Academic Conferences 101: What you Need to Know

Conferences are a part of the academic experience for many reasons. They are a great way to get yourself out there and present your work to your peers in the field. There are tons of conferences that happen each year, and I wanted to share some information on how to make the most out of your academic conference experience!


Photo by The Climate Reality Project on Unsplash

Choose the right conferences.

There are tons of conferences to choose from, but you want to pick the ones that are most aligned with what you want to focus on and your research interests. It can be easier to connect with researchers in a more intimate setting, so attending a smaller conference might be of benefit. In addition, you could attend the conference for your field which may be larger, but can give information on the topics that are relevant in your field.


Plan your time.

Most conferences have an all-day long schedule with many things happening at the same time. This can be overwhelming and in order to make sure that you don’t miss any key presentations, you should map out a schedule of what you are going to attend ahead of time. Some conferences even have an online platform that will let you create a schedule that can be accessed through the conference app.



This will be one of the most important things that you do. There will be some of the top minds in your field at these conferences, so you should take time to talk to people during and outside of sessions and exchange information. It will be of benefit to you because you might be able to collaborate with these people on research in the future. It can also lead to great opportunities.  


Take Notes.

Sometimes the conference presentations will be offered after the conference, but that is not always the case. Taking notes is a good way to remember all that you learned about. You can take some time at the end of each day to review what you learned that day and make not of anything you might want to follow up on.


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