Annual Meeting Attendance Justification Toolkit

Do you want to attend the ESA’s Annual Meeting, Entomology 2021, but need to justify the investment to your employer? We have created a toolkit to ensure you have all of the meeting details when you talk to your chair, supervisor, or boss. Utilize the tips, expense worksheet, and justification letter in this toolkit to prove the value of your attendance!

On behalf of the ESA Annual Meeting Program Committee, we thank you for considering attendance at ESA’s Annual Meeting, Entomology 2021. When science is about building on and connecting with the ideas of others, it pays to surround yourself with the leading community of entomologists. Chance encounters at the ESA Annual Meeting have sparked countless research collaborations.

“Personally, I have become a better researcher and person through the connections I have made at ESA’s Annual Meeting. In 2012, I presented a poster at the ESA Annual Meeting titled, “Temperature extremes of the brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys.” I was approached by a student from the University of Minnesota, Theresa Cira, who was working on a similar project, but with slightly different methods. After exchanging information, we started collaborating on the project and merged our data from two geographies that resulted in us co-authoring a paper in Environmental Entomology that was a part of each of our graduate programs. I love that this was a cross-institutional collaborative project that blossomed from a chance meeting in Knoxville."

Be Prepared

Things to consider that will help justify your travel and meeting expense:

  • Know your registration rate! Visit the registration page and determine your qualifying rate. Did you know becoming an ESA member helps save you money on registration?
  • Make a checklist of the sessions you want to attend. Focus on the specific benefits and value of attending these sessions. A full list of sessions will be available in mid-August. Explore the selected symposia and workshops now!
  • It isn’t an expense, it’s an investment. What is the return on investment (ROI) of you attending? You should be able to showcase the benefits/value to your organization in relation to the expense it will incur.

    Read the stories of several ESA member to learn about how their experiences at an ESA Annual Meeting changed their careers—and some advice for making the most of a scientific conference.
  • Prepare a work plan for your supervisor with details like who will cover for you and how your workload will be managed while you are attending the meeting.
  • Share your experience. Propose delivering a short presentation to your colleagues after the meeting to share what you learned and offer possible applications and recommendations relevant to your lab or office.


Send a Formal Request

Help your boss make an informed decision.

  • State your top three reasons for attending.
  • Articulate how the event will benefit you, your organization, and any relevant initiatives.
  • Consider including a few sessions you would like to attend and a list of a few speakers you would like to network with.
  • Include an estimated cost breakdown (see the sample expense worksheet). This will provide you with a negotiating tool; your boss may be willing to send you if you can find a way to reduce meal or lodging costs.

Download a letter to customize!


Sample Expense Worksheet




Entomology 2021 Registration Fee

Early bird rate deadline is September 13


Entomological Society of America Annual Membership Dues

Registration cost savings of $_____
Member benefit access: journals, webinars, etc.



Air mileage points available to offset airfare?



Number of nights; room rate; taxes


Transportation fee

Taxi/car rental/airport shuttle/rideshare/train



Driving to the conference or to the airport for your flight?


Food per diem

Refer to your company’s policy if applicable


Miscellaneous reimbursable expenses

Tips, internet fees, etc.





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