With ASAs just days away, I thought it’d be a good time to review some conference preparation tips. The Professor Is In has some excellent advice, so you should definitely check it out. In the meantime, below are a few tips to consider as you prepare for five fabulous and full days of conferencing:
Water – Even though there will be water in the conference rooms, I think it’s a good idea to have your own water bottle on you at all times. There’s nothing worse than being dehydrated.
Snacks – I don’t know about you, but if I start to get hungry, then all functioning stops. Whether it’s a piece of candy, protein bar, or fruit, make sure to have some sort of a quick pick me up with you.
Sleep – Conferencing requires a lot of energy because you are “on” for hours at a time. Make sure to get your rest!
5 Hour Energy – If you didn’t get your rest, then you may want to have a 5 hour energy (or some other form of caffeine) handy. Nodding off in the middle of a presentation is never a good look.
Business Cards – Professional business cards are a must! Of course, this means that you would have had to think about this prior to the week before the conference.
People to Meet – This requires a bit of pre-planning especially if you’re trying to have an actual separate convo with someone in which case you’d need to contact them well in advance of the conference. Otherwise, if you’re just trying to make an introduction, then peruse the conference listing and figure out where who you’d like to meet will be. Additionally, come up with a quick lead in (a question, compliment, etc.) for when you introduce yourself to said person.
Elevator Speech – Oh, the bane of my grad school existence! Have your spiel ready! Just a couple quick enticing sentences will suffice including your name, what university, where you are in the program, and what you research. Add a firm handshake and eye contact, and you’re good to go.