Making the Most Out of Attending Academic Conferences
For any student or researcher, there are many benefits to attending an academic conference. This includes sharing research, learning about new topics, and meeting fellow researchers. So, it is important to do some research when planning to attend a conference. Gather information on how a conference will benefit you, how it relates to your research, are researchers who have contributed significantly to your field attending, if yes are they presenting any new research etc.
The Many Benefits of Attending Conferences
Conferences are not only about speeches and lectures. Of course, these are important. However, there are many other benefits of attending a conference. You should be aware of these in order to take advantage of everything that a conference has to offer.
- Learning Opportunities
Conferences have a wide range of panels and speakers. Exploring panels and presentations on topics outside of your research focus is a good opportunity to increase your knowledge. Listen intently to speakers. Meet new people. All of this is an opportunity to discover new ideas to use to further develop your own research.
Also, publishers attend conferences to showcase their latest publications. So, you will be introduced to new books in your field that you can use in your own research.
- Networking Opportunities
Conferences offer students a tremendous opportunity to meet and speak with leading researchers and scholars. Not only is this good for furthering their education, but it is also an important networking opportunity.
One important tip is to do your research about the conference before you go. Find out which speakers will be attending. This will give you an opportunity to not only hear about their research but also have a conversation with them that could possibly lead to further contact.
- Improving Public Speaking Skills
Of course, you will spend time listening to others give presentations. However, you should use this opportunity to present your own work. Giving a speech about your current research will help you develop your skills as a public speaker. This is an invaluable tool as you continue your education and as you begin a career as a professional. So, abandon your fear of public speaking and get your presentations ready!
Making the Most of Your Conference Experience
Keep in mind the following points to make the most of the next conference you attend-
- Set Goals and Create a Schedule
It is important to establish a clear set of goals that you want to achieve. This could include the people you want to meet or the events you want to attend. Part of this is creating a schedule. A schedule is a great way to prioritize your time and make sure you attend the panels that are most important to you.
- Ask Questions
Be engaged. Speakers often take the time to address questions at the end of their presentations. So, don’t be shy. Step out of your comfort zone. Asking questions will show that you are a serious researcher who wants to further your knowledge and make connections.
Important tip: When asking a question, remember to clearly state your name and your institution. This will make you more familiar with the presenter and other attendees.
- Attend Social Events
Social events are an informal way to get to know your fellow students and researchers. These events could include dinners, sightseeing tours, outdoor activities, and many other opportunities. These events offer a more relaxed approach to networking. And, of course, these events could be a lot of fun!
Conferences are more than just presentations. We have offered you some important guidelines. However, it is up to you to do the necessary research, make a solid plan, and engage with your fellow students and researchers. This will result in endless rewards from your conference experience.
Do you have any more tips that will help students and researchers make the most of academic conferences? Do let us know in the comments section below.