Here are 12 excellent tips, from ASPA Student Representative Angie Kline, for maximizing your conference experience.
Organize a practice presentation session at your home university in February with your colleagues who are also attending spring conferences. All you need is a classroom and an email invitation.
Show up! This includes both physically and mentally. Ask questions at panels. Go to Section and Chapter meetings. Make small talk
. Connect with new contacts.
Take plenty of business cards and several copies of your updated CV or resume. Watch the latest webinar
to get advice on updating your CV (members-only login required).
Use your university’s template for your PowerPoint presentation.
Review the conference program book when it is released and plan in advance which panels you are going to attend.
Practice introducing yourself and giving your elevator speech
Follow up with people you meet at the conference. This could be through a brief thank you email
or by sending them an article you discussed. Use specific details from your conversation with the person.
Welcome feedback about your research presentation. Yes, sometimes it is hard to receive critical feedback but they are interested in helping you improve your research.
4. Go big or go home!
Do not use font smaller than 30 points in your PowerPoint presentation. Period.
Time your presentation and stick to the time limit. Going over your time limit is disrespectful to your fellow panelists. You don’t want to have to rush through your many excellent conclusions.
Your presentation should include your research question, context, research methods, results, significance, findings, limitations, conclusions and citations. Here is an outline
you may want to follow.
Take care of yourself. Stay hydrated, pack snacks, exercise and get plenty of rest.