AfroTech 2019 is right around the corner, and we’re excited to see everyone there. However, we’re aware that sometimes as an employee, you may struggle with getting company-approval, especially if you’re in a non-engineering role. Here are some arguments for attending business conferences, even if you’re not an engineer. 


There’s no denying it; Millennials are visual creatures. So, if a company plans to recruit the best and brightest young talent, it needs a strong visible presence. Putting a strong foot forward at conferences like AfroTech will entice people to explore career opportunities at your company. Human resources (HR), sales, legal, or any other non-engineering departments need to attract strong talent just as much as engineering teams.

Staying Informed

Companies often use industry conferences to announce their latest and greatest projects and, if you’re not there, you’ll find out after everyone else has. Sending delegations to industry events can help companies stay abreast of the most current industry news. Attending conferences can also help your company learn about emerging competition early, so they aren’t caught off-guard. 

Expanding Horizons

The AfroTech conference focuses on connecting talented Black techies with the biggest names in the tech industry — a perfect setting for companies committed to improving their diversity and inclusion. By attending the conference, you can learn about the unique challenges Black people in the tech industry face and use your knowledge to help your company implement meaningful change.

Assert Authority

Industry conferences are great places for your company to do a little bit of humble-bragging. When any team in your company accomplishes something remarkable, it might not be a bad idea to present it to the industry. Did your legal department successfully navigate a tricky regulatory hurdle? Did your HR department come up with a new fair-hiring practice? Did your sales team hit a new sales record? Tell everyone about it!  Informing the industry about your successes can only solidify your company’s reputation as an industry leader. Only someone who actively contributed to the success of the project can really sell it (I mean YOU!).

How to Seal the Deal

We’ve given you several angles for justifying your trip, but your boss will probably want to see the true value. Luckily, we’ve come up with the perfect pitch for your boss. Use the customizable email template below: 

Dear [Manager’s Name],

I’d like your permission to join 3000+ other engineers, designers, and business leaders at this years AfroTech event from November 7-10 in Oakland.

Attending this conference will be beneficial for both my career growth and our company. While at AfroTech, I will attend the following sessions that I believe will benefit my team or the following projects:

[add session, what do you hope to take away from this session that will benefit your team/project]
[add session, what do you hope to take away from this session that will benefit your team/project]
[add session, what do you hope to take away from this session that will benefit your team/project]

Here’s an estimated breakdown of costs:

Airfare: $400
Hotel: $189/night: $567
Registration fee: $650 (Corporate Admission)

After the conference, I’ll circulate a report that will include a summary of what I learned and a set of recommendations for how we can improve our team and the work around our projects.

Thank you for considering my request to attend this event.
Looking forward to your reply,

[Your Name]

We’re excited to connect with new and old friends alike at AfroTech 2019, and we love meeting both engineering and non-engineering professionals who keep the industry going.

Hopefully, we will see you in Oakland!