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I am a software engineer and speaking at an opensource software conference. Although the conference is paying the flight and hotel expenses, I still need to pay for the visa fee.

Also, I wish to attend one of the workshops at the conference (for which I need to pay). I presented at this conference last year as well but my employer refused to pay for the workshop as they believed that the topic of the workshop was not relevant to them (with which I do not agree).

So, while they are fine with paying for the visa application fee, they don't want to pay for the workshop. How do I convince them to support me for both, I feel I am asking them for too much.

And finally, when I am speaking at these conferences, all the attendees get to know about my employer, which is a good thing for them (my employer). So, is it wrong if instead of using my leaves to attend the conference, I ask them to treat as work rather than vacation?

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    It's generally not wrong to ask. – Erik Jul 25 '17 at 19:17
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    Maybe I'm reading your question wrong, but you seem to be asking multiple things and your core problem isn't clear (at least to me). For example your last sentence is So, is it wrong if instead of using my leaves to attend the conference, I ask them to treat as work rather than vacation but no where else do you mention this issue. Your employer is paying flight and hotel, but is expecting you to use your vacation time? – psubsee2003 Jul 25 '17 at 19:22
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    Are you speaking as yourself (working at X) , or as an employee of X ? – Max Jul 25 '17 at 19:26
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    If your company isn't paying/participating, are you sure that you should be advertising yourself (in your bio and/or slides) as working for the company? It sounds like your company isn't interested, so I wouldn't promote them. It's one thing to direct people to a profile (like LinkedIn) that may have your current employer, but if you are going on your own as an individual, I wouldn't ask the company to pay nor would I promote the employer. – Thomas Owens Jul 25 '17 at 19:35
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    @AbhinavUpadhyay I just approved an edit you suggested, as I assume you and RandomWalker are actually the same person. In the future, please make edits from the account that posted the question so you do not need to request approval. If you would like the two accounts merged, see this help center page, or flag the question for moderator attention and request that it be added to your account. – David K Jul 25 '17 at 20:02
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It is not wrong to ask if the conference is work related, but you can't expect them to pay if they have nothing to do with this opensource software. They should not expect you to advertise them either if they don't support you.

What you could do is to put yourself in their spot and draw a list of the pros and cons for them to pay for your time on the trip. It usually works better to convince someone when you have a reward to offer and directly show them the benefits.

In your case a reward could be more exposure for the company.

If they do not agree with your terms, you don't have to mention them.

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Companies like to sponsor things that will in some way add value to the company, either by bringing in new customers or by making you a more valuable asset.

If you can demonstrate that your presence at the conference will help them make money, they'll probably be more willing to pay for it. Since you're presenting a project you completed on your own time, you will have to explain how it relates to their business and how presenting it will promote their brand.

With regard to the workshop, if you explain to them the skills you will be gaining and how they will help your work, you may be able to get them to sponsor that as well. At least at my company, the CEO is a firm believer in education, so if I can demonstrate that a workshop or class will improve my skills and make me more productive, they will most likely be willing to pay for it. You might consider doing a cost/benefit analysis, estimating the potential monetary gain the company stands to make by sending you to the conference and buying you the workshop vs. the expense of the trip and the cost of your time away from work.

It all depends on how well you make your case. If you put in a good effort, they should at least appreciate your initiative. Worst case scenario: they say no.

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when I am speaking at these conferences, all the attendees get to know about my employer, which is a good thing for them.

While this is generally true, it depends on how large the conference is, and how many people you are speaking to. Companies often don't "get" tech conference culture, and some don't really consider this a benefit unless they are reaching hundreds of people.

So, is it wrong if instead of using my leaves to attend the conference, I ask them to treat as work rather than vacation?

Nothing wrong with this at all, assuming you have permission in advance. This is a common arrangement, where a company may not pay direct expenses, but support your conference speaking by giving you essentially free time off. It's often a good compromise, since getting time off can be difficult, especially if you are speaking at many different events in a year.

Even if your company is not paying or supporting you, it may still be beneficial to mention them at the conference. By putting in a good word for your employer, and documenting that, you may be able to get more direct support from your employer down the road at future events.

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