Talk with Your Employer

Talk AADE18 to Your Employer

Do you want to attend the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) Annual Conference but need to get approval from your employer first? Not all supervisors understand the advantages of attending so it is your job to sell the importance of going to AADE18!

We’ve created this toolkit to help you explain the benefits and justify the expenses of AADE18.

Step 1: Understanding your AADE18 Expenses

Before you can even begin to justify conference expenses, you need to calculate what those expenses will be. Follow this guide:

In order to justify conference expenses, you will need to first identify and calculate expenses unique to your needs:

  • Registration cost
  • Flight
  • Lodging
  • Ground Transportation: Roundtrip from Airport/Hotel
  • Mileage reimbursement: Driving to AADE18 or the airport? First determine distances and ask your employer what the reimbursed rate is per mile.
  • Parking reimbursement: at airport and hotel
  • Food per diem

Fixed expenses include:

  • AADE18 registration fee
  • Flight
  • Hotel

Variable expenses:

  • Ground transportation (taxis to and from airport, to and from hotel, etc.)
  • Parking (airport, hotel, etc.)
  • Food

You may want to let your employer know if you are willing/able to share some of the costs. For instance, if your employer covers the fixed expenses, you will invest by covering the variable ones. This demonstrates your personal commitment to the meeting.

Cost-Saving Strategies

Find Help with Funding

  • Look into nurse union educational grants.
  • Investigate state professional groups (e.g. state dietetic and nursing associations).
  • Check into organization practice groups (e.g. Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics DCE Practice Group).
  • Inquire about foundation or hospital auxiliary education grants at your hospital.
  • Ask physician colleagues to sponsor your attendance.
  • Find out if your local Coordinating Body offers scholarships.


  • Share a hotel room with colleagues.
  • Use AADE18 airfare discount codes when you book travel.
  • Come for the day if you live near Indianapolis but can’t attend the entire AADE18 meeting.
  • Register early for the greatest savings. Also, AADE has negotiated discounted rates with local hotels to help you save even more!

Step 2: Communicating the Benefits

When you propose going to AADE18, don’t focus on how much you want to go; focus on what you will specifically bring back to your organization.

Some specific details you need to include:

  1. Session content: What sessions have particular relevance to your organization’s work? AADE18 offers 6 tracks and over 90 educational sessions touching every area of practice.
  2. Exhibitor contacts: Identify exhibitors that will showcase the products or services you need to evaluate and work more effectively with your patients. Emphasize how attending AADE18 is an ideal opportunity for you to compare competing products and services in one place.
  3. Best practices and networking: Emphasize that in addition to educational sessions, AADE18 will offer outcomes-based learning that you can immediately use in the workplace. In addition, over 75 posters will highlight emerging research and face-to-face networking with a multidisciplinary group of diabetes educators allows for additional opportunities to share ideas and future contacts.
  4. Build a networking list: AADE18 is an unmatched source for networking, bringing together diabetes educators from across the U.S. Make note of speakers, exhibitors or industry representatives you would like to meet or learn from.
  5. Talk up the takeaways: From networking opportunities to practical takeaways from each session, attending a live conference provides information you can put into action when you get home. In addition, you can bring back ideas or solutions from new or improved products and/or services presented in the exhibit hall.
  6. Quality improvement initiatives: Identify skill sets that need to be improved in your workplace. Do you and/or your staff need to improve your communication skills, need to know about electronic health records or even how you can leverage social media? All these topics and more will be featured at AADE18.
  7. Share training and development: You can bring the knowledge gained back to your staff and conduct a lunch and learn session (set a date before attending the meeting- soon after returning –this will show that the meeting was excellent and inspirational- you could not wait to share! This may help with buy-in for next year!). Share your conference experience with your supervisor and colleagues. Talk to them about your impressions, the information and contacts you brought back and how you plan to apply what you learned.

Step 3: Quantify the Benefits

Although you understand the benefits of AADE18, your employer may not. Therefore, to be the most effective in justifying the conference, you need to clearly articulate the connection between your organization’s knowledge requirements and the conference program. To support this process, use the following Benefits Worksheet:

What we need to learn? How AADE18 can help?

It’s ALL in the selling and follow through

Be sure to let your supervisor know that the conference was a worthwhile investment, so that it will be an easier sell for you or a colleague next year.

Now it’s time to meet your employer and provide the information you gathered. Good luck!

Source: Adapted from How to Justify Conference Attendance by Mike Doyle

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