Why Attending a Meeting is Smart for All Career Stages

Early bird registration for #plantbio18 in beautiful Montreal ends in one week! If you are still debating whether you should come to the meeting or not I’d like to give you some reasons why you absolutely should. From undergraduate to emeritus professor, attendance at a meeting has benefits for everyone.

1) Learning something new

With hundreds of people sharing their research in both presentation and poster formats it is the perfect place to learn something new. Have you ever wondered about plants in space? Got ya covered. Does chasing electrons through the photosystems intrigue you? That’ll be there too. What about evolution of organelles? Yep! I promise there will be something novel for you to discover at this meeting! In fact, I encourage, and challenge, you to explore a completely novel area of research. It will never be easier than at a meeting surrounded by experts, don’t miss this chance.

2) Meeting new people

It is never too early, or too late, to start building your network within the plant biology community. Undergraduates and Graduate students you can talk to professors and their students in labs that you’re considering applying to in the future. Professors, don’t shy away from giving edifying advice to those just starting their journey. ASPB strives to create a sense of community, so think of meetings as a family reunion. Each year as you return you’ll reunite with people you know and meet new people. Throughout the year you can cultivate these relationships and you’ll find that soon, you have a rich community of colleagues.

3) Experience

Attending the same meeting every year can be used as an annual progress report. Putting together my posters year after year have let me see how my PhD is progressing in a very powerful way. It is a visual reminder that the year was productive.

In addition to gaining your own presentation experience, you can see how your colleagues present. Observing your peers can give you inspiration and ideas to improve your presentation skills in the present.

4) Rejuvenation

For me, and several of my colleagues, Plant Biology meetings are a scientific retreat. It provides a much needed yearly rejuvenation in your studies. Showing your work, learning about others works, meeting peers, get you more excited about your science. You can find collaborations, find a lab you are interested in joining in your next phase, and talk to people who are just as excited about plants as you are! Do not underestimate the morale boost that meetings can provide, I’ve never returned home from any meeting feeling melancholy about science.

5) Visit new places

Since Plant Biology’s location changes every year, it gives you an opportunity to explore our planet. Try new foods, see new things, and have new experiences. Stepping out of our labs and offices is very good for us, attending meetings is one way to do so.

Hopefully, I have convinced you to join us in Montreal! Register quick and take advantage of the early bird price. Then introduce yourself on our Roll Call discussion! Can’t wait to see you in Montreal!

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