How to Get Management Approval to Attend the NAI Conference

The NAI Conference brings together the best and the brightest in interpretation and showcases best practices that cover frontline and management practices. You and your organization will reap the benefits of the best of the best, success stories, interpretive tools, and practical solutions. You will also have the opportunity to turn your biggest challenges into your greatest accomplishments when you learn from experts, leaders in the field, and fellow practitioners. The contacts you make and the innovation you will learn about ensure continued advancement in the field of interpretation.

The inspiration and knowledge you'll gain from the workshop can be exceedingly valuable for you and your organization, but we know that it may be difficult in these economic times to carve out room in the budget for professional development.

Here are some tips for getting management's approval for attending the conference:

Communicate why attendance is vital.

In a world of rapidly changing audiences and digital trends, interpreters can't afford to be late adopters. Interpreters need to be out front in educating and interpreting our stories to diversified and savvy audiences.

As a professional, you must constantly fine-tune your skills, learn new interpretive techniques, network with peers, and learn about issues affecting the administration of interpretive sites, programs, and personnel. Whether you work with a large or small agency or organization, you and your organization will reap the benefits of your recharged batteries and newfound knowledge.

You can find out what the best minds in the field are doing to meet today's challenges. You'll find the latest trends, ideas, and technologies available in the field. In a financial crunch, it is innovative thinking that turns the unknown into opportunities.

Here are just a few benefits of attendance:

  • Learn best practices and strategies in interpretation
  • Analyze management trends
  • Discuss hot topics with colleagues
  • Network and make connections with other interpretation professionals and meet interpreters from all over the world
  • Learn from skilled and interesting keynote speakers
  • Deliver more value to your organization

Gain support from your supervisor.

Managers have to make tough decisions, so it's up to you as a frontline practitioner to demonstrate that you'll make the most of their investment.

Review the daily schedule on the conference website to identify concurrent sessions, pre-conference sessions, special events, and networking opportunities that address specific needs within your organization. You will meet presenters with experience and get to know fellow attendees who face the same challenges you do. You will be able to use these important contacts as sounding boards long after the conference.

It's important to be able to logically describe the benefits to your organization and how you can make a positive impact with what you bring back with you.

Create a winning proposal.

Put your ideas in writing and submit a proposal to your supervisor. Include your intended schedule of concurrent sessions and why the knowledge gained will be valuable to your operation.

Strengthen your proposal by listing division or department goals and the corresponding sessions. Don't forget to include the cost of registration, airfare, meals, and lodging in order to make it a well-rounded proposal.

So, plan your strategy, prepare your proposal, and secure your approval to go. Bring the benefits of knowledge and professional growth home to your organization.  

What if you get denied?

Sometimes there's no money, or management has other budgetary priorities, but that doesn't mean you should sit the conference out. It's essential that you keep your skills sharp and your network active. It's your professional development, so if your job won't pay the way, there's every reason to consider paying your own way to attend.

Invest in your future and enhance your career opportunities!