1. Subsidize or Pay the Event Fee

Diana GoodwinAt our company, we have a policy where we will cover or subsidize event costs or courses that are related to our industry or will help an employee further their professional development. By reminding employees about this policy, I find that they are more willing to attend knowing that cost is not something they need to worry about. – Diana Goodwin, AquaMobile Swim School

2. Lead by Example

Sharam Fouladgar-MercerIf you’re continually enthusiastic about staying on the edge of what’s going on in your industry, including attending relevant events, your employees will follow suit. After you attend an event, share your learnings with your team plus why it was or was not valuable to be there. The more commonplace this is, the more likely employees will jump on board. – Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer, AirPR

3. Consider Their Work Hours

Brooke BergmanAfter a long day working sometimes the last thing employees want to do is attend a function that still feels at least a little bit like work. Let your employees come in a little later the following day in that case, or leave a little early that Friday. It shows that you respect their work/life balance and it will encourage them to keep attending these events that everyone benefits from in the end. – Brooke Bergman, Allied Business Network Inc.

4. Make Events Easy to Attend

Volkan Okay YaziciProvide them with the resources they need to attend the event. This means purchasing the required tickets and potentially giving them the day off prior to or after the event. Make it easy for them to attend and don’t put up any roadblocks that might discourage them from doing so. You should do this for the employees most likely to get the most out of the event. – Volkan Okay Yazici, Stonexchange

5. Make It a Group Event

David CiccarelliAn industry event will most likely benefit more than one employee, so make the opportunity more fun or appealing by arranging to have a group of employees attend together. Not only will your company have more representation at the event, but also shy or disinterested employees will have a familiar support system onsite. Encourage them to have fun and to enjoy the opportunity together. – David Ciccarelli, Voices.com

6. Hire People Who Are Already There

James McDonoughGreat people take initiative and know where and when the most valuable events are. Ask these screening questions in your interviews and make sure you are adding people to the team who are always on top of the latest industry news, knowledge and skills. – James McDonough, SEE Forge creators of FAT FINGER

7. Turn It Into a Learning Opportunity

Hank Ostholthoff,I always try to find ways to subsidize events (i.e. travel costs, etc.) and encourage my team to go as a group. After an event, I ask each of my employees to share one thing they learned from the opportunity at our weekly company lunch. This can be as simple as an observation or something they gleaned from a conversation. – Hank Ostholthoff, Mabbly

8. Combine Purpose and Credit

Brian PallasThe next time you write a CEO internal memo to all employees, give credit and thank the ones who attended events and came back to share new ideas or industry knowledge. When you find meaningful events, write personal notes to your employees asking for help to achieve certain missions, e.g. get an introduction to a speaker/attendee, learn about a new topic, connect with event host. – Brian Pallas, Opportunity Network

9. Reimburse Meal and Travel Expenses

Stanley MeytinGenerally employees don’t consider going to these events because they are worried about the travel expense or the expense of a meal if the event is all day. Offer to reimburse them for these expenses and they will feel more comfortable attending. With this comfort, they will be more focused and able to retain the information they learned and then apply it to their work. – Stanley Meytin, True Film Production

10. Give Them an Education Budget

Dan CarltonConsider giving each employee their own education budget. Each of our employees are given $2,500 a year to spend on conferences, online courses, training programs, improv classes — whatever. It’s up to them to decide how to spend it. By giving them control of their own development (rather than dictating attendance to specific events), they become more committed to ongoing self-improvement. – Dan Carlton, The PARAGRAPH Project

11. Connect the Event to Their Job

Patrick LintonIf your objective is get employees to attend industry events, and it is an extra and not core part of their day-to-day job, the most important thing is to help them see how it ties back into their job – whether that is the learnings from the event, the contacts made, or the skills built simply attending and interacting with others. It all has to connect, especially if it takes extra time. –Patrick Linton, Bolton Remote

12. Create Objectives

Andrew KucheriavyKeep your team up to date on events you hear of in your area – especially the ones you plan on attending, yourself. Inspire them by mentioning objectives for attending that could translate into professional or personal growth, but don’t make it an expectation. With enough encouragement, there is no reason employees won’t want to go. – Andrew Kucheriavy, Intechnic

13. Positively Reinforce People Who Choose to Go

Fan BiOne of the most effective tactics I’ve seen in encouraging the behavior you’d like to see within your team and culture is publicly praising the individuals who are enacting that behavior. In this case, encourage team members to attend an event, and then at a company meeting, positively reinforce them and let them talk about the things they learned or people they met. Fan Bi, Blank Label



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