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I'm currently with employer X and my abstract was accepted to a somewhat prestigious conference very relevant to X. I have an offer from company Y, which is in a completely different industry from X, which I plan to accept, and I'll start my new job before the conference date.

Company Y is unlikely to cover my travel/accommodations. I would like to attend the conference and am ready to pick up the bill. My affiliation on the programme would be Y, which would be almost comical.

I'm thinking there might be value for X to pay for my travel, and I represent X, but this might seem like bad manners if I were to hand in my resignation and at the same time ask for money.

How should I go about this?

  • @PhilipKendall That's worth expanding into a full answer in my opinion. – starsplusplus May 26 '15 at 10:10
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I would like to attend the conference and am ready to pick up the bill. My affiliation on the programme would be Y, which would be almost comical.

I'm thinking there might be value for X to pay for my travel, and I represent X, but this might seem like bad manners if I were to hand in my resignation and at the same time ask for money.

How should I go about this?

In my opinion, it would be in very bad taste to ask X to pay for this conference, when you already know you won't be employed by X during the conference, and will publicly be linked with company Y.

I see a few options here:

  • Skip the conference this year
  • Pay for the conference yourself
  • Ask Y to pay for the conference. If they refuse, choose one of the 2 prior options
  • Be honest with X. Give them your notice, then ask if they would like to pay for the conference for you anyway. It seems unlikely that they would, but you won't know if you don't ask.

Do you need to tell company Y about the conference anyway? (Perhaps because you'll need to take time off from work?) If so, you might also say "Hey, I know I haven't been working here long, but do you think the company will pick up the tab?" Again, it won't hurt to ask.

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    Company X might consider paying for part of the conference if the OP is giving a talk and there is a place for a banner or something that Company X can put their name. – NotMe May 25 '15 at 21:25
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If you're paying for the conference personally, I see no reason for your affiliation to make any mention of Company Y - either leave your affiliation blank, or put something like "private". I've certainly seen both these done at IT industry conferences.

Of course, in these days of LinkedIn and the like, people are going to be able to work out pretty soon that you used to work for Company X and now work for Company Y, so it would probably be worth having a line prepared for when people ask as to why you're not working in a different industry.

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If your goal in attending the conference is for your own gain, then I suggest asking if X is OK if you attend at your own cost. It would also be good to confirm separately that X does not have rights to whatever you publish, which may prevent you from presenting "their" material after leaving the company.

If your goal is to support X and show the good things they are doing, then you might discuss collaborating with a colleague on the paper before leaving and having the colleague present it.

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