Plant Biology 2019 is fast approaching! If you’ll be attending for the first time, don’t worry—you’re in good company! You’ll be among 1400+ other plant biologists from nearly 40 countries, from grad students to professionals with 20+ years of experience, so no matter what you do, you’re guaranteed to have a great experience. If you’re a natural at navigating new experiences, that’s great; however, if you’re a bit nervous about what to expect, this post is for you.
To help you get ready for the great time that await you in San Jose, here are some things you can do before, during and after the conference that will help you feel like an old pro rather than a newbie.
- Join the Plantae Plant Biology 2019 Network on Plantae. There, you can check out the discussions, add your name to the Roll Call to start getting to know fellow attendees before you even leave home and even read tips for first-timers.
- Follow the official conference Twitter account @ASPBPlantBioMtg for ongoing event information and updates, as well as the #PlantBio19 You can even find and follow fellow attendees via the Twitter list that Jennifer Robison, PhD (aka @OshnGirl) kindly created to help attendees connect on Twitter. Not a tweeter? Certainly a personal decision—although we do suggest you give this Plantae article a read before digging in your heels: Conference Time! So Who Cares About Social Media? (hint: you should!)
- Start planning your agenda. Visit the Plant Biology 2019 website now to start, and keep an eye out for the conference app, which will launch soon (you’ll receive an email when it’s live). In the app, you’ll be able to create your own custom agenda, schedule meetings with colleagues and more.
- Attend the First Time Attendees Welcome on Saturday, August 3 from 7:00-7:20 pm. Join other first-timers, ASPB staff and other guests for light refreshments and to be sure you start off the week by connecting with some friendly faces.
- Attend a workshop or two. Attend a workshop or two; in addition to building skills, these are great venues for interactions. If you’re an undergrad, don’t miss the Undergraduate Networking event, at which will take place from 12:00 – 1:00 PM on Saturday, August 3.
- Meet the editors of ASPB’s journals, whether at a Conversation Circle or during the “When to Preprint; When to Publish” workshop on Sunday, August 4, from 11:30 – 1:00 pm.
- Make sure you make time for networking. Note that in addition to the opening reception, Tuesday night party, and multiple poster sessions, exhibitor booth opportunities and half hour coffee breaks, there is also informal networking time available during the 11:00 – 1:00 time slot on each of the three full meeting days. Don’t be shy about inviting yourself to join others, who you may not know, for lunch.
- Check your registration packet for a few more exclusive first-timer events we hope you’ll attend.
- Take some time to decompress. You’ll come away from Plant Biology 2019 intellectually stimulated, and probably with a head full of new ideas and a list of new friends and professional connections. You’ll also most likely be exhausted, and with sore feet to boot! (sorry for the pun!) Give yourself at least a few days (or hours, if that’s all you can spare) to soak your feet and rest your mind to let the experience sink in.
- Stay connected. The networking and learning don’t stop just because the conference is over. Connect with new peers on Plantae and LinkedIn (and Twitter, if you’re so inclined) and share your thoughts by penning an article on Plantae. Also check out the myriad ways you can stay involved with ASPB throughout the year.
- Start planning for next year. You’ll be amazed by how fast the year between conferences flies by. Mark your calendar for Plant Biology 2020, which will take place July 25-29, 2020 in Washington, D.C.
We can’t wait to see you in San Jose, and we hope that the Plant Biology conference will become an annual tradition that you look forward to for many years to come!