Networking Tips

Networking Tips & Tricks for SGIM24*

Interested in how to make the best of your networking time at SGIM? If it has been too long since your last in-person meeting or if this is the first time you have attended SGIM, read on for some tips and tricks to help you maximize your conference experience.

Before the Conference

Identify logistical and travel needs:

  • Secure funding through institutions, sponsoring organizations, and scholarships
  • Be early in arranging registration, transportation, and hotel
  • Begin agenda planning early and register for your workshop selections

Consider your networking goals and potential accomplishments:

    • How can I best develop my research/clinical/educational skills at SGIM24?
    • How will my networking and onsite collaboration with other people benefit my own career?
    • What is the best way to disseminate scholarly work at the meeting?
    • How can I receive feedback on preliminary findings and acquire research updates from others?

    Prepare to enhance networking opportunities:

    • Identify and contact individuals by field, areas of interest, or proximity BEFORE the meeting
      • Make sure to include known colleagues and review their work
      • Reach out pre-meeting to schedule a time to meet during the meeting through email or the SGIM23 app 
    • Prepare a brief introduction/overview of your research (elevator speech)
    • Consider signing up for SGIM mentoring in advance to meet with a mentor during the meeting and/or attend a lunchtime mentoring panel
    • Update your personal SGIM24 app profile and don’t forget to pack business cards!

      Prepare to present at the meeting:

      Was your submission accepted for the meeting? Now is the time to prepare! Make sure you:

      • Solicit feedback from your colleagues
      • Rehearse presentation (in front of others, in front of the mirror)
      • Complete presentations or poster well ahead of time - don’t forget to bring your poster with you or have it printed to pick up onsite.
      • Have slides for your presentation? You can submit them to the speaker ready room the day before your presentation. Slides must be submitted to the speaker ready room a minimum of three hours in advance of your presentation.

        During the Conference

        If presenting, bring your best self

        • Bring slides to speaker ready room the day before so they are preloaded into the computer in the presentation room
        • Arrive early, check video/audio ahead of time in the room
        • Deliver material with confidence and clarity
        • Stay afterward to answer questions and meet the audience

        Connect and network during the meeting

        • Engage in social media (#SGIM24 on Twitter and Instagram); attend interest groups, breakfast/lunchtime sessions, and networking events.
        • Use the networking features in the app (set up your profile bio, provide your contact information, message participants)
        • Meet new and existing colleagues to expand and maintain network
        • Note reminders of conversations and follow-up plans on business cards received

        Practice self-care

        • Take breaks to cultivate resiliency with adequate meals, sleep, and physical activity
        • Have a general plan for time allocation, while staying open to serendipitous networking opportunities and new learning.
        • Dress comfortably but professionally for the conference. Hotels are always cold!

        Promote self and others

        • Support colleagues by attending their presentations and promoting group achievements
        • Introduce yourself to presenters and follow-up with an email or message through the app
        • Don’t be afraid to meet new people and attend sessions that address unfamiliar topics – you never know what will spark your next connection

        After the Conference

        Say thank you

        • Thank those who made attendance possible

        Update your CV

        • Add presentations, meeting attendance, and/or volunteer activities to your curriculum vitae

        Highlight your conference achievements

        • Share presentations and photographs with colleagues and your home institution

        Follow up with new colleagues

        • Send follow-up emails to colleagues whose business cards you collected
        • Identify potential opportunities for collaboration

        Plan next steps

        • Revise existing goals and plan for future learning and meeting attendance
        • Consider publication opportunities
        • Consider volunteering or joining an SGIM committee or commission or being otherwise involved in SGIM

        *This material was sourced from: Joslyn W. Fisher, Barbara W. Trautner; Maximizing the Academic Conference Experience: Tips for Your Career Toolkit. J Grad Med Educ 1 April 2022; 14 (2): 144–148. doi: Please click the link to read the full, open access article.