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    How to get the most from your participation in an international conference?

    Attending an academic conference can be a valuable experience for scholars and researchers alike. It provides an opportunity to present research, gain feedback, network with other professionals in your field, and learn about new developments and ideas. However, getting the most from participation in an academic conference requires careful planning and preparation. In this article, we will provide some tips and advice on how to make the most out of your academic conference experience.

    1. Choose the Right Conference

    The first step in getting the most from an academic conference is to choose the right conference to attend. The conference you choose should be relevant to your research and interests. It should also have a good reputation within your field, attracting respected researchers and scholars. You can search for conferences online, ask colleagues or advisors for recommendations, or consult professional associations in your field. You may also look at the international conferences supported by the AST Consortium.

    2. Register Early

    Once you have identified a conference that interests you, register as early as possible. Early registration often comes with a discount and ensures that you have a spot at the conference. Many conferences have limited space, and some events may fill up quickly, so it is essential to register as soon as possible.

    3. Plan Your Travel and Accommodation

    If the conference is taking place in another city or country, plan your travel and accommodation well in advance. Make sure you have all the necessary travel documents and visas if required. Book your flight and hotel early to avoid high prices and limited availability. Consider staying in a hotel close to the conference venue, as this will save you time and make it easier to attend all the sessions.

    4. Prepare Your Presentation

    If you are presenting at the conference, prepare your presentation well in advance. Practice your talk and time it to ensure that it fits within the allocated time slot. Consider including visuals such as slides or handouts to help convey your message. Bring backup copies of your presentation on a USB drive or cloud storage, in case of technical difficulties.

    5. Research Other Presenters and Attendees

    Research other presenters and attendees before the conference. This will give you an idea of the topics being presented and the people you may want to meet. You can also prepare questions to ask or comments to make during the sessions. If there are particular people you would like to meet, send them an email in advance to introduce yourself and express your interest in their work.

    6. Attend as Many Sessions as Possible

    Attend as many sessions as possible, even if they are not directly related to your research. This will give you a broad understanding of the field and expose you to new ideas and methods. Take notes during the sessions, and ask questions or make comments when appropriate.

    7. Participate in Networking Events

    Participate in networking events such as receptions or dinners. This is an excellent opportunity to meet other professionals in your field and establish connections. Introduce yourself to people, exchange business cards, and engage in conversations about research and interests. Follow up with people you meet after the conference, either by email or social media, to maintain the relationship.

    8. Take Care of Yourself

    Attending a conference can be tiring, so it is essential to take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat healthy meals, and stay hydrated. Dress comfortably but professionally, and wear comfortable shoes. Take breaks when needed and use the time to reflect on the sessions and the people you have met.

    9. Use Social Media

    Use social media to share your experience at the conference. Tweet or post updates about the sessions you attend, the people you meet, and the ideas you learn. Use the conference hashtag to join the online conversation and connect with other attendees. Social media can also be a useful tool for following up with people after the conference.

    10. Evaluate Your Experience

    After the conference, take some time to evaluate your experience. Reflect on what you learned, the people you met, and the connections you made. Consider how you can apply the knowledge and ideas you gained to your own research and work. Also, provide feedback to the conference organizers, as this can help them improve future conferences.
    In conclusion, participating in an academic conference can be a rewarding and valuable experience for researchers and scholars. However, to get the most from attending a conference, careful planning and preparation are essential. Choosing the right conference, preparing your presentation, researching other presenters and attendees, attending as many sessions as possible, participating in networking events, taking care of yourself, using social media, and evaluating your experience are all key factors to consider. By following these tips and advice, you can make the most out of your academic conference experience and advance your research and career in your field.