An international conference, irrespective of what sort of a conference it may be, a business conference, an engineering conference, or a medical conference, is an event where researchers and professionals come together to present their latest work. Such an event is primarily made up of hour-long themed panels that combine similarly themed presentations into a single slot. Panels are then followed by a Q&A session, making it possible for participants to engage with speakers and share their thoughts with them. Other presentation forms include posters, more commonly done by students and early career researchers. Such an event usually ends with a lengthy speech delivered by the keynote speaker, who is typically a highly respected researcher in their discipline.
The following are some of the most forms of international conferences –
- Academic Conferences
Academic conferences are the most common type one will encounter. These follow a standard format of panels and Q&A sessions followed by a keynote speech. Academic conferences can either be small events held over a few days or even larger ones, sometimes lasting up to a week, depending on the organizer. Organizers can be an organization recognized for conducting such events, individual scholars, large-scale funders, or even a group of researchers.
- Annual Meetings
Annual meetings are very similar to academic conferences, and sometimes the names are used interchangeably. The organizers are mostly funding agencies, research groups, or corporations. The general format is normally the same as a conference but will highlight speeches from new board members.
- Postgraduate Conferences
Postgraduate conferences are organized by students for students, although some funders also organize these events. Most of the presentations are delivered by postgrad students and a few masters or undergrad candidates, while only academics tend to be keynote speakers. This is an excellent, more informal introduction to the world of conferencing.
All The Reasons Why Professionals Should Partake In International Conferences
Although there is no set number of conferences that professionals should partake in during the course of their careers, it is recommended that they attend at least a few. Listed below are all the reasons why professionals, irrespective of whether they belong to the field of medicine, engineering, or business, should attend international conferences.
- To Meet, Engage, & Interact With Peers, Experts & Other Like-Minded Professionals
One of the primary reasons to partake in international conferences is to meet like-minded people and industry peers. Business conferences (as well as conferences in all other fields) will bring together people from all different geographies who share a common discipline or field, and they’re the best way to meet new people in one’s field. At a conference, professionals will be able to meet people from a wide variety of backgrounds, whom they may not be able to meet at their places of work or at their institutions. As they build their professional network, conferences can become a great place to meet people in their field whom they haven’t connected with in a while.
- To Broaden Their Understanding & Find Feasible Solutions To Challenges
Professionals often hear a lot about things in their field that will be new to them. It could be new techniques, new types of equipment, unpublished data, or insights from thought leaders that they may never have heard about earlier. They will be able to follow the searches of some of the biggest names in their field, in addition to some of the new faces. Medical conferences (as well as conferences in all other fields) will give them the chance to engage with these people one-on-one about what they’re working on, and they can even give them advice on how to improve upon their own work. They will have the ability to ask presenters questions about their work and the rationale for it, which they cannot do when reading journal articles.
- To Raise Awareness Of Research Findings & Outcomes
This is one of the biggest reasons to attend conferences – to present one’s research work. It’s good practice to talk about what one does with a variety of people from similar, related, and/or completely different disciplines. Delivering presentations will make one more confident in the work they are doing and give them a new perspective on their work because people can ask questions that will make them think about their project differently. At a conference, one will have the opportunity to get feedback on their work from people who may not have a clue about the research area and who can contribute new information from an outsider’s perspective.
- To Build A Reputation
This might not seem like a noteworthy benefit, but conferences are also a great way for professionals to get people to learn about themselves. Whether one is the CEO of a multinational or a sophomore graduate student, or even presenting for the first time, one can meet someone over a meal, in the showroom, or anywhere and within minutes, they can make a connection with someone who could have a huge impact on their professional career. This is especially crucial when one is looking for collaborators, job ideas, or in some areas, they may even be looking for board members. Engineering conferences (much like conferences for any other discipline) will be another way to get one’s name and work out there as they begin to establish themselves in their subdiscipline of engineering, especially if they’re lucky enough to be invited as a speaker.
- To Broaden Know-How & Current Understanding
It is a double benefit of attending conferences because not only can one learn things outside of their field about other areas of research in their discipline, but attending the conference also allows for one to partake in many vital professional development sessions and gain career advice. Chances are when one partakes in a conference, the attendees will be united by one consolidated topic, but they have many diverse subfields of study, and many projects will be multidisciplinary.
And, of course, there are various other benefits of attending conferences such as –
- finding a new job,
- recruiting qualified people for a position,
- taking a necessary break from work for a few days,
- making use of the opportunity to travel around for a bit,
- getting CE credits through participation, etc.
So why partake in international business, medicine, and engineering conferences? We all have our own diverse goals and objectives, but international conference participation greatly enhances one’s professional and personal development while also equipping them with tools and skills that cannot be taught in-house or online and are necessary irrespective of one’s field of study and individual goals/objectives. The focused nature of learning at conferences allows professionals, students, educators, researchers, and others to deepen their understanding of their topic of interest.