Poster conferences can be daunting. Graphicsland Inc. & MakeSigns.com have compiled a list of the best tips we’ve received through feedback from our customers. Review them before your next poster presentation to help make your next conference enjoyable and productive. (On a side note, if you still need to get your conference poster printed and you want it done right, we can print your poster fast and affordable)
#1 – Comfortable Walking Shoes – 2-3 days of walking from booth to booth will get painful quickly, especially for the feet. One of the best things you can do is pack/wear a proven pair of comfortable walking shoes. The poster conference isn’t a fashion show, and your feet will thank you on the flight home!
#2 – Stay Charged – Some conferences go 8am-6pm for an entire weekend. You will rarely be in your hotel room so it’s important to pay attention to your phone & laptop and to try and conserve energy. With the new trend of QR codes and FourSquare sign-ins, having a fully charged phone can help nab you some sweet coupons, canvas bags, or company pens!
#3 – Stay on Schedule – Most conferences have a full lineup of booths and speakers so the best way to max out what you gain during your conference is to have a proper schedule and stick to it. Most conference websites will have the set schedule up in advance so be sure to take a look at it and at least get a general layout of where you want to be and when.
#4 – If you’re bored, leave. – It might seem rude or unprofessional, but many professors, speakers and conference attendees will agree, if you are in a session and it’s not what you though it would be, LEAVE. You are at this conference most likely to learn new things, don’t waste time on things you can’t maximize value with.
#5 – Be the Early Bird Always! – While you’re checking out the conference events and you see something that you “just have to attend”, many other professionals most likely feel the same way. This is where your schedule can help you plan a few minutes to arrive early at the most anticipated events in order to ensure seating.
#6 – Check out the entire conference! – The exhibit hall, noted speakers, poster presentations, etc. all have very valuable info to learn and gather. Remember you paid to be here, make the most of it and let nothing get by!
#7 – Packing the Promos – Everyone today hands something out to help you remember who they are. Whether it is lanyards, info packets, or mechanical pencils, your pockets can’t carry it all. Most conferences give you a bag when you arrive to carry these things, but if you want to make it really simple bring a small backpack or drawstring bag that hangs on your shoulders. Not only will it be much easier to carry everything, but you’ll always have both hands free to shake hands, eat, sign up for raffles, etc.
#8 – Return Address Labels – Bring some premade or preprinted address labels with all your current info on it. These will save you time filling out forms and info cards. They also become very useful & valuable during the raffles!
#9 – Connect with others – Not only are there presenters and speakers at conferences, but every person attending is a potential colleague in your field. Make sure to introduce yourself to as many people as possible and make future connections. Log on to twitter or FaceBook and check in or follow the conference hashtags to quickly enter yourself into conversations & activities.
#10 – Mealtime – Meals at conferences can be tricky. There is usually nowhere in the venue for food, or the lines are insanely long. Same goes for anything within 3 blocks walk of the convention center. Alleviate this issue by walking just a little bit further; go to the Starbucks four blocks away instead of the one that’s only three. This choice and the subsequent lack of line can help you to make that first early morning session instead of walking in 30min late. For dinner, always make reservations. Check Yelp.com or OpenTable.com for restaurants nearby and accepting of reservations. This can save you untold amounts of time.