Five things to do
before the annual meeting

It’s time to prepare to make the most out of the networking opportunities the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting will offer.

1. Make a schedule and commit to sticking to it.

Make a day-by-day plan for your conference experience. Visit the ASBMB meeting website to find the times, dates and locations of award lectures and symposia. Use the Experimental Biology itinerary builder, and download the conference app when it becomes available.

2. Identify people you want to meet.

Use the itinerary builder to create a list of leaders in your field and researchers whose work aligns with yours. Plan to attend their talks, and email them in advance to set up casual meetings in Boston.

3. Draft questions so you’ll be prepared.

While you can’t predict exactly what speakers will say, you can do your homework. Inevitably, you’re going to have questions that won’t be answered during their talks. Keep your questions handy so that you can pipe up when the time is right.

4. Don’t just expect the unexpected — anticipate it.

A chance encounter might change your career trajectory. Your next boss or collaborator might show up at your poster. Think about how you will take advantage of those pivotal moments. Practice inserting into a conversation that you will be presenting a poster or giving a talk and welcome feedback. Order business cards — no matter your career status. Make letter-size copies of your poster for distribution. (For more poster presentation tips, click here.)

5. Get inspired so that your presentation will be, too.

While there are plenty of engaging science-related TED Talks and iBioSeminars, branch out. You might find that a TED talk on a completely different subject — for instance, Brené Brown’s lecture “The power of vulnerability” — inspires you to inspire others.

Author’s note: Many thanks to ASBMB Today contributor Vivian Tang and ASBMB staffers Rajendrani Mukhopadhyay, Chris Pickett and Erica Siebrasse for their contributions to this list.
Angela Hopp Angela Hopp is the communications director for ASBMB and executive editor of ASBMB Today.