Researchers often become so focused on lab work and publishing that they often tend to forget the other important aspect of a successful career—professional networking! One way to get out of your lab and meet new colleagues is by organizing a conference or workshop. Conferences are usually larger events centered on presenting research, while workshops are smaller, hands-on events that teach a skill or method. Today, we will discuss some of the benefits for researchers organizing such events.
There are many factors that contribute to make a conference or workshop successful. As an organizer, it is easy to become fixated on the small details and worry that the venue, the catering, or the travel arrangements will make or break your event. However, in reality, people attend conferences mainly to network, exchange ideas, and engage in professional development. Because of this, the most important details of your event will be the people you invite and the quality of the work presented.
Choosing a well-known keynote speaker or workshop instructor is one of the best ways to attract people to your event. When people see high-profile names, they will be more eager to attend. Having a disappointing keynote speaker can overshadow an otherwise successful conference. An exciting and successful conference or workshop will also have high-quality work shared in innovative ways. While you can choose a specific theme, many organizers choose something general such as “emerging trends in…” This is to ensure a large pool of paper submissions. Having many submissions to choose from increases the chances of featuring good research.
The idea of organizing a conference or workshop may seem quite overwhelming. However, before you say no, consider the benefits that organization has for you as a researcher.
Event financing can be obtained in different ways. You can apply for sponsorship from governments, companies, or universities. Many conferences charge a fee to attend in order to offset the costs of organizing. However, make sure that the fee is reasonable and in line with other similar conferences in the field. Otherwise, you run the risk of appearing predatory.
If you don’t have the resources to start your own event from scratch, you can bid to organize an existing conference. Many fields have annual conferences that different institutions take turns bidding to host, such as INEBRIA or the WGO conference. INEBRIA brings together practitioners and academics from around the world to share their research and experiences through symposiums, workshops, and presentations.
Adapted from Enago.com.Tags: networking • Science Communication • scientific conference • workshop