Excellent advice for all conference attendees from the Nature Jobs site, whether planning for their first or hundred and first:
Conferences can be a professional boon to early-career scientists,
offering countless opportunities to meet mentors and collaborators as
well as to impress potential employers. But there is also ample
opportunity to trample those very chances. Bad behaviour, whether in or
outside a session, can harm a junior researcher's reputation and
jeopardize his or her job prospects for years to come.
Although neophyte conference attendees may plan out the talks that
they want to hear, rarely do they seek advice about the many unspoken
rules of proper conference etiquette. Instead, learning often happens by
trial and error. “You kind of muck your way through it,” says Jacquelyn
Gill, a palaeoecologist at the University of Maine in Orono. “You
figure out the cultural norm from watching other people.”
Ultimately, conference attendance is like being in an interactive
stage performance, veteran conference-goers say — and every audience
member is part of the act. People notice and remember what others do.
“Conferences are wonderful opportunities for students and early-career
researchers to learn skills, get feedback and find collaborators,” says
Shiffman. But, he adds, “your behaviour at conferences affects your
reputation in your field”.
Read more here.