When you propose attending the 2019 EDCO Conference and Showcase, focus on specifically what you will bring back to the organization to demonstrate return on the investment. Use this “benefits guide” to help state your case:
Knowledge Benefits from the Educational Program
Consider your organization’s specific goals or needs, and then consider how specific elements of the conference will help meet those needs. Sessions are strategically focused to help you advance your relationship‐building skills, develop innovative solutions, reimagine business strategies and leverage emerging trends.
Session Content: Which keynotes, workshops, interactive sessions have particular relevance to your organization’s current priorities and goals? Are there sessions that will provide insight into a particular challenge or goal your organization is facing right now, or expects to face in the next 12 months? Identify specifically what you can use, and how.
Training and Skills Development: Which of the sessions are most relevant to your professional development goals or your organization’s expectations of you? What new skill(s) or approach(es) will you bring back?
Strategic Benefits from Educational Program
“The field of economic development is changing rapidly and in uncertain ways. It is difficult to view the ‘forest’ when we’re working at the ‘tree’ level. Our organization needs to anticipate, understand, and adapt to changes both in the policy environment and in professional practice.”
“Attending the EDCO Conference will enable us to see how the field is changing: workforce planning, strategic marketing, best practices in engaging the business community, downtown revitalization, succession planning, business retention and expansion, real estate, and international trade.”
“This conference will enable me/us to meet and interact with economic development practitioners from the private and public sectors in similar roles from Ontario, from other provinces, and from the international community. We will be able to take the pulse of what our peer organizations are talking about and planning for, and how they are accomplishing [specific goal or activity].”
Team Capacity‐building Benefits (if multiple individuals from your division/organization attend)
“The conference will help build our team by providing a forum for team members to learn and discuss best practices, new tools, and emerging trends. Doing this together will build a shared knowledge base for applying this information to improve our strategies, programs, processes, and outcomes.”
Will the conference showcase vendors have the tools or services you use or are evaluating for potential future use? Is this an opportunity to collect first‐hand information and to compare competing firms?
“Leading vendors of economic development products and services for promotion, program design and evaluation, community assessment, and community benefit will be present. This is our chance to collect information and evaluate multiple vendors for [state your vendor or product need] all at once, helping us make a more informed decision more quickly.”