About This Blog

A QualitEvolution is intended to capture positions and experiences as a participant in the evolution of the Quality profession into the 21st century. From its origins as the brainchild of Corporate Industrial Statisticians, our profession has transformed and evolved to incorporate and adapt to the demands and expectations of our modern existence.

The scope of the subject matter within A QualitEvolution extends to the furthest ranges of quality, business transformation, management science, and quality issues especially pertinent to the members of ASQ in Canada.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Build a Case for Conference Attendance and Sponsorship

I received an excellent article which provides guidance on how to request permission to attend and be sponsored for a professional conference.  The source was STAREAST, and I am sharing it because it is also relevant for ASQ events, including the upcoming World Conference on Quality and Improvement.

For convenience, I am providing the STAREAST content on this post, applying ASQ where appropriate.  While organizations like STAREAST and ASQ would benefit from more attendees, my motive is to support the individual participant by improving their chances to get the necessary time and financial assistance to partake in professional activities.

Get Started: Build a Case for Your Attendance
  • Get Informed: Familiarize yourself with the conference schedule and speakers before you discuss the conference with your boss. Determine which learning sessions best align or contribute to you and or your organization’s short-term and long-term goals and objectives.

  • Draft Your Request: Open and customize a justification letter based on the goals, objectives, and interests you’ve defined.  An example is pasted below:

Subject​: Great Testing Conference Opportunity


Hi [Insert Boss’ Name]​,

I am writing to request your approval to attend the <QUALITY> conference, taking place <DATE> in <LOCATION>. <CONFERENCE NAME> will cover both foundational knowledge and new methodologies to further develop Quality skills, enhance my knowledge, and provide new and exciting business strategies to bring back to the team. You can view the full conference details here:


Some of the highlighted features at the conference will include:

  • Speakers
  • Concurrent Sessions
  • Tutorials and Workshops
  • Pre-Conference Training
  • Networking Events


Many of the training courses, tutorials, and sessions at this conference are clearly aligned with our goals—or specifically address some of our biggest challenges. Here are a few of the sessions I would like to attend:


  1. [Titles of Sessions and/or Tutorials you plan to attend]
  2. [Titles of Sessions and/or Tutorials you plan to attend]
  3. [Titles of Sessions and/or Tutorials you plan to attend]

Attending the sessions above would especially help me on these company projects:

  1. [Add a project or initiative]
  2. [Add a project or initiative]
  3. [Add a project or initiative]


Here’s an approximate breakdown of the conference costs:

  • Airfare = $ XXX.XX
  • Transportation/Parking = $XXX.XX
  • Conference Hotel  = $XXX.XX plus taxes
  • Meals (breakfast and lunch already included) = $XXX.XX
  • Registration Fee: $ XXX.XX (this is waived or subsidized for speakers, moderators, volunteers, or member-leaders)
  • Total:​$ XXX.XX

I would appreciate your approval as soon as possible in order to maximize both conference and travel discounts.
Thank you for considering this request. I look forward to your reply.



[Your Signature]


  • Start Early: Start the approval process early to take advantage of the biggest ways to save discounts. Putting your request in early will also ensure enough time for the approval process and coordinating schedules for any additional team members attending the conference or for those covering your projects in your absence. Some conferences offer incentives and registration discounts to groups of 3 or more.

During the Conference: Make the Most of Your Conference Experience

  • Take Notes: Be sure to jot down at least three key takeaways at each session and identify actionable items with an asterisk for easy reference later.
  • Share the Knowledge: Post insightful observations and takeaways about the sessions you attend on your favorite social media channels while you are attending the event. You'll gain new followers, grow your network, and your colleagues will see what you're learning in real-time. 
  • Work It: Take advantage of the conference networking and solutions opportunities to exchange thoughts with like-minded industry peers and mentors. Reach out to fellow attendees to meet at the events throughout the week and broaden potential discussions.

After the Conference: Create a Report and Share What You Learned

  • Review the Goods: Download the conference proceedings to recap the learning sessions you attended as well as any you might have missed. Most conference keynote, tutorial, and concurrent session slides will be available post-conference online which will make it easier to share information with your team when you are back at the office.
  • Prepare Your Report: Review your takeaways, actionable items, and social media posts with this conference summary report example below to create a report detailing what you learned.

Conference Summary Report

[Summarize the specific information and specific benefits and knowledge gained .]


[Connect knowledge and experience gained to any personal or company goals identified in your request to attend.]


Relevant, Realistic, and Refined Information to Share with the Team


[Refer to your session notes, social media posts, and insight gained from the knowledge shared between attendees. Attach the list of sessions you attended to this report.]


[List the new information you’re bringing back, such as: relevant in-depth technical know-how; realistic new development and implementation approaches; tips to streamline your work; refined case studies of success to emulate; or promising new techniques and technologies.]


[Include any relevant presentation PDF files from the conference proceedings.]


People, Companies And Projects Of Note

[List key contacts you made during the conference along with their potential value to your organization.]


[List vendors and products or tools that interested you or might affect your company; case studies of special interest, or projects similar to what you are working on.]


Action items

[List the top realistic action items to implement, such as: ideas for new approaches to problems; technologies to consider; training your employees or peers; case studies to share; or setting follow-up meetings with vendors or new business contacts.]