I've only been to one conference - last year's RNA. In my own experience as a newbie conference attendee, before I had even left home I felt overwhelmed at the realisation that I was finally on my way to an RNA conference. It was such a HUGE deal for me. Consequently, the excitement itself had taken its toll even before I made it to Registration!
The advice from this PHS post that particularly resonates with me is:
- Nicola Marsh advises, "...Take time out when you need it..."
This sounds like such an easy thing to do but trust me when I say that it's also one of the hardest. Attending an RNA event was something I'd dreamed about for sooo long that I couldn't bear the thought of missing ANYTHING.
- Michelle Styles suggests, "Plan ahead...Be flexible..."
I planned ahead but when the time came I didn't allow myself to be flexible. I'm determined that next time I'll attend fewer workshops with the intention of feeling a lot more relaxed and fresh. This *should* help me to avoid feeling/looking harassed and more able to focus my attention fully on where I am (as opposed to worrying about how the heck I'll make it to the next session on time...).
- Kate Hardy offers a practical tip, "Bring your own tea bags..."
My biggest regret was not braving the apartment block kitchen - or gate-crashing others. I guess at the time I was too overwrought with the exacerbation of chronic dizziness/fatigue (more from putting myself under too much pressure to attend everything, than anything else!).
So, this PHS post has shown me what not to do at my next conference. Thanks, PHSers, I'm feeling more confident (and prepared) for my next time. :D