Convince Your Manager - Human.School is for You!

If you’re like most of us, it can be intimidating to ask for both the funds to go to a conference and the space from work to attend. That’s why we put together this five step guide - to help you make the ask confidently, knowing the answer will be a resounding yes!

Prefer to read the guide here? We've included an accessible version below!

Step 1: Figure Out Your “Why?” Luckily, Human.School isn’t a concurrent session conference - it’s a one-track, developmental learning experience. That means you don’t have to choose from a list of dozens of sessions going on at the same time. Instead, we have painstakingly chosen the speakers, workshops, and order of the sessions to produce the best result and impact for our attendees.

Even though you don’t have to figure out which sessions you want to attend, you should consider the following questions:

  • What are your company’s greatest HR/people operations challenges? Where do you see the most room for improvement?

  • What pain points does your boss, VP, or CEO have around people operations or management? How could you help fix those pain points?

  • If you could get just one amazing thing out of Human.School, what would it be?

When you’re making the ask, make it easy for your boss to say yes: reframe the top challenges you see and match the sessions and value to each of them. Think about how you could write your ask in such a way that the only logical answer is “yes!”

At Human.School, you won’t just hear theory and fuzzy case studies. You’ll be in workshops that aren’t just talks. You’ll get to participate in experiences that help you develop and hone your own company’s people operations strategy in just two days.

Step 2: Stress the Value of Investing in Your Education The world of people operations and human resources moves incredibly fast - but oftentimes, we aren’t recognized for the informational and technical agility we must have to succeed in these roles. Especially if you’re coming to Human.School as the “unofficial” people ops person (an office manager, executive assistant, or facilities manager perhaps), it’s vital that you learn the most human-focused ways of leading an organization.

On top of that, you’re most likely someone who’s holding it all together at your company. HR and people ops professionals have a tendency to wear - and be given - multiple hats. All the more reason to go deep on your people operations skill development! Think about how you’ll grow as a professional by attending Human.School and how that will help grow your company, then make that part of your ask.

When you come to Human.School, you’re coming for the context, community, and confidence. We all know what it’s like to learn by trial and error. But what about when you need reliable, cutting-edge knowledge now? Like any great conference, Human.School will challenge your current thinking about human resources. You’ll be challenged to think critically about your work. You may feel uncomfortable, or frustrated - and that’s by design. Why? Because Human.School is built on a foundation of solid learning design and neuroscience. We know that for real learning to happen, focused, intensive environments must be fostered. On the flipside, Human.School will also provide you with the actionable techniques you can use right when you walk back into the office.

Step 3: Consider Your Team’s Needs

Human.School is generously made possible by our handpicked partners. They have traveled across the country and designed innovative ways of sharing their HR solutions with you - you won’t find any sleazy demo halls here! During the conference, you’ll have tons of opportunities to talk with our partners. This is the perfect place to find solutions your company might need, from benefits to HRIS to wellness.

If your company is looking for an HR solution provider, you’re going to find the top ones at Human.School. We’ve reached out to only the best, most human-centered providers we know, so that you can rest assured you’re meeting people who will share your company’s values. You won’t feel pressured to talk with any partners - you have the control about how to interact with Human.School’s partners. One thing though - we genuinely love them all! We encourage you to take a look at who is sponsoring the meals, speakers, swag, and more.

Step 4: Write Your Ask Putting together all the thoughts you’ve collected from the first two steps, draft a few bullet points. Then consider how your boss prefers to receive these asks - is it in writing or in person? Think about the best time to ask, but also don’t miss out by trying to find the “exact right moment.” This is about your professional development - something your company should be deeply committed to. It’s also about your ability to deliver the solutions your people need. That’s another thing your company should care about! To make it easier for you to ask, we’ve created a sample letter you can email to your manager or executive. Feel free to use it as is, or edit as you need. See the end of this guide for the sample!

Step 5: Make it Real for Your Team You’re going to leave Human.School with the knowledge and context you need to lead your team’s people operations, but you’re also going to leave with a newfound community and confidence. You’ll be tired; that’s for sure! But it’ll all be worth it once you open your people operations strategy back in the office.

Help your team see the value of Human.School long after the conference by committing to a post-conference presentation, where you can share the highlights and your ideas. Then, implement the ready-to-use strategies you learned while at Human.School!

Sample Ask Email

Dear <Manager>

I would like to attend Human.School, the premier conference for people operations practitioners, from February 26-28, 2018 in Portland, Oregon.

I’ve reviewed the program and agenda for the conference, and I have to say it’s not like most HR conferences at all. Human.School focuses on practical, applicable strategy development and the tools I’ll need in order to build that strategy for our team. Most events for HR and people ops people make you choose between dozens of unconnected sessions, without any real takeaways. Human.School is a one-track developmental learning experience, so it starts at 0 and goes to 60 (as far as people operations strategy goes!)

The conference features many industry leaders, both a digital and physical workbook version of the People Operations Strategy model, and several opportunities for networking and learning from my peers. I am positive that all of these elements will greatly benefit my work. For example, <give specific program information and agenda> , will help me <action>. We’ve been talking a lot about <something you’ve been meaning to get to!> and I feel confident that attending Human.School will help me accomplish <the thing.>

Networking with the 99 other attendees, who are essentially all in the same role I am, as well as with the hand-picked conference sponsors, will be invaluable for me.

Please check out the conference website at - I have been following the conference buzz and have heard from others that it’s going to be a once-in-a-career, truly foundational experience.

The cost to attend the conference will be the registration fee, travel expenses, and hotel. Breakfast and lunch on both days, as well as dinner at the pre-conference and Day 1, is included. I also wish to participate in the pre-conference event on Feb. 26th, which is included in the ticket. That event is just about making diversity and inclusion programming really work, and I’ll hear from companies that have succeeded, some who’ve failed, and experts in the field.

An early bird ticket for Human.School is $650 (until Sept. 15), and then the ticket goes up to $795. I have also included a detailed cost breakdown of my anticipated expenses for a total of <$.>

Here is my estimated breakdown of conference costs:

Conference Fee: $650 (or $795 if purchased after Sept. 15)

Airfare: <cost of your location to PDX>

Transportation to and from Hotel: Almost nothing! Portland has a great MAX train system and I can get downtown in less than an hour for $2.50.

Hotel: the rooms at the Mark Spencer are exceptionally affordable at $159 per night. I’ll want to stay the nights of Monday, Feb. 26 and Tuesday, Feb. 27 for a total of 2 nights. I may need to stay a third night in case I can’t find an evening flight on the 28th.

Meals: I’ll just need to cover the cost of dinner on Day 2.

Total: <your total>

I am confident you will see this as a worthwhile investment. It is an opportunity for me to network with experts, industry vendors, meet peers who can share their experiences, attend valuable educational sessions and gain specific industry knowledge. My attendance at Human.School is a wise investment and will pay off for years to come. Please let me know if I can answer any questions for you about Human.School, or why this is a great investment not only in my professional development, but also in our company!


<Your Name>

Thanks to our amazing sponsors: