How to prepare yourself for a scientific conferance

There are plenty of old adages about the benefits of preparation and most of them are true. To get the most out of a scientific meeting, you need to have realistic expectations. You need to minimize the time you spend acclimating to the surroundings and getting your bearings. In short, you need to know what you are getting into. The size of the meeting is going to dictate how you prepare and how you act. Are you going to a large society meeting with thousands of attendees? Or, will you be going to a smaller topical meeting with a few hundred people? For example, the American Association of Cancer Research annual meeting has an average attendance of nearly 16,000 registrants. In contrast a Gordon Conference can have less than 150 attendees. The size of the meeting may dictate how easily you will be able to approach a speaker after his or her talk or how likely you are to engage in a meaningful conversation over a poster.

Top 10 Tips to Make the Most of a Scientific Conference
  1. Embrace the craziness. …
  2. Recognize that you can’t do everything. …
  3. Network as much as possible. …
  4. Step out of your comfort zone. …
  5. Practice your presentation. …
  6. Balance your meetings. …
  7. Explore beyond your main research focus. …
  8. There will always be someone better than you.
Jul 27, 2017


How do you mention a scientific conference on a resume?

If the event is related to a specific organization, you can mention its history and purpose. It is common for scientific conferences to have one or more distinguished guests or speakers. Mention them and thank them for accepting the invitation to participate. Make sure you have their names, credentials and affiliations correct.

How do I prepare for my first conference?

Use your dead time (eating a meal alone, on the airplane, find a time to do this!) to plan and schedule where you want to go and who you want to speak with at the conference. You don’t have to stick to the schedule but having it mapped out will provide some structure. Remember – the plan is nothing but planning is everything!

How far in advance should you plan your next Science Conference?

Deciding to attend a science conference is rarely going to be a last minute decision, so give attendees plenty of time by planning your meeting preferably at least twelve months ahead.

How can I gain a competitive advantage in a conference?

If you want to gain a competitive advantage over other people in a conference, here is a little tip. Research people who will be attending the conference. I can assure you that most men don’t do this. I find the following 2 tips the best when researching people prior to a conference.

What do you do in a scientific conference?

10 Things To Do at Every Scientific ConferenceSubmit a Poster or Talk Abstract. … Dress Professionally. … Bring Business Cards. … Download and Use the Event App. … Arrive When Registration Opens. … Sit Near the Front. … Take Notes. … Ask Questions.More items…

How do I prepare for my first conference?

How to prepare for your first conferenceRequest a travel budget. … Book in advance. … Study the conference schedule. … Identify who to talk to. … Plan some downtime. … Pack your clothes. … Explore the city. … Go with your presentation ready.More items…•

What should I bring to a research conference?

Here is some advice I’ve put together based off of my own experience:Ask your peers for advice. … Bring a formal and a not-so-formal outfit. … Try on different outfits at home before you leave for the event. … Wear layers. … Make sure to bring an umbrella. … Wear comfortable shoes. … Bring Band-Aids. … Have fun.

How do I get the most out of an academic conference?

6 Tips to Get the Most Out of a ConferenceThink About Your Goals. Consider your priorities for a conference. … Choose the Right Conferences. There are several different types of conferences and they each have their own strengths. … Plan Your Time. … Networking. … Don’t Neglect Twitter. … Take Notes. … Follow Up.

What are 4 things that you need to consider before the conference starts?

What to do Before Attending a ConferenceMindset, Attitude, Energy. … Documents, Schedule, Sessions. … Meeting Specific People. … Cards, Handouts, Branding Statement. … Opening Questions, Conversation Starters, Chit Chat. … Random Time. … Social Media Strategy. … Content Marketing Plan.More items…•

How should I dress for a science conference?

The dress code in most academic events (conferences included) is often called “academic casual”, and is not very strict. If you want to be sure to avoid any gaffe, just stay away from the short pants and T-shirts (overly casual), as well as full suits and ties (overdressed).

What should a woman wear to a conference?

Although women generally have a bit more leeway in terms of conference clothing than men, there are several professional staples that can help you look your best. Think blouses, cardigans, blazers, button-downs, dress pants, wrap dresses and pencil or A-line skirts. Don’t feel pressured to adhere to a certain look.

How should I dress for a conference presentation?

What to Wear for a Presentation: 10 TipsDress to Feel Good. First and foremost, wear something that makes you feel great. … Dress to Look Good. … Dress for the Audience/Venue. … Dress for Your Brand (Who You Are) … Avoid Brand New Clothes. … Don’t Try to Be Hip if You’re Not. … Keep it Simple. … Wear Something that Holds a Lavalier.More items…•

How do you attend a science conference?

10 Tips for Attending Scientific ConferencesDefine Your Goals. Are you stepping into the job market? … Plan Ahead. Don’t wait until you’re at the conference to plan your activities—start early. … Choose the Right Sessions. … Apply For Travel Awards. … Socialize and Network. … Get Some Rest. … Plan Accommodations Wisely. … Present Your Work.More items…

How do you attend a successful conference?

Gain Visibility. … Build Stronger Relationships. … Get Briefed. … Choose the Right Sessions. … Remember What You Learn. … Connect With the Speakers. … Schmooze at the Social Events. … Put Away the Smartphone.More items…

How do you attend a conference meeting?

Guide to attending your first conferencePlan ahead. Once you’ve selected the right conference for you, you’ve got to start planning. … Know what you want from the event. … Pick your meetings carefully. … Attend sessions. … Give yourself some free time. … Use social media. … Embrace the social side. … Follow up.

How do you attend a conference?

10 Tips for Attending Scientific ConferencesDefine Your Goals. Are you stepping into the job market? … Plan Ahead. Don’t wait until you’re at the conference to plan your activities—start early. … Choose the Right Sessions. … Apply For Travel Awards. … Socialize and Network. … Get Some Rest. … Plan Accommodations Wisely. … Present Your Work.More items…

How do you prepare for an international conference?

Here is our advice on preparing for and attending an international conference.It’s likely that English will be the most commonly used language. … But having a little of the local language is useful too. … Native English speakers, simplify your language use. … Research maps and transport before you leave. … Get the know the city.

What happens in academic conferences?

An academic conference is a one-day or multiday event during which researchers present their work to each other. Conferences are an important way researchers stay connected to others in their field and learn about cutting-edge scholarship.

How to present a poster at a conference?

Practice your presentation for both instances. If your poster material is nearing publication, consider uploading your work to a preprint server (and include this information on the poster) so your visitors can have a DOI to go to.

What to do if you learned something at a lab meeting?

If there’s a cool new method that you learned about at the talk, bring it to your next lab meeting. Don’t be afraid to follow up with the speaker from the conference if you have additional questions. If you or your lab identifies a potential collaborator from the meeting, reach out to them , pointing out that you heard their talk at the meeting and why you think a collaboration would be beneficial.

Why do scientists go to conferences?

Scientists traveling to conferences often want a chance to let loose and de-stress from their busy schedules /lives. I am all for this – everyone needs a chance to check-out for a while. Pro tip: Alcohol can be a great tool for this. Not everyone can always “turn off” work mode, so a little ethanol can lubricate the process, allowing you to lower your guard and return to “ground state.” When your mind and body are exhausted from intense focus and overcoming social anxiety, it can be particularly difficult to reset the system effectively. Of course, alcohol is not the only way to accomplish this, but we have been drinking ethanol for ~9,000 years, and it’s a part of our collective culture for a reason. I will never forget the conferences where I had the opportunity to drink, be merry, and even dance (badly) with my friends, colleagues, and scientific heroes. It’s one thing to read a paper or hear a talk from a great scientist, and it’s quite another to see them express themselves on the dance floor. Science is a human endeavor and reminders of our shared humanity help to instill confidence in ourselves and remind us where we all come from.

How to represent yourself well?

To end our discussion, I want to make it clear that while you want to represent yourself well, it is super important to trust you own process. Don’t sweat what other people are thinking. Of course, their perception of you matters, but to a large extent you can’t control it, so try to let it go. Sure, be self-aware enough to avoid being a jerk or being too drunk. Beyond that, do what comes naturally. Having self-confidence often leaves a positive impression on those around you. So, ask that question, talk to that person, skip a talk or two, and enjoy yourself however you can.

How many oral presentations are there at LPSC?

At LPSC, there were four oral presentations occurring simultaneously each day and only two evenings with poster sessions. Unless the research you’re presenting is about cloning yourself, you can’t be everywhere at once at a research conference.

Did the Planetary Science Laboratory have lunch?

The Planetary Science Laboratory students attended a Martian lunch on the first day of LPSC. More than 30 students and early career scientists attended. Daniel Lo, a University of Arizona graduate student and organizer of the Martian student lunch, said that the motivation for the lunch was to meet up with colleagues from other schools, especially as he considered which schools to apply to next.

Selecting a venue

Scientists, doctors and researchers receive a large number of invitations to conferences, so you need to make your event more appealing than the competition. When planning a scientific conference that attracts international delegates, choosing a location that is easily accessible from around the world is vital.

Timing is crucial for your science conference

Deciding to attend a science conference is rarely going to be a last minute decision, so give attendees plenty of time by planning your meeting preferably at least twelve months ahead.

Scheduling for a successful conference

It’s a good idea to have fewer, more extended talks rather than more numerous, shorter ones as this allows time for plenty of ground to be covered without rushing.

Provide multiple opportunities for learning

The conference sector is highly competitive, and it’s often difficult for scientists to take time off from their teaching or research programmes. To make your event more tempting, you need to prioritise high-quality opportunities for learning.

The Elevator Pitch

  • Before the conference
    Practice your “elevator pitch,” the 30 – 60 second blurb you will use to introduce yourself and what you do. You might want to include your university and your advisor’s name for some context and maybe common ground. The people you meet may all be scientists but not all will be familiar wit…
  • During the conference
    When you meet someone new at a conference, one of the first things you might want to know is what their project is. Or maybe you want to introduce yourself to a scientist whose work you are familiar with. You can tweak your elevator pitch slightly if you know a bit more about the other p…

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Navigating Talks

  • Before the conference
    Is the conference you are attending on the larger side? At large conferences, chances are that several talks will be going on at once in different rooms. Before arriving at the conference, plan out your agenda. Some conferences even have apps you can use to build a schedule. If there is …
  • During the conference
    Take notes during talks. If you have questions during the talk, jot them down for the Q&A immediately after. For one conference I went to, I made it a personal goal to ask one question each day (this may be more or less difficult depending on the size of the conference). This mad…

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The Poster Session

  • Before the conference
    If you’re presenting a poster at a conference, be sure to practice beforehand. Generally, two types of people will visit your poster: those that want you to walk them through the entire poster, or those that want to look through themselves and then ask questions. Practice your presentation f…
  • During the conference
    Arrive at the poster session early to get your poster up on the board and meet your poster session neighbors. During the session, if someone comes up to my poster, I usually greet them and say something like “Let me know if you have questions or if you want me to walk you through the po…

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Social Media

  • Before the conference
    Networking can be made easier through social media. Use social media to find out who’s going to the conference and who you’d like to talk to there. Check out the conference website for any relevant hashtags and handles to help you find other scientists attending. Reach out if you’d like …
  • During the conference
    If the conference has a social media policy, this should be on their website or the program booklet. Make sure you’re familiar with the policies before posting something on social media. If someone is presenting unpublished data they may ask the audience to not share their research …

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  • All of the things we’ve mentioned above could be considered networking, but here are some more general tips.

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