If there aren’t designated funds for professional development right now, how about funding for support, consultants, or contractors?
The education I’ll gain will decrease any spending we might have to do in those areas. We may still have to access those resources, but I will be in a better position to deal with them more knowledgeably and quickly.
For the member rate of $1,099 I’ll get at least 14 solid hours of learning in exactly the areas I need – and an opportunity to ask for free advice from the experts.
Some of the speakers are consultants who would cost us that much (and likely more) for their time. I’ll be coming back with knowledge I can use at work right away. Plus I can coach the other members of our team in what I learned to further extend the learning.
Even with travel expenses factored in, the value of the learning really does exceed the cost. The early bird deadline is June 30 so we need to move on this quickly.
Toronto is one of the most accessible travel hubs in the Canada. It’s not high season, and there are always deals on flights and a huge selection of hotel deals. The Institute has even negotiated a special room rate with the Intercontinental Hotel, which we can take advantage of.
There are lots of free webcasts online, and some of them are very good. But they can’t replace the learning I’ll get from being surrounded by thousands of other professionals who do what I do as well as the first-hand access to the experts who will be onsite.
With webcasts, I can’t ask those specific questions that we need answered, and it can take hours of searching online for the right answers. Plus, the people I’ll meet in person will be the people that I can easily contact afterward if I run into any issues and need advice.