What do I want to get out of a conference - and how do I do it?

Title:What do I want to get out of a conference - and how do I do it?

Duration:0.5 days
Training Units1.0
The Graduate School

This course is delivered by the Graduate School

The Graduate School courses are very popular and the majority are run in both semesters to give you the opportunity to attend at a time of the year that suits you. Semester 1 courses will be available for booking from the second week of October and Semester 2 courses from the second week of February.

Target audience


Early to Mid stage postgraduate research students
Early career researchers

Are you new to attending conferences? Do feel unsure about how to approach and enhance the experience? This course is aimed at students or early career researchers who are planning to go to a conference or symposium who would like the opportunity to explore ways of making the most of the experience. It will help you think about how people behave at conferences and give you the chance to practice different ways of interacting, to try out what feels comfortable for you.

The course is particularly useful for researchers with little experience of attending conferences or for researchers who may have had a negative experience at a conference and want to enhance their next conference.


The 2.5 to 3 hour course consists of conference simulations with discussion and activities.


The course aims to help postgraduate students and early career researchers to get the most out of attending conferences. Topics to be covered include:

·        The opportunities conferences offer and what you can get out of them

·        The range of skills you use when you attend conferences

·        Networking

·        Following up opportunities

·        How these skills and experiences transfer to other areas of your PhD work or research

In addition you will have the chance to practice the skills used at conference events.

This course does not deal with making presentations at conferences. For courses designed to help you develop your presentation skills you may want to attend Presentation Skills for Researchers followed by Further Presentation Skills for Researchers

Related Courses



·        To look at opportunities conferences offer beyond giving a presentation

·        To consider and practice the skills involved

·        To build confidence

·        To reflect on how these skills are transferable to other situations


By the end of the workshop, you will: 


·        Be able to draw upon your experience at this conference simulation in order to apply this at your next conference

·        Be aware of some key 'conference skills' and recognise their relationship to skills you already practise

·        Understand how these skills can be developed and used in other situations such as being a research student, teaching and work


Latecomer policy

Researchers should plan to arrive prior to the advertised course start time. Except for exceptional reasons, there will be no admittance to a Graduate School or Faculty Training Programme (FTP) course 15 minutes after the advertised course start time.

Importance of booking commitment
When booking on to a Graduate School short course you are entering into a commitment to attend. If you find that you are no longer available to attend you MUST cancel your place (on the system if more than three days before the course) or if at short notice by emailing pg-training@nottingham.ac.uk. This will ensure that your place can be offered to another researcher on the waiting list. Failure to cancel a place results in other researchers missing out on places through the waiting list process.

It is unacceptable for researchers to just not attend when booked onto a course. The Graduate School maintains records of those who repeatedly do not attend courses they have booked. This may affect future eligibility to book onto further Graduate School courses and will affect considerations for Graduate School funded opportunities.

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