The CPPcon conference is tremendously educational and interesting. The venue in Bellevue Washington is very, very nice and agreeable. Attendees get to rub elbows with well known people in the business. For A C++ programmer to be standing in the registration queue next to Bjarne Stroustrup, Sean Parent, (or myself -- lol) is actually a physical thrill -- like meeting a rock star. Add in emotional disputes about arcane topics that no one else understands, good music, good beer, free snacks and coffee it's better than a vacation -- which is basically is -- and paid by the company without impacting your wife's vacation time. It might even enhance your career! And's all free because the company is paying for it!
But course you can't you can't get all these benefits unless you can get your company to send you! So here's my suggestion on how to get you company to pay for it.
- Don't spend too much time on the above explanation of what the conference is really like.
- Promise to post each evening a report on the sessions you've attended and your review of them. At least some of the sessions you've attended will be relevant to issues currently confronting your team. Such an internal posting will permit your team members to ask more questions while you've still got access to the other conference attendees and speakers. This could spark new ideas on making better/faster progress on your products.
- Pitch conference as a place to send people to get new ideas useful in solving the companies or boss's problems. Of course this presumes that a) your company actually has problems and b) that people realise this.
- You'll be able to "scout" content that is particularly relevant to you current challenges. Since all the content is later available on video, other team members and the company will benefit from it with out having to wade through hours other stuff. So your team mates will be able to watch video on company time! This will somewhat ameliorate the resent they'll have about you going the conference while they stay at the office lashed to the hamster wheel.
Hope this works for you and hope to see a record turnout.