Ask DN: Do you attend conferences through your company?

over 5 years ago from , ⚡️Design

Does your company support you going to conferences? Do they help or foot the bill completely? Are you free to attend any event you want while you're there? Are you required to share what you learned when you get back?

Just out of curiosity I'd like to know what your experience has been like.


  • Adrian HowardAdrian Howard, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

    Currently the company funds everything for conference attendence: But I co-founded the company so it's my decision ;-)

    When working for other folk it's been varied:

    • Everything. Ticket, accommodation, travel, reasonable expenses + not taken out of holiday time.
    • Nothing. You have to use your own money, and your own time.
    • Give time. They don't pay for the event, but they give you the time off to attend for "free" (pay not docked, holiday time not reduced).

    … and various other combinations…

    Personally I've always been the person saying "I think I should go to this", rather than the company choosing to send me to an event, but I've certainly me folk whose company sends them to events (sometimes completely inappropriate events).

    Pretty much universally we were encouraged to try and speak at events if it was appropriate. Both as professional development, and because it reduced the price ;-)

    I've personally not worked anywhere that's told me what sessions to attend. But I know people who have had that experience. Indeed I've talked to folk at events with multiple tracks where the organisation has sent enough people so that they have a single body in each session to cover the whole event!

    Every time a company has sent me to an event, they've expected some kind of report / internal presentation.

    2 points
    • Chris C, over 5 years ago

      Thanks for the response, Adrian. At your company, do you require your folks to do any kind of reporting/presentation or dictate which events they attend at a conf?

      0 points
      • Adrian HowardAdrian Howard, over 5 years ago

        Well — there's only two of us full time ;-) That said we always do a little retrospective on an event afterwards, and stuff from the event often moves into our reading and learning backlogs.

        1 point
  • Billy CarlsonBilly Carlson, over 5 years ago

    Yes and it is awesome!

    1 point
  • Angel ColbergAngel Colberg, over 5 years ago

    Yes, yes(full reimbursement or company card), yes, and YES(Without this, it is just a personal trip).

    I no longer go to conferences. I find them to be a waste of time; but encourage all the junior designers on my team to attend and make that decision for themselves as we all learn in different ways.

    1 point
    • Chris CChris C, over 5 years ago

      Thanks, Angel. I'm interested as to why you see them as a waste of time – could you elaborate?

      1 point
      • Angel ColbergAngel Colberg, over 5 years ago

        Sure Chris, np! I guess it is mostly because I already follow their work/conversations on Twitter/blogs/etc. and also people tend to share vids/decks/presentations afterwards.

        Other then that, I would have to say that the signal to noise ratio has grown weaker over time as well.

        2 points
  • Nice ShoesNice Shoes, over 5 years ago

    Good subject. I'm pulling together a proposal at the moment.

    1 point
  • Braden HammBraden Hamm, over 5 years ago

    Yes, they have an allowance that covers most conferences, like An Event Apart, but a few are out of the price range. If you've been around longer, you get to go to things like SXSW with rooms and flights covered too.

    And yes, you're expected to share what you learned with the rest of the design team.

    0 points
  • Jeri Bowers, over 5 years ago

    I've been fortunate enough to attend a few conferences including SXSW Interactive, Idean UX Summit, An Event Apart and a few online conferences. Some ideas to help propel you forward are to have a compelling business justification, show how it improves your immediate skills, and share your expertise with your team upon your return.

    Something unique at my current company is that if you're a speaker at an event, they will foot the bill (travel, lodging, admission, etc.).

    0 points
  • Jason KJason K, over 5 years ago

    At work we're required to do annual training. For our small web department (2 people), conferences are considered to be training.

    Yes, they pay for everything: travel, conference/workshop fees, hotel, meals.

    Not really required to show and tell, but it's appreciated if you do.

    0 points