I Want To Attend the AIOH Conference – But How Do I Convince my Company?

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This year’s AIOH conference theme is The Power of Many (see https://www.aioh.org.au/aioh2019/aioh-2019-conference). The theme recognises that united we can harness our collective power to achieve better worker health outcomes. Attending this conference is a great idea to support your professional development not just within the field of hygiene but also in the areas of leadership, communication and influencing! But how do you convince your boss that you should go to this major, annual occupational hygiene event…

The bottom-line is, our bosses want to hear our thoughtful justifications for registering, so here are a few things for you to consider as you prepare your pitch to attend:

Understand the agenda and speakers… develop a sample agenda

You can look over the conference schedule including the continuing education seminar session and concurrent sessions to see what sessions fit your needs. You also want to highlight the sessions that fit the goals, mission, or vision of your employer. Showing how these fit in with both your professional goals and the company’s mission is a great way to show how beneficial attending the conference is for both parties.

Also, take a look at the speakers’ list available from https://www.aioh.org.au/aioh2019/aioh-2019-keynote-speakers. As in previous years, there are sessions available that were designed and presented by some of the top thought leaders in occupational hygiene covering a range of topics not only specific to occupational hygiene. This year, there are also keynote presentations and workshops on offer that are run by specialists in the areas of leadership, communication and influencing which might be of interest to a broader audience.

Based on the theme, the conference covers three timely key elements across our industry:

  • ReCalibrate: Embrace new technology; Adapt to new opportunities; Stretch our boundaries.
  • ReSynergise: Reinvigorate our networks; Enlist a multidisciplinary approach; Embody a holistic perspective.
  • ReBrand: Strengthen our reputation; Communicate our contribution; Invest in our brand footprint.

Once you have decided what talks are suitable, create a proposed daily schedule. Show which sessions you plan on attending and a quick one or two sentences as to how they add value and or help achieve your and your company’s goal.

You might want to create a shortlist of speakers with whom you hope to connect to in person who are experts in their field. There are many benefits in networking both on a personal level and professionally in the current career environment​.

What’s your top three?

In the end, you should summarise why attending the AIOH Perth conference is essential. Develop three value statements that combine your professional goals and the goals of your organisation. Below are some examples:

  • I will learn from real success stories that show how we can learn from checked solutions to the problems we face while saving valuable time and money.
  • There will be networking opportunities not only with other industry representatives but also service and education providers, legislators and thought leaders.
  • Attending this conference will provide me with valuable skills, methods, and access to key theories, research, and technologies that can help improve our work and safety practices. The conference offers a one-stop shop to cover a range of topics and is more cost effective than attending multiple workshops or seminars.
  • I will get a chance to see products that are new to the market and can bring back ideas or solutions from new or improved products and/or services presented in the trade exhibition.  
  • Some of our industry’s top thought leaders will be presenting, and it is important that we hear what they have to say and look to incorporate their knowledge into our processes, so we can build on our culture of safety and health for our workers.
  • Attending the conference will allow me to share what I learnt when back at work and be a better mentor to my colleagues.
  • If you are a COH, attending the conference will provide you with the points required to keep up your certification.

Send a letter of request

Be frank with your request; and provide your top three reasons for attending. Share how the event will benefit you and by extension, your organisation. Then describe some of the sessions you plan on attending and the speakers you are most interested to hear. Finally, provide an estimated cost overview, including registration, travel, and other expenses. Do not forget to mention the savings that can be made if registering early.

When you have approval, head to the registration page. We are looking forward to see you in Perth!​

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