Student’s Corner – How to Get the Most out of Conferences

Posted on June 5, 2018

Conference season in underway! Below are some tips that I have found to navigate a successful conference and get the most of your conference experience.

  1. Navigating the conference
    1. When you get the conference agenda, map out your days to organize time spent at sessions, visiting exhibitors, scheduling meetings, and other conference events
    2. Go to panels – try going to panels based on a specific topic as well as panels by the person speaking, even if it may be a topic you weren’t immediately interested in
    3. Go to events – there will be luncheons, dinners, meet-and-greets and more! Try to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people. Conferences are a great opportunity to network and make friends
    4. Talk to people that have been to your conference before and see if they have an important information to give in terms of the conference set-up and making the most of your time there
    5. Talk to new people, build collaborations, and enjoy your time with likeminded scholars
    6. Take time for yourself. Get out and enjoy the location of the conference. This can be through conference events, but also by exploring with friends or people you meet at the conference
  2. Informational interviews: Setting up informational interviews are a great opportunity to meet with someone whom you would like mentorship from!
    1. Don’t be afraid – reach out to people you want to talk to and ask the questions you want to ask
    2. Do your research beforehand – prepare relevant questions
    3. Write down a few key points about their research or recent work
    4. Provide a short background of yourself – no more than 30 seconds
    5. Prepare questions:
      1. How did you get your start in this field?
      2. What projects are you working on right now?
      3. What is your opinion on [an exciting new development]
      4. What do you wish you would have done differently [when you were a PhD student/when choosing a PostDoc/beginning your first faculty position]?
      5. What advice would you give to someone [in my position]?
      6. Is there anyone else you would recommend I speak with?
    6. Keep it about them
    7. Follow-up with a thank you!
    8. We talk more about this in Episode 5 of BOOM
  3. Presenting your research
    1. Be confident – find a presentation style that works for you. As you begin, maintain eye contact with the audience, smile, take deep breaths, and try to relax
    2. Less is more for slides. Aim for 1 slide per minute
    3. Be clear and concise. What are the main points that you want your audience to take away?
    4. When it is time for Q & A, remember that you are the expert of your work Prepare extra slides in advance for some questions you might get asked
    5. Practice in front of friends and family and be open to their perspectives
    6. Advice for presenting a poster
      1. Ten Simple Rules
      2. Tips by NeuroWire

 Biomechanics on our Minds (BOOM) Podcast

We have now released five episodes of our new biomechanics podcast, BOOM! It is available for free on SoundCloud. Recent episodes include the fourth episode with Dr. Jill McNitt-Gray on collaborations across universities and disciplines and our fifth episode with Dr. Mary Rodgers on building and maintaining successful mentorships. You can email us with ideas for biomechanics topics or to share a “research fail” on the podcast at

World Congress of Biomechanics Student Event

We will hold an event for the ISB students in Dublin during the World Congress of Biomechanics on 8 July, 2018.  To RSVP, please email me at  Looking forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new student members!

Connect with ISB on Social Media

Keep up to date with ISB by liking our ISB Facebook Page, joining the Student Members Facebook Page and following ISB on Twitter! If you have any feedback, comments, suggestions or questions please feel free to contact me at

Kind Regards,

Melissa Boswell

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