Before you go
- Prepare a 30 second 'elevator pitch' that describes your work
- If attending a multi-track conference, plan out your schedule
- If necessary, make business cards
- If you're giving a talk
- Practice, practice, practice
- Prepare a short bio that the session chair can read out
- Confirm the duration of the talk
- Plan out which slides you can skip in case you're rushed for time
During the conference
- Introduce yourself; mingle; building 'social capital'
- Ask others about their work. You can go up to almost anyone and ask "What are you working on these days?"
- Solicit pointers to related work
- Before going to bed each night, write down what you learned that day
- Avoid meeting with anyone from your own university!
- If you doing a presentation
- Approach your session chair as soon as you can to let them know your presence
- Make sure you can attach to the projector, that the colours come out right, and that your text is visible at the back of the room
- In your presentation, try to refer to other talks from the session
- Carry both a PDF and a Powerpoint/Keynote version of your slides, in case the session chair's laptop cannot accept the native format
- Ask pertinent questions, not to score points, but to challenge incorrect assumptions and to point the speaker to related work
- Think about the presentations you attend
- What would you have done differently?
- How can you incorporate the work and the presentation style into your own work?
- Enjoy your meals, but don't overindulge
- Don't stay up too late - make it a point to attend the first session every day
- Visit nearby universities if possible
- Write a trip report
- Follow up on any commitments you made
Thanks to Tim Brecht and Hanan Shpungin for their ideas, which I have incorporated into this page