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Tips for your first time at SfN's annual meeting


Amanda Labuza
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Amanda Labuza

I know there is a lot of information out there already on how to prepare for SfN’s annual meeting. The one starting in just 3 days! But the truth is, if you have never been to SfN before, you can’t really prepare for what you will experience. Over 30,000 people attend for 5 days. It is beyond overwhelming. So here is my major piece of advice, don’t over plan.

You can’t do everything. That’s okay though, it is the point. There are so many specialized subcategories SfN has already curated itineraries for certain interests. Even then there will still be things they included you aren’t interested in or things they left out. So relax and don’t do too much.

SfN is a chance to recharge your enthusiasm for science. We have spent all year grinding away trying to get publishable data. This is the time to share those discoveries and learn about others’ work. But you can’t recharge if you are stressing about getting to every talk, every poster, and every meeting. So pick what matters most and let the rest go.

Make sure to leave some empty time in your schedule. There are hundreds of vendors giving away free swag and showing off the latest technology. Take some time to see what is there. You will be in sunny California. Take time to go for a walk along the water with your lab. Enjoy yourself. If you don’t make it to everything it will still be worth your time. Relax, have fun, and get excited. This is going to be a crazy whirlwind that will be over faster than you think. Can’t wait to see you in San Diego!

Oh, and wear comfortable shoes. Walking from the first row of posters to the last is literally half a mile.

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