How to get the most from an academic conference

Julio Peironcely, founder and editor of the Next Scientist blog has set out some great things to consider when preparing for a conference and how to make the best use of your time when you get there.

Pre-conference preparation
In the run up to the conference you may or may not get a delegates list but you certainly will get a list of speakers. Peironcely gives pointers on researching those speakers and, if you have a list of delegates, researching them too. It is worth noting that Peironcley suggests using LinkedIn and it may also be worth considering Research Gate and to find out more about them. We think Twitter is also a valuable contact point but not all academics use Twitter actively. The conference organisers may set up a Twitter hashtag for the event, Peironcley suggests what to do if they haven’t.

Once you have decided who you would like to meet with at the conference and why, you could approach them before hand to set up a meeting at the event. Peironcely gives examples of what an email may look like.

As part of your preparation Peironcley also suggests that you prepare two versions of your elevator pitch, one a simple version and one a bit more in depth, both of which should be no more than a minute.

At the conference
From what to wear, to how to socialise and what to do after your pre-conference arranged meetings Peironcley has nuggets of advice and pearls of wisdom to help you get the most out of your next academic conference.

His guest blog post on the Thesis Whisperer blog was first posted in 2013 and has many responses from early career academics to established academics who also share their experiences of their conference circuit.

Click here to read the full post.

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