Tips for Attending a Conference

Tips for Attending a Conference

By: anajaf
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Attending a Conference can be a remarkable experience- that is if you plan to make it that way.  Ali shares six tips to prepare for a conference so you can make sure it’s worth your while. 

A remarkable part of student life is attending Student Conferences. It will give you a great platform to network with like-minded students while learning and engaging in ongoing conference workshops and presentations. Making the most of a conference requires a lot of precise planning.

I recently attended the Canadian Conference on Student Leadership in Winnipeg and came up with these tips to help you make your student conference experience remarkable.

1. Why do you want to attend the Conference?

This is the most important question that you have to ask yourself before planning to attend a conference. This will help you define what you want to learn regarding knowledge and skills from that conference.

2. Budget Planning:

Always prepare an estimated budget based on travel cost and accommodation expenses whenever you are planning to attend a conference, as it helps you track your expenses and to make most of your trip without worry. With a planned budget, you can quickly analyze how much you can spend and how much funding you need from other sources.

3. Funding:

After budgeting apply for funding if required. Funding and cost play a significant role when deciding whether to attend the conference or not as sometimes the cost is way higher than a student budget. The good thing is that a lot of universities and faculties have such funding to support their students so they can attend such conferences. SFU has a particular fund called Student Leadership Conference Fund that supports student financially to attend the conferences. For more details email

4. Logistics Planning:

Once you get your funding approved and you know your budget then start planning for the logistics.  If the conference is out of town, start thinking about hotel and flight bookings as prices fluctuate. Always look for deals and ask for student discounts, as there are a lot of companies that offer this. To book a flight search, I would recommend looking at Flight Network as well joining the Air Canada Student Altitude Program.  If you travel through them there are plenty of discounts and privileges. For hotel and restaurant reviews, I would suggest visiting Trip Advisor.

5. Search:

Go through the agenda of the conference before departure and write questions what you want to ask. Do some research on the presenters and the presentation topics beforehand to get your answers.  By searching and planning your questions in advance you’ll be able to make the most of your time at the conference.

6. Networking:

Bring your business cards even if you are going to a small conference because it’s still a great opportunity to network. Make sure that you have an excellent introduction ready, and meet as many people as you can.   It’s great to meet because every person knows something that you may not know before.

Make the most of your time attending student conferences by planning and preparing in advance, because when you do it can be a remarkable experience.

Ali Najaf

Ali is a 3rd year student, pursuing a Bachelors in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Management and Accounting. Currently he is an elected Senator and working as a Community Advisor at Simon Fraser University Residence. He likes to assist others to overcome the challenges that they face because he believe that: “Life is not measured by the number of days you live, but the number of lives you inspired, so be someone's inspiration.” He has volunteered more than 2000 hours with 25+ organizations in Canada and Pakistan and have mentored 100 plus students at Simon Fraser University in different facets.

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Posted on December 05, 2015