Anyone who’s attended a HOW Design Live conference will tell you it’s one of the most inspiring, rejuvenating and creativity-boosting experiences in graphic design. Many have called it life changing. But chances are, your boss isn’t looking to spend a couple thousand dollars of your company’s travel budget to “change your life.” She’s more interested in changing the bottom line, so that’s how you have to frame your discussion—the tangible benefits that will make you more productive, more efficient, more effective as a designer.
In other words, ROI.
Tell her what she’ll get in return for that investment—think saving or making money—and you’re more likely to get it approved. The following points can help you build your case, either in a written request or face-to-face dialogue. Ready to build your case? Here we go.
I’ll strengthen (and broaden) my skill set.
From creativity to business to the latest technology, the HOW Design Live program covers every facet of graphic design in one four-day event. I’ll get real-world information and processes I can put into practice as soon I get home, balanced by inspirational work from industry stars and up-and-coming designers.
I’ll be more proficient in design software.
Software gurus—many of them actively involved in software development—will explore all the bells, whistles and practical features of the newest and best design software. They’ll help me make the most of my current design tools, too, even if I can’t upgrade to every new version.
I’ll learn how to save the company money.
Sponsored technology sessions presented by the makers of graphic design products and services are designed to help us use our tools more efficiently and cost-effectively. And in the Exhibit Hall, I’ll meet new vendors with new solutions (and maybe even better pricing). This is all information I can put to use when we have to negotiate the purchase of new products, services or printing. As a bonus, I’ll head home with armfuls of free samples—information to fuel a future project or inspire a new production process.
I’ll learn how to make the most of the resources we already have.
Whether I want to inspire our co-workers to greater heights of innovation or need to get by on an older version of design software, I’ll learn tips for capitalizing on our current resources.
I’ll learn how to be more creative, consistently.
Each of the four HOW Design Live conferences has plenty of sessions on creativity—from brainstorming techniques to unusual brochure folds to building designs around typography.
I’ll pick up ideas we can apply to our own business.
The presenters at HOW share real-world case studies from a broad spectrum of companies who’ve proven that good design = good business.
I’ll make valuable connections.
From networking events like Lunch with a Speaker to receptions inside the Exhibit Hall, I’ll meet accomplished creatives with unique skills and experiences to share—a collaborative network I can tap long after the conference. I can even look for potential hires in the Portfolio Review.
I’ll find new vendors and resources.
The HOW and Dieline Exhibit Halls are packed with innovative suppliers of printing, paper, stock imagery, software and other tools of the design trade—all with the potential for better pricing, better results or both!
I’ll help our company stay current.
With sessions on app design, new type technologies for the web and making your way in a digital world, HOW is the place to explore trends and learn new skills—from the smartest and most creative minds in the industry.
I can share what I learn with officemates after the Conference.
Combining my own notes and ideas with the session handouts provided by HOW, I’ll have plenty of inspiration and information to share when I return. And for an additional fee, we can place our order for audio MP3s of most sessions while on-site, with delivery within 30 days post-Conference.
My Conference costs may be tax deductible.
Since the conferences of HOW Design Live are a continuing education expense taken to maintain and improve my professional skills, registration fees, travel, meals and lodging may be tax deductible. But we should check with the company CPA just to be certain.
HOW Design Live is an investment for our company.
I’ll learn skills that will have a lasting effect on my work, from using design to accelerate market success to integrating design with good business. I’ll pick up plenty of tips and techniques that will provide instant gratification, but I’ll also learn to be a stronger, smarter, more marketing- and business-savvy designer.