Being a Successful AERA Conference Goer<br />By: AERA Division C Graduate Student Committee<br />
Are you presenting?<br />Find out whether your proposal has been accepted for presentation. To do so, visit https://www.ae...
Register early!<br />Often times, AERA offers discounted rates for students and those who register prior to March.<br />Pr...
If the conference lodging and accommodations are not economical, try finding affordable places to lodge and dine at:<br />...
Let others at your institution know your presentation dates and location.<br />This may be a fast way to find out who else...
Dress appropriately<br />Business casual is perhaps your best bet. Be dressed to impress. At any turn, you may run into a ...
Visit the site of your session a day before.<br />Read and review the abstracts of those presenting with you or within you...
Posters? Bring tacks, Velcro, and/or duct tape<br />Though AERA will often provide the poster boards, tacks, and stands fo...
Don’t be shy to try local specialties. When you’re in San Diego, try the fish tacos. If you’re in Chicago, grab a dog. New...
Generate research questions.<br />If you ever wonder how the “big wigs” produce so much, the answer is likely to be that t...
Volunteering to chair, review, or discuss at next year’s event.<br />Strategies for attending sessions.<br />Sometimes you...
On behalf of the Division C Graduate Student Committee, we would like to thank you for reading through our suggestions. We...
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Being a successful AERA conference goer

  1. 1. Being a Successful AERA Conference Goer<br />By: AERA Division C Graduate Student Committee<br />
  2. 2. Are you presenting?<br />Find out whether your proposal has been accepted for presentation. To do so, visit https://www.aera.net/login.aspx?ReturnURL=/MemberPortal . Login and find out the status of your submission.<br />If the program has been posted, find out the date and location of your session.<br />Are you an AERA member, or part of a Division or SIG?<br />Do become a member of AERA if you have not done so already. AERA membership provides many resources and discounts. Register as a student member for cheaper fees. Some Divisions and special interest groups (SIGs) offer grants and scholarship opportunities or special events for graduate students. Become familiar with your division and/or SIG(s).<br />Can you AFFORD travel and registration?<br />Seek funding from you department, program, or institutions. Often times, presenting at a national conference is a program requirement and many institutions set aside some finances for such circumstances. If your institution has a graduate student association, don’t be shy in asking about their resources. Keep in mind the networking, professional development, and career opportunities when weighing the cost of AERA.<br />Deciding to attend<br />
  3. 3. Register early!<br />Often times, AERA offers discounted rates for students and those who register prior to March.<br />Professional development<br />You are NOT required to take a professional development course when you register, however, there will be some professional development seminars and events that you might find interesting or worthwhile to attend. <br />Additional events<br />AERA typically takes place in fascinating cities with many sightseeing opportunities and events to take advantage of. Often times these extracurricular events are posted along with the registration form. Our recommendation is to consider them, however, they are NOT required.<br />Registering<br />
  4. 4. If the conference lodging and accommodations are not economical, try finding affordable places to lodge and dine at:<br />Flying?<br />Book flights early. A good rule is, “the sooner, the better.” Consider utilizing online resources for discounted fares. (Popular sites have included: http://travel.yahoo.com/, www.cheapflights.com, www.priceline.com, www.hotwire.com, www.travelocity.com/Flights, etc.) <br />Taxi<br />Split the cost of taxi fares with others, whenever possible!<br />Room with others, if possible. This’ll save some money, it is safer, and your parents will have peace of mind.<br />Just as with flights, book your lodging accommodations early. Consider the type of dining accommodations that are near by. (Popular sites for booking affordable lodging have included www.hotels.com, www.hostelworld.com, www.hotwire.com, and many others.)<br />Travel<br />
  5. 5. Let others at your institution know your presentation dates and location.<br />This may be a fast way to find out who else is going, promotes attendance to your events, and is a possible way to find a traveling partner.<br />Use the Buddy system. Have someone be a traveling partner.<br />Again, AERA takes place in some fascinating cities that offer many sightseeing opportunities. Try the local fair. “When in Rome . . .”<br />Things to do<br />
  6. 6. Dress appropriately<br />Business casual is perhaps your best bet. Be dressed to impress. At any turn, you may run into a research “big wig,” future employer, or asked out to dine with colleagues. Dress professionally for AERA sessions in which you are participating.<br />Bring an umbrella<br />AERA usually takes place at the end of the winter season and beginning of spring. This often means light showers for cities hosting AERA.<br />Protect your presentation. Email a copy of your presentation to yourself. Save a copy on your flashdrive. Carry your poster in a poster tube.<br />Be prepared!<br />
  7. 7. Visit the site of your session a day before.<br />Read and review the abstracts of those presenting with you or within your vicinity.<br />Arrive about 10 minutes early to your presentation site, to prepare or make any last minute adjustments.<br />Bring copies of your poster, abstract, OR business card.<br />Be prepared to take questions from your audience. Predict ahead of time what you might be asked and tailor your answers beforehand.<br />Have a 30 second abstract in mind, so you can articulate it to people on the go.<br />Don’t stress. You’ve gotten your proposal critiqued by AERA reviewers, it was accepted, and you know the details of the study in and out. There’s no need to stress. You’ll do great!<br />Presenting, Discussing, or Chairing?<br />
  8. 8. Posters? Bring tacks, Velcro, and/or duct tape<br />Though AERA will often provide the poster boards, tacks, and stands for your poster, it is wise to be prepared for the unexpected. Bring materials for yourself and others. Some AERA folks become great friends due to the sharing of such simple materials as duct tape! Seriously, what would you do without duct tape?<br />Mention or display your institution’s logo (they’ll like that).<br />Leave room at the end of your presentation to field questions from the audience.<br />Keep your main point(s) clear, concise, and explicit. Plug your “take home message” so that your audience remembers you or your study.<br />Less might be more! Don’t overwhelm your audience. Give them enough information for them to get the gist of your study. If they want more detail, they’ll ask. Prepare your presentation, so that it peaks the interest of your audience.<br />Preparing presentations<br />
  9. 9. Don’t be shy to try local specialties. When you’re in San Diego, try the fish tacos. If you’re in Chicago, grab a dog. New York? Join the pizza wars!<br />Network: Of course we’re all going to AERA to network, but decide what it can do for you or your institution. Do you want to connect with future employers, gain research colleagues, or just have a glass of *&#Y^$ with? <br />Plan ahead of time who you want to meet. Perhaps email them ahead of time so that they know of your presence. Find out about their presentations and stick around to talk.<br />Invite others out to dine! (Invite the leaders of the Graduate Student Committee)<br />Ask questions! Sure it might be intimidating to talk to the “big wig” of @*#&!. Talk to them and ask them questions. They’ll likely be flattered! Questions about the person’s research is always a good ice breaker. <br />Set a goal of meeting at least 5 new people (i.e. other graduate students or “big wigs”). This will expand your network of contacts.<br />Being social<br />
  10. 10. Generate research questions.<br />If you ever wonder how the “big wigs” produce so much, the answer is likely to be that they constantly generate research questions. A good goal to set is to generate about 3 research questions for every session you attend. Keep a notebook handy to write them down. <br />Make connections.<br />Whether it is taking advantage of the many graduate student sessions, talking to “big wigs” after their sessions, or socializing at the many get-togethers throughout AERA, connecting with others will be a tremendous benefit to you. You may be setting the foundations for future collaborative work, impress a future employer, or simply befriend someone who will be a lifelong colleague.<br />Improve your work.<br />It is the nature of science. You design a study, execute the study, and share it with others. Now comes the point where others might ask questions or you generate new research questions and expand your work.<br />What to take away?<br />
  11. 11. Volunteering to chair, review, or discuss at next year’s event.<br />Strategies for attending sessions.<br />Sometimes you will attend a session and think “that was a waste of my time” or “that was enlightening.” Decide what you like and dislike and plan next year’s event around the good stuff!<br />Getting involved: leadership opportunities.<br />If you will still be a graduate student next year, consider a leadership opportunity through Division C or any other division/SIG. Visit http://aera.net/divisions/Default.aspx?menu_id=68&id=3788 for more on Division C.<br />Familiarize self with deadlines. <br />Deadlines for proposal submissions, registrations, etc. change from year to year. It is wise to become familiar with them, so that you stay on top of the ball.<br />Seminars: <br />Graduate Student Seminar – open for students approaching their dissertation.<br />New Faculty Seminar – receive mentoring from established faculty.<br />What to consider next year?<br />
  12. 12. On behalf of the Division C Graduate Student Committee, we would like to thank you for reading through our suggestions. We believe we have shared some key tips to have a successful AERA attendance. Best of luck and we look forward to seeing you!<br />Celebrate!<br />

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