Thank you very much for this PodCast Topic.
I've been waiting for this to be covered.
I believe that it is a professional's responsibility to go to conferences. It is professional activity.
Often these kind of conferences are put on by various associations and user groups.
These can be wonderful opportunities to build networks and get professionally involved, become an officer, do presentations and posters, etc.
It is unprofessional for a manager not to send his/her people to conferences.
Providing employees with opportunities for professional growth and inter-professional networking is essential.
The employee also must follow the stated guidance and make sure that not only can they satisfy their personal and professional goals, that they can help realize an ROI for the organization.