Conference Travel Rationale

Negotiating with an employer for authorization to attend AFE’s conferences

Now is a critical time for managers and scientists to share ideas and research results. However, with many travel and training budgets drastically reduced, you may need to convince your employer or agency to allow you to attend the conference. Here are some talking points:

Your organization gains assets by your attendance:
  • Focus on what information or skills you will bring back to your organization.
  • Offer to give a presentation on what you learned to your colleagues upon your return, so others in your organization will benefit as well.
  • You’ll learn about the newest research results, models, and other tools.
  • In order to be a professional in your field, you’ll need to collaborate with your peers. Going to conferences exposes you to new ideas from new people, and opens you to increased collaboration across agencies, campuses, etc. These networks will benefit research, learning, and/or resource management.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to attend workshops to increase job and/or software skills.
  • Continuing Education credits are often available for attending AFE conferences.
  • Formal and informal associated meetings, workshops, and field trips, as well as conference presentations, multiply the benefit or your attendance by several times
  • At a time of increasing specialization and fragmentation, the conference presents a breadth of exposure to professionals from other agencies and campuses.
  • Studies show that the most effective information transfer still occurs in face-to-face transactions.
  • Conference presentations and social interactions present the ability to do outreach or advertising for your project, research, program, resource, or office.
If cost is an issue:
  • Can you reduce cost by sharing a hotel room?
  • Can you carpool?
For students:

Consider being a student volunteer for the conference, thereby reducing/eliminating your registration fee, and perhaps qualifying for travel funding TREE Grants may be available from AFE; for more information contact office@fireecology.org.

  • Check for other funding sources to support student travel.
  • Some universities offer credit for attending conferences.
For scientists:

Professors and research-grade scientists are evaluated on publications, including participation in conferences, so attendance is necessary for job advancement.

Some grants (such as those from the Joint Fire Sciences Program) require technology transfer, and conference presentations can meet this requirement.