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Finding the right conference to attend

Why attend conferences

Attending conferences is an excellent way to:

  • Stay up to date with research in your field
  • Network with your peers
  • Build or improve collaborations
  • Receive immediate feedback on your work
  • Possibility to reflect on your research/study
  • Gain experience in presenting your research
  • Position yourself as an expert
  • Promote your coming or existing publications (referencing them in your slides)
Tips for finding good conferences
Your School and researchers in your School
  • There may be a list of recommended conferences, meetings and seminars already available in your School
  • Researchers in your School might have suggestions for conferences they have attended. Contact your School Librarian for conferences previously attended by WSU students and staff at your school or institute.
Associations and Societies
  • Check the website of an official association or society that governs or is reputable in your discipline.
  • Subscribe to their newsletters, blogs, and discussion lists
Researchers in your field
  • Follow high-profile researchers via blogs, Twitter, GoogleScholar or LinkedIn to see which conferences they attend.

Previous conferences

  • Check out what the participants thought of previous conferences by using social media, e.g. conference Twitter or hashtags.
  • Conference information may also be available via Facebook or blogs.
Important points to consider when deciding if the conference is suitable for you

The format of conferences can be discipline-specific. Consider these points about your field:

Conference type, duration and location

Is this manageable, considering your other commitments? For example, presenting at an international meeting may be more prestigious and offer opportunities for expanded collaborations, but it may be more expensive and more time-consuming.

  • How long is the conference?
  • Is the conference or meeting one in a series or an inaugural conference?
  • Is it a domestic or international meeting?

Consider what you wish to gain from this event and if this is the best forum for your purpose. Will your target audience attend this event?

  • Is it an academic or a vendor conference?
  • Is the organiser an industry or business?

Consider if these expenses are included in your budget.

  • Is the registration fee in line with other conferences in your field?
  • Is the cost reasonable relative to the duration of the conference, and what is included?
  • What associated costs will you incur from this conference?
Submission of papers and abstracts

Larger events usually have a call for abstract submission long in advance, between 6-12 months ahead of the conference. Consider if this will affect future publications of your data.

  • Will your results be available for submission in time to be considered for presentation?
  • Will abstracts /papers be published?

For an additional tool to help you evaluate your conference, please use Think. Check. Attend. Conference Checker.

Look at previous conferences

Well-established conferences should make information about previous conferences available.

In particular, look at:

  • Previous papers presented and who presented them
  • Sponsors of the conference
  • Trade show exhibitors, if applicable - who are they?

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Library guide created by Western Sydney University Library staff is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY)