Although this may be relevant for conferences in other industries, I will be focusing on academia.
On a week-long conference (the mother of all academic conferences) you will be spending more time attending talks than presenting your work.
It is a great way to find out what other people in your field have been up to since the last conference (often a couple of years ago), and, when the topic is less than settled, watch the people with opposing views “fight it” out (my personal favourite).
In these big conferences, there will be three or four sessions going on at the same time. Usually, these sessions last for 2 hours and each has three or four papers presented on a topic.
You might find yourself sitting all the way through one session or attending two papers here, one paper there, whichever suits your interests.
Either way, you might find it’s a good idea to be wearing comfortable clothes and easy-to-walk on shoes as you might find yourself running from one session to the other.
I personally like easy-to-wear dresses, ballet flats and, always, a scarf – it may be Summer outside but whoever deals with the air-conditioned seems to always think “cold” is comfortable!
I also keep all my writing materials and conference booklets in a structured bag. It keeps everything organized, easy to reach and even easier to put away when it’s time to get up an move rooms.
I personally trust my Cath Kidston saddle bag or one the bookbags (like the one in the picture) to do the job. But the bag from Mango on the board, would also be great for this.
A little bit of colour wouldn’t be a bad idea either. You might find yourself struggling to be noticed during discussion and a pop of colour might help the speaker or moderator see you.
What do you think?
If you like this series, stay tuned for the next post tomorrow – “Presenting your work”
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