Tips to Attend

Please note - this is not an ISSFAL Scholarship or a suggestion that there are funds for you to travel and attend, only a recommendation on how to make a request for funds from your institution or organisation to attend.  Please follow the procedures already in place where you work.

Tips to Get Approval Internally at Your Insitution/Organisation to Attend the ISSFAL Conference in Vancouver 2012

In our current economic climate, getting approval to attend meetings may be more challenging for you now than it has been in the past. Here are four steps you can use to build a solid case for attending ISSFAL 2012.  

  1. Write down the three to five most important areas of research ongoing at your at your institution or organization right now.
  2. Think about how you personally contribute to those areas. How are your research and studies aligned with the larger organization’s priorities? Make a list of these “personal contributions to priorities.”
  3. Look at the proposed agenda for the meeting and mark the sessions you want to attend that relate to your list of personal contributions, and also make a note of speakers or other people at the conference you would like to meet.
  4. Write a short business case for how attending these sessions and meeting these people will help you contribute to your organization. Use this business case to make your request for attending the meeting.

For example, part of a business case might read as follows: “At present, our “organization” is highly focused on       . My personal contribution to this “organization” is to be responsible for finding ways to                                    . At the ISSFAL conference there is a session entitled, “                                             ,” and an expert in the field, “Speaker Name” , will be presenting the session. I would like to attend this session and also meet with her privately in order to get ideas about “x, y and z.

PREPARING FOR THE MEETING

Once you get approval, you should prepare properly for the conference because you’re going to need to demonstrate that you received the benefits that you promised to the person or organization who’s paying your way.

Here are some things you can do to prepare for the conference:

  1. Make a list of people you’d like to meet at the conference and why you want to meet them. Don’t be shy about approaching presenters and other “luminaries.” They are more accessible than you might think, especially if you make plans with them in advance.
  2. About one to two weeks prior to the conference, contact the people on your list. Make a specific plan for a meal, coffee, or a time and place to get together.
  3. One week prior to the meeting, make a personal agenda for yourself that includes the people you’re meeting as well as which sessions you’ll be attending. Be sure to include cellphone numbers or any other contact information you may need for any last-minute changes to your schedule.
  4. When you’re at the meeting, try to stick to your schedule as much as possible and take notes during the educational sessions and during your private conversations. However, leave some “white space” on your calendar in case you encounter new people at the meeting with whom you’d like to spend some time.

AFTER THE MEETING

  1. Immediately following the conference (perhaps on the airplane ride home), write or dictate a concise summary of what happened at the conference and how you will use the information you received and contacts you made to further the strategies of your organization. It’s important to write this one- or two-page summary quickly, while the information is fresh in your mind. Use the notes you took at the meeting to help you.
  2. Submit the summary to the person who sponsored your attendance, thanking him or her for the opportunity. The purpose of this summary is to make your next conference request even easier than the first. Once your professors, research heads and/or executives understand that you mean business when you attend a conference, they’ll be more likely to quickly approve your participation now and in the future!
  3. If the knowledge you gained might also be useful to others, then you might consider rewriting portions of your summary and post it online at ISSFAL.org