How YOU can THRIVE at Convention!
PREPARE***CONNECT VIA SOCIAL MEDIA***ENGAGE IN SELF-CARE***TALK***VISIT EXHIBITS
Prepare: The (free!) Convention app allows you to search for keywords or for offerings of a particular division. Remember, you won’t be able to attend every session that looks interesting and that is okay. Plan to attend sessions related to your research, but don’t forget to go to a few keynotes or invited addresses outside your field. You might find inspiration for your own work or good overviews for teaching introductory psychology.
Have Your Elevator Pitch Ready: Conferences are a great place share your current research endeavors, but you should have your 1-minute summary prepared. Oftentimes you won’t have much time to share every detail. Think about the “must know” pieces of information about your work.
Follow Divisions and fellow psychologists on Twitter: Divisions will often tweet to remind you of upcoming events. Using Twitter is a great way to help keep up with things at Convention.
Make a huge convention small: Be certain to find smaller venues for discussion that may be available in Division suites or conversation hours. Attend social hours with a welcoming attitude and an open mind.
Engage in self-care: Wear comfortable shoes. Carry water and/or snacks. Make use of Wifi lounges, etc. Map out your day with some periods for rest or for casual conversations with friends. In other words, it’s okay to “take 5” sometimes.
Meet new people and just talk: You do not need to promote yourself and “network” in every conversation. Feel free to introduce yourself to “famous” psychologists, but don’t be offended if they have to turn their attention elsewhere. Remember, networking effectively is a skill and it’s always good to practice.
Find accommodations that work for you: There are often opportunities to share rooms at Convention, but you may not want all-night parties in your room. Staying farther away from the Convention center may be less expensive, but you might use up valuable Convention time commuting back and forth. And if you stay with family or friends, you may need to spend time with them. Try to find a balance between cost efficiency and convenience.
Don’t forget the exhibits: APA generally has a huge exhibit area where you can find books or journals related to your research or teaching, talk to editors or publishers, and casually meet others with the same interests. Be sure to leave some time for a stroll through the host of exhibits and keep an eye out for resources that might be useful for your teaching and/or research.
Christensen, W. M. (2014). Advice on surviving conferences from Dr. Wendy M. Christensen. Retrieved from https://conditionallyaccepted.com/2014/08/07/survive-conference/
Jehu. C. (2016). Why it’s so important to go to APA’s convention. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2016/04/corner.aspx
Surviving academic conferences without crying. (2013, July). Retrieved from https://brainthatwouldntdie.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/surviving-academic-conferences-without-crying/
Be like this Bob, a male Strategus aloeus rhinoceros beetle, at Convention
NOT like this Bob