Tips and hints for getting the most out of conferences



Last week I gave a keynote at the LINQ conference in Brussels. It got me thinking about the value of conferences and how to make the most of them. So I have put together this list. Is there anything I have missed?


  • Good way to present research findings and get feedback.
  • Good to disseminate research work and promote the university and the school.
  • Useful in terms of networking and finding potential people to collaborate with and potential work on bids with.
  • An easy and effective way of keeping up to date with current research
  • A means of working towards a research publication. Even if the conference only requires an abstract it is a good idea to work up a paper to take to the conference, which can then be submitted to a journal. Many conferences have an associated journal or print selected conference papers in a special issue.
  • It is useful to go through the delegate list and target people you want to meet.
  • Take notes during the session and in particular useful links and references, and then write a blog post summarising the main points. Twitter and facebook the link.
  • Use a curation tool, such as pearltrees to note useful links associated with the conference presentations.
  • Attend interactive workshop sessions to learn new skills.
  • Be active in using the conference hashtag and connect with others who are also using it and have shared interests.
  • Encourage newer researchers to write abstracts/papers with more established colleagues.
  • Ensure that the abstract/paper aligns to the conference themes; make this explicit if possible.
  • Offer to be a reviewer to get experience at how to write good conference papers.
  •  Take leaflets to distribute about research projects, teaching programmes and PhD opportunities.
  • Use the breaks and social events to network.

Good e-learning conferences (primarily tertiary focus):


  • Networked Learning (Europe) – every two years, excellent high quality conference, selected papers are published as a Springer book.
  • EDEN (Europe) – annual conference in June, good papers and a nice community, has an associated journal EURODL.
  • EDEN (Europe) research workshop in the Autumn.
  • ICEM (worldwide) – long established conference over 60 years, very international.
  • ICDE (worldwide)– large conference very international.
  • ASCILITE – good high quality papers, both practical and theoretically grounded, usually in Australia.
  • Online Educa, December in Berlin, expensive but a good place to be seen in terms of EU projects, commission people usually attend.
  • AECT (USA) – large well-established conference.
  • Edmedia (alternates between Europe and North America – large well-established conference.
  • Sloane (USA) – well-established conference.