A 5-Step Guide to Convincing Your Manager to Send You to AU 2024

Upgrading your skillset and network in the construction sector will help you—and your firm—be more competitive. Autodesk University enables you to do just that.  

Taking place in San Diego on October 15-17, AU 2024 offers hundreds of learning sessions and provides unparalleled networking opportunities to help you level up your career. 

Still, getting your manager on board can be tricky, so if you're looking for ways to make the case on why you should attend AU 2024: The Design and Make Conference, we've got you covered.  

Register NOW

Industry conferences are more important than ever 

First, let's set the stage: conferences are increasingly becoming critical, particularly in the AEC sector.  

The industry faces an immense skills gap, with 77% of US construction firms saying that they're struggling to find candidates with the necessary skills. And it's not just the US; according to Autodesk's Nordics construction survey, 84% of firms struggle to recruit, and over a third (32%) are concerned by a general lack of skilled labor. 

Clearly, the shortfall of construction talent is a global issue, and one of the best ways to find solutions is to immerse yourself in industry conferences like AU 2024. Aside from inspiring you to pick up new skills, this event gives you a first-hand look at technologies and solutions that can help firms bridge the skills gap. 

And if you're reading this, we know you're already sold on attending AU 2024. Now, let's discuss the steps you can take to help your manager see the value of the conference. 

How to convince your manager you should attend AU 2024

1: Familiarize yourself with classes and conference details

A compelling case is a well-researched one. If you're gearing up for a conversation about AU 2024, start by getting familiar with what the conference has to offer.  

There are nearly 600 classes (over 150 of which are construction-specific) offered at the event, so bookmark the ones most relevant to your role. You'll also want to bring up the keynote sessions featuring executives, Autodesk customers, and thought leaders sharing new ideas and inspiring stories. A full class list will be available in August, so keep an eye out on the site for a complete view soon! 

Beyond these sessions, AU 2024 has several networking opportunities lined up, including meetups that enable you to connect with industry peers and foster relationships that can contribute to your professional growth and your firm's success. 

And let's not forget the Expo floor, where you can discover exciting trends, demo cutting-edge tech, and meet Autodesk partners and product experts. 

There's definitely a lot to see and do! Get to know what the event has to offer, then map out the opportunities you'd like to attend. 

2: Create a sample agenda or list of classes you want to attend

Details matter, especially when you're trying to make a case to attend a conference that involves your time and resources. So, show your manager that you've done your homework and strategically pinpoint the sessions that will benefit your role and the organization. 

Keep your eye on the general agenda page; you'll see the list of specific classes so you can flesh out your AU 2024 agenda and experience. With hundreds of classes in store, you'll undoubtedly find sessions that align with your (and your firm's) needs—be it learning a technical skill, a specific product, or an industry issue.  

Curious to see what classes were like last year? Check them out on demand.

3: Price out the investment

Learning and development take a certain amount of investment, and your manager will likely ask how much the trip will cost. To make this part of your conversation easier, we have a handy calculator that lets you estimate the total cost of the conference. The calculator factors in: 

  • The price of the conference pass  
  • Average hotel cost (multiplied by the number of nights)  
  • Airfare  
  • Average transportation cost 
  • Miscellaneous costs

You'll find our calculator tool here. Using it is easy; just enter your numbers, and the calculator will automatically populate the total costs.  

4: Outline your top reasons for attending

Aside from discussing specific classes, present your larger motivations for attending AU 2024. Make sure these relate to your specific role, project, career path, or anything else you're working on.  

The key is to communicate how your presence at the conference benefits the company so you and your manager can identify the business case for AU 2024. 

5: Send a formal email

Make things official by sending a formal email convincing your manager to send you to AU 2024. This makes your effort more compelling because it shows your commitment to professional development. 

And the good news is you don't have to write the email from scratch. You can use this AU 2024 email template, specifically designed to articulate the benefits of AU 2024 in a compelling, professional manner—while giving you room to add your personal touch. 

For best results, customize your email with a sample agenda and your top reasons for attending.  

Ready to put together your email? Check out the template here.  

Backup option: Attend virtually 

Can't make it to AU 2024 in person? It’s always wise to have a plan B and luckily you have the option to attend virtually. While there's a certain magic to being at the conference in person, you can still experience part of the AU magic by securing a free digital pass.  

The pass won't grant access to all sessions, but you'll have opportunities to attend a limited selection of classes live, plus access to certain on-demand sessions, the keynote, and industry forums. 

Grab your digital pass here.  

Convince your manager to send you to AU 2024 

Now is the time to speak with your manager about sending you to AU 2024: The Design and Make Conference.

Register NOW

Remember, the future of construction is here, and you don't want to miss out on this opportunity to be a part of it. Register for AU 2024 today

Jenny Ragan

As Managing Editor - Content Marketing, Jenny oversees the execution of content strategies and implementation across the Digital Builder blog, podcast, and video channels. She has been working in the marketing side of the AEC industry for the past 15+ years and is the cornerstone of content marketing channel production, owning core editorial calendars and working with internal collaborators and external vendors and contractors to keep all deliverables moving forward.