Making the Most of Your Time at a Scientific Meeting

Posted by: Ann Klinck, Communications & Marketing Assistant, ASHG; Amanda Olsen, Meetings Assistant, ASHG 

This is the third and final installment of our three-part blog series with tips on attending a scientific meeting like ASHG 2018. Check out part one about budgeting, and part two about attending a meeting without colleagues!

There are many reasons to attend a scientific meeting, but the top three we hear are for education, networking, and travel. Here’s how to accomplish those goals.

Education

ASHG Annual Meetings are a great opportunity to learn about new technology and research spanning a wide breadth of genetics topics. So how can you possibly absorb all this new information? Plan it out! Use our online planner to browse, search, and filter out the subject matter that most interests you. The app is another great planning tool, and you can take notes on the app for the sessions you attend. Find and download it at: ashg.org/MeetingApp.

Need more tips on getting the most out of attending? Watch this quick video:

Networking

Whether you’re attending as a mentor or to be mentored, you can always use opportunities to connect with people in your field. A hot spot to network is the Exhibit and Poster Hall: Your Solutions Hub. With over 250 exhibitors, it can be overwhelming, but you’re in luck! This year, ASHG is offering custom itineraries that follow a variety of career tracks, directing you to exhibitors that will best fit your interests. Check the 2018 meeting site soon for details.

While networking with people in senior positions is valuable, Emily Davenport, member of the ASHG Training & Development Committee, reminds us that peer networking matters, too. “People often think they should network ‘up,’ but it’s really valuable to meet other trainees from different institutions who are in the same position you are, or similar. These are the people who could one day be your new lab mates or eventually PIs themselves,” she said.

Finally, social events are part of the Meeting for a reason! We are one genetics community, and we love to talk shop, but we also want to unwind together. Check out events like the TweetUp, or any of the ancillary and exhibitor events! The Welcome Networking Reception is also a great opportunity to connect with fellow attendees. You never know what shared hobbies could bond you to a fellow colleague.

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ASHG 2017 TweetUp, Orlando, Florida

Enjoy the City

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Coronado, San Diego (credit: San Diego Convention Center)

A scientific meeting is more than just a chance to expand your knowledge and career; it’s time in a different city and should be used as a chance to explore. Check out our blog post on fun San Diego neighborhoods that are close to the Convention Center, or read the ASHG 2018 travel page. Add networking to the mix by using #ASHG18 and #ASHGTrainee on social media to find fellow attendees looking to explore!

We hope you’re as excited for ASHG 2018 as we are, and we wish you luck achieving all your meeting goals!

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