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Countdown to LPSC: Nametages & parties

February 14, 2010

My number-one tip for LPSC is to always have your nametag on – during the conference *and* during social events. It’s always awkward to recognize someone but forget their name, and other people feel that way about you too. And there will be two thousand people there!! So leave the geek tag on to make sure people associate your name and your work with your face.

I know this next tip starts off sounding shallow, but truly, one of the best things about LPSC is the parties. Yes, they are fun and good ways to unwind, but they are also one of the best networking opportunities in the business. You’ll get to connect with people in a nonintimidating venue, where everyone is equal over a beer or soda (no, you definitely *don’t* have to drink alcohol). And if you’re not naturally a party animal – go anyway for an hour and treat it like a networking event. Strike up a conversation with a group about their graduate school experiences, a postdoc about the job opportunities out there, or a senior researcher about his hawaiian shirt, and give yourself some face time with colleagues you’ll be around for years to come.

Of course, keep in mind that even though the party may be fun, these are still your professional colleagues – so don’t go overboard. And remember to keep your nametag on!

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