How to get the most from conferences
Conferences can take up a significant amount of your time and resources – it’s important to get the most out of them. To do this, you need a pro-active approach:
- Take some time to plan ahead – which conferences would you like to attend this year? These may be:
- pathology-based (e.g. the PathSoc Winter Meeting, the joint BDIAP& PathSoc Summer Meeting, the European Society of Pathology meeting)
- aimed at academic trainees (e.g. the Academy of Medical Sciences Meeting for Clinician Scientists in Training)
- specialty specific
- technique specific
- Record when and where they are taking place. Block your diary for the duration of the conference and timetable work around that.
- When is the abstract submission deadline?
- When is the registration deadline (are there early bird discounts)?
- Do the conferences offer bursaries? When is the deadline to apply?
- Check other sources of funding and deadlines e.g. :
- Plan what you aim to present and work backwards: what work do you need to undertake in order to have sufficient material for an abstract?
- Ask your supervisors whether they think you should submit an abstract for a poster or oral presentation. Don’t be intimidated by the oral presentation option: it will look good on your CV and will mean that you and your work will get more coverage.
- Before the conference check the speaker and delegate list to decide if anyone will be attending who you’d particularly like to speak with: contact them ahead of the conference to arrange to meet.
- During the conference make a note of any feedback you receive on your poster/oral presentation e.g. questions, ideas to improve your project or potential new collaborations.
- After the conference, act on feedback and update your CV.