• Gerald Auger, PhD

Have your ORG foot the bill sending you to Blackhat

Every summer cybersecurity pros from around the globe migrate to Las Vegas to convene for Blackhat and DEF CON. These two conferences are well known and an excellent opportunity to network, learn new technologies, and learn about new research.


It can be expensive though. How do you get your employer to pay for it??


The trick is you need to be able to show value to your business why there is greater value in sending you then not sending you. You can start off with a well crafted letter to your boss, and that's just what we are going to do below.


The general outline of the request is:

  1. What you want to go to

  2. Why its a good idea to send you

  3. Value to organization by sending you

  4. Expectations to the business on sending you (and when you return)

  5. Cost (the almighty impact to the business)

  6. Sign off

  7. P.S. Cost and Talk Breakdown details


Below is a letter you can use copy and paste and then update with the relevant information. I've written it for Blackhat, but you really could use this for any conference you want to go to.


Note you will have to do the legwork to get estimates for all the costs and fees. This number is going to be a deciding factor in whether or not your company will fund you.


START TEMPLATE


 

Dear <Manager>


I want to attend the <conference name, dates, venue>.


This conference is the premiere event in the cybersecurity industry. There is significant value add for <YOUR ORG> by sending me.


The opportunity to network and engage with security vendors will allow our business to understand the current market and identify competitors to our current technology stack that may result in greater solution effectiveness at a lower price point.


Furthermore there are multiple talks (see below) I will be attending that directly relate to the technology and implementation of our businesses technology stack, so I’ll be able to return and not only share my experiences and lessons learned but implement process improvements immediately.


I want to be respectful to cost to <YOUR ORG>, and I have priced out a conservative estimate for this request. The cost to attend the conference will be ( insert total cost) this includes registration fee, travel expenses, and hotel (see below for breakdown).

I would appreciate <YOUR ORG> support in this request and assure you the return on investment will have high value.


Let me know if you’d like to meet to discuss or please reply with organizational support to move forward.


Sincerely,

Your Name


Additional Details


IMMEDIATE VALUE TALKS

Talk one that relates to your role or business Talk two that relates to your role or business

COST BREAKDOWN

Conference Fee

Flight

Hotel

Food

Transportation

Total