ExecutiveChronicles | 4 Benefits of Attending Conferences | Conferences are an important aspect of academic life, plus all the stress that comes with your paper getting accepted and giving talks. Conferences can feel like a scary or overwhelming experience. This shouldn’t discourage you, there are some reasons why you need to attend conferences. Below are some of the ways conferences can benefit you.
Getting feedback or an early version of your latest work
It can be nerve-wracking to present at a conference, and you can be tempted to just fall back on the same presentation that you have been giving because you know it is safe. Doing this might seem like the better option, but you are going to miss out on the benefit of conferences: getting feedback from experts in the early versions of your work. Instead of focusing on past presentations, consider using them to talk about preliminary results from recent experiments. The feedback you can get from the audience is going to help you anticipate comments from reviewers when trying to get the work published. Another good approach is presenting your established work and then ending the presentation by throwing out some ideas on future experiments so you can get feedback on them. A conference gives you the chance of presenting your work in front of many experts in the field. They are going to prove an important part of the process because they are going to discuss their strengths and weaknesses. As a side benefit, I would recommend you take a look at Firebird Events to see the information they have about conferences.
Getting to know other people in your field
This is one of the biggest benefits you can expect to get from going to conferences. Conferences are great for marketing. Networking is one of the most important things in your career because it is going to help you when job hunting. Having a big network of people in your industry is going to benefit you in many ways apart from job hunting. There are times when you might need to get advice from an expert in another field or ask someone to come to your institution to give a talk. This is going to be easy when you have a network you can reach out to any time you need help. It is also great when you people in the same stage in their career as you providing support. Such people are important because they can empathize with your problems and struggle because they are going through the same thing.
Hearing about the latest research
A conference is a perfect place to be when you want to know about the latest findings in your field before they get published. Researchers tend to present their preliminary findings or work that they haven’t yet published. You shouldn’t take every claim you hear at a conference as accurate till you have had time to go through the findings and methodology yourself. This is going to let you know what other people are working on. You might even get ideas and inspiration for your own research.
Improving your presentation and communication skills
Every career needs soft skills, and it is even more important when you are in academia or research. The good thing is you can practice these skills. Rehearsing and giving talks will improve your soft skills and you become more comfortable in front of an audience. You get to practice things like how fast you talk and the amount of detail you need. You will improve your communication skills when you answer questions after your presentation. You are also going to chat with other attendees.