Let's help you get to THAT Conference

How to Convince Your Boss

You're eager to attend THAT Conference and a well-written email to your manager can make all the difference in getting approved. In this guide, we'll provide you with a step-by-step approach to crafting a persuasive request letter that covers all the essential details. Let's get started!

Step 1: Understand Your Audience

Before you begin writing, take a moment to understand your manager's perspective. Consider their priorities, the benefits of attending THAT Conference for your role, and how it aligns with the company's goals. This understanding will help you tailor your letter effectively. Depending on where you work there may be other requirements needed for the request. Make sure you investigate those before approaching your manager. Being well-prepared is the best approach!

Step 2: Gather Information

Compile all the necessary information, including the conference dates, location, agenda, and any specific sessions or workshops you plan to attend. Research the conference costs, such as registration fees, travel, accommodation, and meals. Gather who will be there, who you wish to network with, including speakers and other attendees.

Step 3: Highlight Benefits

In your letter, emphasize how attending THAT Conference will benefit both you and the company. Mention the valuable knowledge and skills you'll acquire, potential networking opportunities, and how this knowledge can be applied to your current role.

Step 4: Create a Detailed Budget

Provide a clear breakdown of the costs associated with attending the conference. Include registration fees, travel expenses, accommodation, and meals. Make it easy for your manager to see the financial aspects.

The vast majorities of companies have a yearly educational budget alloted for your professional growth. A conference such as THAT Conference would squarely fit into that budget. If you are unsure, ask your manager or HR department.

Step 5: Address Time Off

If you'll need time off work to attend the conference, address this in your letter. Suggest a plan for handling your responsibilities during your absence, ensuring a smooth workflow for your team.

Chances are, you don't even need to take your vacation time to attend THAT Conference.

Step 6: Be Professional and Concise

Keep your letter professional and concise. Be respectful of your manager's time by getting to the point quickly. Use a formal tone and proofread for any errors before submitting. Tools like Grammarly are your friend. If you’re meeting in person, set a time with your manager that is slower in their day. You want them to focus on the value of THAT Conference, not be preoccupied with their next meeting.

Example Letter

[Manager's Name],

I hope this message finds you well. I am writing to request approval to attend THAT Conference, which is scheduled from July 29th through August 1st, 2024 at the Kalahari Resorts and Conventions in Wisconsin Dells, WI. As both a software developer and a key contributor to our company's operations, I believe attending this conference will significantly benefit my professional growth and our organization.

Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Conference Benefits: THAT Conference is renowned for its high-quality sessions and workshops on the latest trends and technologies in the software industry. Their strong commitment to Open Spaces, a platform where I can contribute sessions to discuss particular topics or participate in others' discussions, offers the chance for deeper conversations and collaborative problem-solving, which I am really looking forward to. The knowledge and skills gained from attending will directly enhance my performance in my career and current role. You will find this year's speakers and schedule here:

    • Speakers: https://thatconference.com/wi/2024/speakers
    • Full Schedule: https://thatconference.com/wi/2024/schedule
  2. Networking Opportunities: I’ll have the chance to connect with many industry experts and peers, fostering valuable relationships that can benefit me and our company in the long term. In addition, THAT Conference is the only tech conference that's also a community, where many of the people I meet will be available all year round for further discussions and engagements.

  3. Cost Breakdown: Total Cost: $[Total Cost]
  4. Time Off: I have devised a plan to ensure the seamless continuation of my responsibilities during my absence, minimizing any disruption to our team's workflow.

I kindly request your approval for the necessary financial support and time off to attend THAT Conference. I am confident that the knowledge and insights gained will contribute significantly to our team's and company's success.

Thank you for considering my request. I am more than willing to discuss this further if needed.

[Your Name]

When You Get A No

If you found your proposal being denied, while this might suck, don’t take it the wrong way. The last thing you want to do is become bitter and act hasty about it. Thank the decision-maker just the same for taking the time to review your proposal. Follow the conference through available channels, such as Keynotes streamed on YouTube and THAT’s social media accounts, Slack and Discord. Leverage your network and get updates, snippets and new learning from contacts who were able to attend. Find and share cases proving that participation in THAT Conference generated substantial benefits to other developers and rival or competing organizations. Write these down and utilize them in future proposals.

When You Get A Yes

When you get an approval remember to thank the decision-maker for approving your request. But don’t just mention it in passing as you meet them in the hallway. A better way is to communicate gratitude with an expressed promise to deliver the results you’ve cited in your proposal.


By following these steps and using the example letter as a template, you can effectively request approval to attend THAT Conference while addressing all the essential details, costs and benefits. Tailor your letter to your specific circumstances and company culture for the best chance of approval. If you’re stuck, ask for some assistance on our Slack or Discord. There are always some people there who are willing to help. Good luck. We look forward to seeing you at the next THAT Conference!