Across different companies, there are differing attitudes towards the value of conferences, training and industry events. Sometimes (more commonly on the agency or consulting side) attendance at conferences is considered to be of benefit to the business, as it is considered marketing, and may lead to new clients. However, an employee’s desire to attend events and up-skill often goes unsupported. Or, if education is begrudgingly permitted, the time is almost treated as if the employee is “on vacation.”
In my humble opinion, the best digital analytics professionals want to attend conferences or training, be constantly learning and growing. It’s a sign that you hired well! These are the analysts who will go the extra mile, and do more than you even thought of.
But companies do the wrong math. They think about the price of a conference plus travel and accommodation, and think, “What’s in it for me?”
Here’s what’s in it for you. Think of the cost of conferences and training for your employees. Now think of the cost of employee turnover, recruiting, time spent understaffed, and retraining. Now add in the number of times you’ll do this, as you continue to lose great people (in an industry where 51% have changed jobs in the last 12 months!) – people to whom continual growth and education is critical to their job satisfaction.
The math seems pretty simple to me.
Your comments are along the lines of the joke conversation about the CFO and the CMO:
CFO: “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave the company?”
CEO: “What happens if we don’t and they stay?”
I agree there are some people who treat conferences as a way to get a “free” vacation, but for the most part, conferences are a great way to get your employees surrounded by people with fresh ideas & techniques. The value of that environment is enormous…for the size of most e-commerce shops, one good idea pays for the conference many times over.