How to get the most out of conferences
If you have no clear notion why you are here and what you want to learn here, there are pretty good chances that you will find nothing. In this article you will find some useful advice how to make conferences more valuable for you.
First and foremost, search for the information in conversations, not in the sessions. The reason for this is simple: all lectures, panels and talks are one-directional but conversations gather all this information together with knowledge of the interlocutor. Invest time in communication with other people – well-organized conferences propose workshops or BOFs where you can find companions interested in the same things as you do.
Participate in the events of the conference. The process only is already beneficial – you will improve your knowledge of the subject. Do not be upset if your submission isn’t accepted – your work will receive a feedback from experts and know what points need improvement.
Workshops are the best place to meet and interact with people who are well-acquainted and interested in the subject of your interest. Even if you feel that the workshop is badly organized, invite interlocutors to dinner – people feel more relaxed and confident so the communication is much more effective.
Tutorials. Despite the fact that you have to pay extra money to attend them, these are great places to visit if you need training in some point of your job.
Panels. These events are interesting haphazardly. Too many aspects should join together to create a good panel, however, if they are, you will attend the best event at a whole conference.
Posters are considered to be the summaries of the work of professionals and students and might be an interesting place to visit, especially if you are bored with other sessions.
Paper sessions are the dullest way to waste time at the conferences. There authors of papers have a possibility to speak about their papers(mostly repeating the content of the paper following its structure) and you can easily do that at home.
Plan your activities beforehand and benefit from your trip: get new fresh ideas from travelling and seeing new places.
Going with coworkers has pros and cons: you will know each other better and spend more time together and on the other hand you won’t be able to make new connections so box clever.