans and other talent-related topics, how to communicate with your team, how to grow professional and personally, and much more.
► Tell your boss that SPECS packs a full year’s worth of value into just 2.5 days including access to a top-tier vendor pool via both the Solution Center floor and over three hours of face-to-face information exchanges, saving you hours of time in selecting new partners.
► Walk through the conference website together to review the agenda and speaker lineup.
STEP 3 — Leverage Your Communication Skills
Impress your boss with your communication skills by crafting a powerful campaign to win their approval.
Objection: “It’s too expensive.”
Your response: “This isn’t just a three-day event; its benefits will carry over through the rest of the year, so it’s a great value. I’ll capture detailed notes from every session, so our whole team can learn along with me.”
Objection: “You can’t be away from the office for three days.”
Your response: “I won’t be totally away from the office; the event offers a flexible schedule with strategic breaks between sessions and receptions that allow me to stay connected at the same time I’m gathering information and best practices.”
Your closing argument: “When I get back from the conference, I’ll schedule a download session with you and the team. I’ll present my notes and speaker handouts from all the sessions I attended. I’ll recommend new ideas and I’ll show you all the great resource material I picked up in the Solution Center from vendors who can save us money and grow our profits. Sending me to the conference means elevating our whole team.”