TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: STC Annual Conference From:"Wing, Michael J" <mjwing -at- INGR -dot- COM> Date:Thu, 6 Mar 1997 14:54:10 -0600
>I need some ammunition. I'm considering going to the STC Annual
>Conference in Toronto and I need some help from those of you who have been
>to past conferences to come up with a list of reasons why I should go.
>From my employer's perspective, does it make economic sense? I calculated
>the cost and came up with at least $1250.
>Hotel 460 (4 x 115)
>Food 175 (5 x 35 per diem allowed by company)
>Bus to hotel 15
> $1246 Plus any entertainment, bus/subway and so on
> All figures in US dollars.
Actually, aren't there more employer's expenses than this. For
instance, if any of these conference days are on work days and you are
not using vacation/holiday/personal time, then you must multiply your
daily salary by the amount of work days at the conference and add the
result to the total.
>I realize there are other tangible and intangible benefits and the
>question of whether or not to go shouldn't boil down to a strictly
>financial decision. I want others out there to help me find good solid
>reasons to justify the trip. Right now, if I had to pay my own way, I
>think I would have to say it might not be worth the expense. Obviously
>enough STC members feel it is worthwhile or it wouldn't keep going.
>Thanks for your help.
My guess is that you will have to show how the knowledge/skills gained
by attending the conference will result in a return in your employer's
investment. For example, if you come back with a technique that allow
you to write 10% faster, then the employer's cost will be recovered in
the time it takes for 10% of your salary to reach the employer's
expenses. If the total employer's expenses were $1500 and you earn
$100/day, then it will take 150 work days to reach the break-even point
(provided that 100% of your work time was spent writing 10% faster).
This is not a practical example; however, I feel it addresses the spirit
of the argument for getting your employer to send you to the conference.
| Michael Wing
| & Principal Technical Writer
| Infrastructure Technical Information Development
| Intergraph Corporation; Huntsville, Alabama
| : http://www.ingr.com/iss/products/mapping/
| ( (205) 730-7250
| . mjwing -at- ingr -dot- com