Conference Etiquette

 
Dress: Unless told otherwise, dress style is up to you. Some men will be wearing jackets and ties, and some women will be wearing dresses or suits; a few may be dressed more casually. But remember, this is an academic conference: casual should mean “business casual”—no jeans, no hats. Avoid the extremes of very baggy or very tight. It doesn’t hurt to dress up and start getting used to adult professional life. After all, looking sharp signals to your listeners that you just might be sharp! And it may well do wonders for your confidence, too. . . .

Scouting: Arrive early and locate your room. Take a look at how it is set up and where you will be speaking.  Decide  where  you  will  put  your papers,  visual  aids, flyers,  etc.  Check  to  see  if  your audio-visual (AV) equipment is in the room. If it’s not, figure out how you will go ahead without it (or initiate your back-up plan, if you’ve arranged to share equipment with another presenter).

Introduction: A moderator will probably introduce you. Still, it’s a good idea to recap and expand a bit on the formal introduction. Make sure your name and school come across to your audience. If you think your neighborhood or national/cultural origin would be of interest, you could mention that, along with your major. What is the origin of your paper: is it a project for a biology class, a paper for English, part of a group project, or just something you wanted to investigate? What methodology did you use? To what school do you hope to transfer? You might also want to thank UCI for hosting this conference, especially if you notice a UCI representative among your listeners. Do not take more than a minute for this introduction (time yourself) but do say something about yourself.

Timing: You’ve probably rehearsed enough to know how much time you need. Single presenters may speak for up to 12 minutes, allowing 5 minutes after that to answer questions,defend their conclusions and accept praise. Small groups speak for about 20-25 minutes, also with 5 minutes for questions.

If you start to go past the time limit, your kindly section facilitator will signal to you. Please follow his or her instructions. Doing so will help your section hour run smoothly and on schedule. If one person takes too long, that means someone else is losing out on the right to a full and unhurried presentation. So watch your time, and remember, during the sections facilitators rule!

Courtesy: Please turn off your cellphone. Be considerate in other ways, too. When another person is presenting, avoid whispering, crumpling paper or scurrying about from room to room. As you might imagine, that distracts everyone, not least of all your fellow presenter(s). So we prefer that you stay in the room for all presentations. Now, if a dire need requires your presence elsewhere and you absolutely must leave or enter a room, at least wait until the presentation has been completed. But for everyone’s sake, plan to remain in the room until all presentations are completed. On behalf of the presenters—plus everyone else in the room— we thank you.