The Grace Hopper Conference is among us and I am very excited. I have been perusing the website to find interesting talks and sessions to attend as well as picking my blogging assignments for the Community Bloggers. Then it dawned on me, this will be my first GHC experience. Do I know how to make the best of my opportunity to attend the conference?
In undergrad, I attended a conference called ABRCMS (the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students). In fact, after attending 3 times as an undergrad and 2 times as a graduate student recruiting for my University, I consider myself a pretty seasoned ABRCMS veteran. Here are 3 things I've learned from my ABRCMS experiences that I hope to use at GHC:
- Plan ahead: There are a number of times when I have gotten to a conference or networking function and realized that I forgot my business cards. Not a good look for anyone. Make sure that you plan out what you will take with you to the conference. If you are presenting, guard your poster/powerpoint with your life. Just recently I managed to accidentally leave my poster at the security gate of the Pittsburgh International Airport. Fellow blogger Gail has a great entry on tips on planning for the conference. You can find her advice at Getting Ready For a Conference
- Attend the Conference: Conferences are great places to learn about new fields, meet new people, and connect with potential employers, collaborators, and/or friends. The key to taking advantage of potential opportunities is to ATTEND THE CONFERENCE. Simple concept, I know, but sometimes I feel the need to state the obvious.
- Elevator Pitch: You never know when you will find yourself in an elevator with or standing next to a potential employer. Have a short introduction of yourself prepared. Keep it short, sweet, and interesting. If your 90 seconds go over well, maybe you would piqued enough interest to continue the conversation. ~ Make it better ~ Got an iPad (or similar mobile device)? Upload a copy of your most recent poster to display your research if the opportunity presents itself.
Now to all you seasoned GHC vets :-) Please comment on this post with advice for making the most of the Grace Hopper conference. I'm sure all the newbies like myself as well as others could appreciate the advice.
See you in Atlanta!
Photo credits to www.diypuppytraining.com