Convince Your Boss

PHXDW has been a fantastic investment for many design careers. Here's how to get your boss on board.

PHXDW is full of hands­-on workshops and actionable insights, making it a worthy investment for creative professionals. If you’re hoping that your company will help you attend, here’s what to focus on as you make your case.

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The details

When writing to or talking with your boss about attending any paid event, your goal is to convince them of two things. First, you want to show that the event itself is worth going to and second, you must show that you’re the right person to go.

To do this, get specific. Take a look at the event schedule. Are there any talks or workshops that closely relate to your work? Bonus points if you can match an event with a specific project you’re working on.

Next, advise them about the attendees. You’ll have the opportunity to chat with competitors or target customers. Attendees will be keeping in touch via a PHXDW Slack team throughout the week, which means you can nurture relationships with valuable connections well beyond the events you attend.

Taking the initiative to ask about Phoenix Design Week will demonstrate that you’re plugged into the creative industry and you want to participate and grow in your field. Your boss will appreciate that you’re looking for opportunities to improve your skills. It can also be a feather in a company’s cap to be seen as a local design leader by having a presence at multiple events.

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Focus on ROI

Show your boss how your attendance will give a strong return on investment. This year’s unique program format is not only incredibly low cost, but all-access passes gain you admittance to ALL events and they’re available to access later, even if you weren’t able to attend at the originally scheduled time.

PHXDW offers the chance to network with industry leaders, learn from local professionals, and see first hand what’s coming next in the business. It’ll also leave you with a heavy dose of inspiration to re-energize your work.

Explain how you’ll share what you learn

One of the ways to instantly multiply the value gained from a conference is to share it with the rest of the company afterward. How can you make what you learned accessible to your co-workers when you get back?

A few ideas you can suggest

  • Giving a “lunch­ and learn” presentation based on one of the events you attend
  • Giving a short talk on key industry trends during a morning meeting
  • Writing a blog article for the company website

Planning how you’ll share your experience shows your boss that you are committed to getting the most mileage out of these events as possible. Acting on those plans puts you in a great position to get support again next year.

Use this sample letter

Some companies require training requests in writing. Feel free to use and modify this letter however you see fit. Just don’t forget to switch out the [brackets] with your own details!

Dear [Boss],

I’d like to attend Phoenix Design Week this October. It’s the largest gathering of creatives in Arizona, built for creative professionals and hosted by the nonprofit organization, AIGA Arizona. Each year, hundreds of designers, writers, and other marketing professionals gather to share their skills and attend workshops with leaders in the industry.

I recognize that any learning experience needs to be worth the investment. To make sure my attendance is as useful to [your company/department] as possible, I’ve researched the events that will be valuable to our current projects. There will be a lot to choose from, so this shouldn’t be difficult. After attending, I’d love to give a [lunch­ and ­learn presentation] to share what I’ve learned with the rest of the team.

Events take place over the course of the week October 2-9. If any of the events that I find most valuable to us take place during the workday, I will provide plenty of notice for my absence [arrange for coverage, etc]. The total cost for an all-access pass is [$X], and because I’m a member of AIGA, the cost would be reduced to [$X]. Most events and courses of this caliber would charge 4–10 times that amount.

I appreciate your consideration. You can learn more about the events at www.phxdw.com. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Thanks, [Your name]