You know you want to attend the Texas Apartment Association Education Conference & Lone Star Expo in Houston this April. Good decision—attending the Conference gives you access to 73 first-rate industry-specific educational seminars, the largest single-state industry Expo in the nation and some pretty amazing networking events, too. All this, and Queen Latifah, too. (See related story.)

Just one problem—convincing your boss. Here are some tips to help you make your case, plus some ways you can experience the Conference, or parts of it, on the cheap.

Have an answer ready when you hear:

  • It’s too expensive. I understand we have to watch our expenses, but it costs us $ every time we lose a resident. I know I can get some great ideas for keeping our residents satisfied, and that will save us money in our operating costs. (Use your company’s own figures for what a resident turnover costs.)
  • We need you here. Of course there’s always plenty to do on our property, but I’ll be able to pack in some great education and visit with lots of potential suppliers, all in (one or two) day(s). While I’m out, X can cover our calls and I’ll be available (by phone, text, email).
  • We only send supervisors/managers/etc. Of course I know you can’t send everyone in the company—but my perspective as a (title) will be different than a (title’s). I’d be happy to (write a debrief, share what I learned in a future staff training session, etc.) to pass on the tips and good information I learn.

Make your case.

  • Don’t overlook the value of the Lone Star Expo.
    • Discuss options, new/innovative services or other issues with your suppliers.
    • Check multiple sources at one time, in one location.
    • Find new options for services and suppliers.

Need to save money? You can do the Conference on a dime.

  • Discounts
    • Save about 8 percent when you register by February 28.
    • Save even more by combining the early registration discount with group registration discounts of 5-20 percent.
    • You can still save when you register between March 1-April 2.
  • One-day registrations
    • Register for Thursday-only, and you can attend seminars, hear the keynote by Queen Latifah, go to the Lone Star Expo and attend the Kickoff Party for $265 when you register by February 28.
    • Registering for Friday only will only set you back $185 (without the Gala) or $265 (with the Gala). On Friday, you can attend seminars, attend the Lone Star Expo and eat lunch in the Expo.
  • Economy registration
    • Opting to skip the Kickoff Party and the Installation & Awards Gala on Friday means you can take advantage of everything else at the Conference for $275 when you register by February 28. Your choice of any seminars on Thursday and Friday, the keynote address on Thursday plus two days in the Lone Star Expo and lunch in the Expo on Friday.
  • Expo-only options
    • Exhibitors have free entry passes to the Expo. If you’re in Houston or can make it for the day, ask one of your suppliers who’s exhibiting for a pass and you can enter the Expo on Thursday or after 2 p.m. on Friday.
    • Can’t score a free pass? You can purchase one onsite at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston for $10 on either Thursday or Friday. (On Friday this pass doesn’t include lunch. If you want lunch inside the Expo, that ticket is $40.)