The next several posts will be SfN-centric, as it is my first year of both attending and presenting and I am teeming with fledgling excitement. So that I am not undone by the insidious and unrealistic lure to see and do everything, I have been following the guidance of a few Neurobloggers and of my boss.
After going through the almost innumerable legions of posters and symposia in the Meeting Planner by session, then doing separate name and keyword searches, I realized that getting the most out of every one of the many hundreds of titles I had ear marked was just not realistic. Though I have not slimmed down my itinerary, I have taken the sage advice of The Neuro Dilettante, and acknowledged that even if I visit all the posters on my itinerary, I will have only seen a minute fraction of what this mass international gathering has to offer, and that is fine.
I am told that many first-timers (mostly grad students) burn out within the first two days attempting to see and learn about everything. In the interest of surviving the entire week, I will not be rushing about with my laptop or busily scratching volumes of notes. Instead, the most key research conclusions or methodology along with contact information will be incorporated into my notepad. And if I happen to spend a little extra time at the posters presented by the PI's with whom I'm interested in doing my PhD work (in two years, universe willing)... so be it.
And I intend to exploit the free give-aways of the vendors who have taken the time to email me with specific requests for demonstration and face time. Can one have too many key chain laser pointers or letter openers?
I will also be equipped with thumb tacks, mini-poster hand-outs, sharpies, bottled water, a sweater (yes, though San Diego will be between 70-80 degrees the convention center is kept at a chill), and convention center floor plans.
Following the high of seeing Glen Close, heroine of my childhood, on Saturday afternoon, the Navigating the Meeting seminar may be just the thing to settle me into conference mode -- I highly recommend this tool, especially for those who do not yet have plans of attack. I intend to be a SfN Ninja by the end of this.