Preparing for a Conference

Picture of an undergraduate student presenting a poster at a conference

Index of Topics

1. Keys to making your conference experience a success

2. Good advice from experienced conference-goers

1. Keys to making your conference experience a success

Being prepared for your conference can make it much more enjoyable and less stressful. Here are some tips:

1. Make a list (in Word) of where you need to be and important information, in chronological order:

  • Flight information (Airline, flight number, date, time)
  • Shuttle info to get from the airport into the hotel
  • Event times and locations, e.g. the poster session
  • Workshops and sessions that you would like to attend

2. Download the conference app to help with finding events

3. Bring your poster and 11" x 8.5" printouts of your poster, which are nice to hand out to interested people

4. Bring your ID, debit/credit card, and business cards (if you have some)

5. Pack comfortable but professional attire

2. Good advice from experienced conference-goers

1. Preparing for Conferences - by a graduate student, with good advice for anyone presenting

2. Getting the most out of scientific conferences, professionally and personally - by a Maryland Sea Grant Research Fellow

3. How not to talk about your research - by a grad student

Here are some tips from those articles:

  • Presenting a poster? Read up on your own research so that it is fresh in your mind
  • Practice describing your research if you are giving a poster, or practice your talk
  • Work on your “elevator speech” (make it simple and show the relevance of your work)
  • Ask good questions: at talks, panels, and to individuals
  • Be ready for tough questions
  • Be confident!
  • Talk to people at sessions of interest; ask them about their work, grad school, the work force, and more.

Go forth, and make new connections!