First conference


Hi everyone. I'm going to my first conference with my poster next month, immunology subject. Can someone share your experience with me? What do you do in front of your poster? What common questions do others ask? Also, I will travel with my supervisor. It might be a little awkward to spend such a long time with me supervisor, 3 days. Any nice advice or experience? Thank you all.


Hey! People have different styles with posters- I've been to conferences where there isn't actually anyone with the poster! Personally I like to take handouts with me (just A4 copies of the poster), and then if someone stops to look, offering them a handout can be an easy conversation starter. Sometimes people will just stop by and ask you to talk them through your poster, so make sure you can summarise it easily and concisely. With respect to the supervisor thing, I've found it to be okay. It can actually be a good chance to get to know someone better, if you get on with them that is! I was dreading 8 hours next to my sup on the plane journey over to the US last year, but we ended up having a laugh. My colleagues are all quite different at conferences- some are happy to go out in the evening for food and drinks etc, whereas others just prefer to go back to the hotel fairly early and chill out by themselves. And of course some of them have a busy schedule meeting up with other researchers and doing the networking thing, but I'm sure your sup will introduce you to people anyway. Good luck with it, and try to enjoy yourself! KB


thanks, KB. That really helps me. Handout is a good idea. Anyone wanna share your experience?


Hi! Good advice from KB! I took business cards with the title of the poster written on the back as they are small & easily taken away, & remind people who you were after the conference - a tip from this forum somewhere. It was quite useful to stand by the poster & chat to people as they came past. See if you can display yours where everyone will see it - I know that sounds obvious but at my 1st conference some posters were round the back of a partition wall so nobody found them!!
Have fun!


Thanks again. Yes, a good location is a thing to be remembered.


Yeah, I took business cards as well, forgot to mention that! Some conferences will already have allocated you a board/position to put up your poster, so you might not be able to choose where it goes. Depends on the conference and how big it is I guess. KB


I went to my first parasitology conference in April as an undergraduate looking for a PhD, and I had my CV uploaded onto my blackberry so I could simply send it to potential supervisors if needed. I do like the business card idea, I will have to remember that for the next time I attend conference.

I was told by PhD students not to simply stand in front of your poster, be near it but not on top of it as people aren't likely to stand and read it if you are standing on top of it! Luckily for me the poster presentation to my left did not have anyone presenting it so I had some space.

A few questions I got asked were (I presented about medical pharmacology to treat malaria infections):
~Explain what you did
~Who funded this work?
~What are you doing? i.e. topic, further exploration of area, Masters/PhD/PD/etc
~What is happening next with the project?

I found even if things were printed in black and white I still had to talk to people about it!

Enjoy the experience is what I learnt! Talk to people, if people ask about your poster ask what they do, etc
And attend the conference dinners, even if you are with people you know, there is always a randomer who joins the table!