Tips on Academic Conferences

Attending Academic conference may be so overwhelming with different people with different ideas attending, but the essence is very important in terms of development, idea-sharing and exploring other ideas. Despite all these, it is very important to key into some basic points on academic conferences;

First, what is an academic conference?

An academic conference is a meeting where different researchers gather together to discuss an important topic in their area of specialization. Hence, the academic conference is very crucial to academic life. It opens the opportunity of getting to know more people and even areas of discussion as you engage with one another.

It is very important to know some of the ways academic conferences take, few of them are;

  • Panel session

  • Keynote session

  • Poster session

  • Conference paper presentation

  • Oral session

  • Workshop

Panel session
The panel session often involves multiple researchers discussing or debating a topic. In this session, the panellist takes a question from the audience or can also give a statement in a line of the debate to the researchers.

Keynote session

This session is often the major session of the academic conference; it is always a major draw for conference delegates. This session is often by a well-known speaker. The speakers are intended to set the pace for the whole period of the conference and also promote a sense of collective academic behaviour.

Poster session

The poster session is always about poster presentation which involves unveiling either physical or digital poster in the halls of the academic conference. In this session, a researcher explains a poster they have made and gives a summary of it, most times it is often a mixture of text and images.

Conference paper presentation

In this session, researchers are often divided into groups of similar objectives where they present their papers and get feedback. This is to ensure proper knowledge of each paper that is represented by a researcher.

Oral session

The oral session involves multiple researchers giving their opinion on separate papers that share common themes and topics. However, each of the presenters is giving allotted time to give their talks and other minutes to answer questions.


Most conferences often hold the workshop session as a form of enlightenment for researchers who are at the beginning of their career on important topics that cut across them getting publish in top journals and also connecting with other researchers who are similar in are of specialization.

How do you prepare for an academic conference?

The first way is by identifying what conference you should attend, and you can know this by signing on different subject-specific mailing lists. However, with the rising issue of time and limited funding, as someone who wants to attend an academic conference, it is best you ask your colleague or supervisor.

Now that you have chosen and booked your conference, another thing to do is to arrange meetings in advance. Perhaps if you have contact in mind, it is best that you contact them beforehand and set up a meeting plan and time.

Connecting with people may be difficult, in case you are an introvert, whole in the academic conference does not feel pressured. You can prepare yourself an “elevator pitch” of 60 seconds to use during networking breaks. You can also arrange a smaller group meeting where you can have a detailed discussion rather than having to meet the bigger attendants.

Presentation at the conference

When you want to present your paper in a conference, the first thing you should note is the personal introduction. Before you start, make sure you introduce yourself to the audience. This can also help build your professional profile by getting connected with other researchers.

Also, make your research simple, use lesser understandable diction to express the idea of your research. The more it is simpler, the more your paper is engaged in. Likewise, be time cautious. Practice time management beforehand and stick to it.

While handling the question and answer session, do not worry if you cannot answer every question, you can still follow them up with them afterwards. Also, use feedbacks to make your research better.

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