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How to go to a conference

At Mattermost both personal and technical growth are highly valued, as is staying on top of industry trends. To support this we have budget to send staff to relevant conferences.
The policy is as follows:
  • Each engineering staff member can request approval to go to one company-paid-for conference per year
  • Conferences should be regional to the staff member
    • Roughly this means not crossing oceans or flying 6+ hours
    • Exceptions can be granted on a case-by-case basis when there are no equivalent regional conferences
  • Content of the conference is relevant to the staff member's role
  • Keep the costs in-line with company policies (see How to spend company money)
  • Only a limited number of staff can go to the same conference at the same time
  • Staff who go to conferences should share their learnings with the team
From time to time, you may be asked to “work a conference” that Mattermost is sponsoring. This may include giving a talk, working our booth, etc. To be clear, this conference attendance policy is separate from working a conference and has a separate budget.

Getting approval

If there is a conference you would like to attend please send an email to your manager with the following template:
Subject: Request to Attend <conference-name>
Hi <manager-name>,
I would like to attend <conference-name> at <location> from <date> until <date> because <reason>.
The cost estimates are:
* Flights/Transportation: $XXX
* Accomodation: $XXX
* Event tickets: $XXX
If your manager responds with "Approved." then you are good to go. Start booking the tickets, travel and accomodations and expense it via Expensify.
If you would like to ask for an exception to the above policy, please include what the exception is and why it's justified in the email and also cc your manager's manager to get their approval.
Once approved, managers need to add the conference to the tracking spreadsheet.