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Participating in Conferences and Workshops

When attending classes, conference and workshops, attendees may have unrealistic expectations of what they will gain, or how they will learn useful information.

What is the Benefit?

I can’t tell you what you are going to learn. No speaker, presenter or instructor can tell you that. No teacher or professor in any college or university can tell you that. What they can tell you is the information they will present, ways it can be if interest or at least of use to you, and ideas on how to actually use that information.

I can tell you that I have found that most people who not only attend a conference track, workshop or some other class or training, but actually participate and get engaged in the activities, tend to learn more than those who wait for things to be handed to them. They certainly learn more than those who surf the web or get drawn into work email or personal email.

The Important point

There is something really hard about this. If you are looking for the “right way” to do something in a class or conference, there may not be a single “right” way. There may be many ways that will get you to a successful outcome. If you are looking for a template you get from a conference to solve the problems you need a solution to or possibly you hope to use it to solve larger problems at work, I have found this to not be a reliable, or even likely, outcome.

The reason for this is quite simple: For there to be a template to drop into place, someone must have encountered that problem in that environment before and then told people about it. I believe most people who work through a thorny problem believe theirs is a unique situation, a “one-off” that will have little or no value to anyone else. Thus, there may be a previous solution; however, we may not be able to research it, and we must focus on discovering it ourselves.

Most presenters, instructors and conference speakers, relish the moments when someone comes forward with questions. These are fantastic learning opportunities for all parties. If there are questions or uncertainties in the ideas and solutions offered, ask questions. If you do not feel comfortable asking in front of other participants, approach the presenter after the session. Explain your questions, or at the least, set a time when you can meet to talk about them.

My Experience

While am doing my desertion in 2005, I faced a major problem in solving a situation related to a method in statistics, that was solved, because I participated in a conference at the same year, and I found most of the people there are interested in the same method. So, I share with them about what I did and they provide me many solutions and scenarios. In addition to that, I had many chances to communicate with them several times to share with them what discovered later on.

Advices and advantages

Advantages of Conference Attending:

1- Knowing the updates of your study field.

2- Sharing your Idea's with expert in the field to get the best solution.

3- Getting the opportunities in participating for new research contribution.

4- Giving yourself a credible and securing your research ideas.

Type of Conference participation:

There are three types for conference participating:

1- Oral presenting (Usually 10 to 15 minutes). ==> very important participation

You will present your work one-by-one in a series of short lecture (usually no more than 15 minutes). So, you will present your topic, takes questions for a few minutes. Your presentation is usually in a room with a seated audience, in a lecture-style format.

Here are some presentation skills tutorials:

2- Poster participation. ==> Important participation

In a poster session, a number of presenters each prepare a poster (in a standard size) and mount them on boards in a large room. For a fixed period of time during the conference, all participants are invited to wander round the posters, reading and asking questions as they deem fit. Poster presenters typically stand by the posters and answer questions as people come by.

3- Conference attending. ==> less important than 1 & 2

This type is free from any contribution that you could make during the conference just sit and listen to get many ideas of your interest.

My advice to starters for conference participation is:

* For your first conference, choose the poster participation and try to join many oral presentations to learn and to know how participants are doing their presentations.

* For your second participation, try to apply for oral presentation to discover and improve your oral presentation skills.

* Always try to find someone to be with you in your conference participation, I love the EU students when they are participating in a conference they always joined as a group. That will make you more confident in doing your presentation.

* Always ask your friend about your presentation about weakness and strength points.

Finally, here are some sites will guide you about the most important coming conferences:

Some Useful website located in kuwait:

for any help, please contact me on:

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