Academic conferences from my point of view: Useful tips for conference goers

Link to the Vlog

I attended the IX NIS International Research-to-Practice Conference “Values, Wellbeing and Innovation for the Future of Education”, and surprisingly I liked it and found it very helpful for students, teachers, scholars and researchers. Before being a participant of this conference based on my previous experience, I thought conferences are useless, in my view it was just the gathering of so called clever people talking about ambiguous and obscure things. However, this conference changed my mind positively. Now I look at international academic conferences as a great opportunity for getting to know what is happening in the field of education not only in our country but also all over the world. Analyzing both my previous and current experiences, I made up the list of top 5 tips for conference goers:

  1. Know the purpose of your presence at a conference. Before going there ask yourself “why am I going to attend this particular conference?”. For instance, last year when I was a conference participant I did not know the reason I was there. I was not interested in anything. As a result, my impression was that all educational conferences are boring and useless. However, this time when I had the exact purpose (i.e. class assignment – vlog) I immediately noticed that actually educational conferences can be exciting and useful.
  2. Read thoroughly the conference program and decide what sections you are intended to attend. Because usually several breakout sessions are held in one time, and you cannot participate in each of them. So plan beforehand what topics are in priority for you and your purpose.
  3. Remember that any educational conference is a great place for networking and a perfect platform for sharing experiences. Despite whoever you are: a student, a teacher, a scholar, or a researcher, you can find “helpful” person to you for sure. For example, a student, who is conducting a research, can talk to experienced researchers in the field, consult with them and ask their concerning questions.
  4. Take notes during the conference. Usually you have a chance to receive much information in very short time at conferences, and it is very hard (almost impossible) to remember everything. But, if you have your notes, every important datum will be written. Furthermore, you can apply taken knowledge afterwards from your notes.
  5. Do not be shy to ask questions. Be fully concentrated and listen carefully to the presenter. Make sure everything is clear for you. If not, take your chance to ask your question(s) because the presenter is probably an expert in the theme and will make some clarifications.

In my opinion, these simple tips will help you to make your participation at an academic conference useful and to enjoy it.

4 thoughts on “Academic conferences from my point of view: Useful tips for conference goers

  1. Hello, Gulnar! I completely agree that a conference is a good place for networking. Especially if you wish to climb a career ladder, there is a good chance to present yourself as a dedicated person. Did you have a chance to talk to presenters you attended? Was it helpful?

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    1. Dear Khakim, thank you for reading my post and leaving very interesting question for me! Unfortunately, there was a shortage of time dedicated for QA session after presentations at the IX NIS conference. However, if you are willing to approach the presenter(s), you will certainly find a way! This time I have talked to Assem Amantay about the methodology of her research, and it was helpful. I picked up some points which may appear in my study.

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  2. Super post, Gulnar. You have highlighted some really important elements of successful conference participation. I appreciate the depth of details and explanations you provide with each one. Well done! 5/5

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  3. Thank you Gulnara for an engaging post!
    I hope your advice will help for new comers and for those who had bad experience to change their minds and enjoy a conference. Beforehand I also had the feeling that conferences are a waste of time and money, and had a little interest in topics presented. But after attending some of them, I realized that I am becoming a part of a particular community, education in this case. Now I am more interested and have a sense of contributing to this field. Moreover, we had a task this time that enabled me to critically reflect on experiences and practices presented.

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