Organize an orientation session for first-time student attendees to ensure they get the most out of their CS conference experience.

  • Start the orientation by explaining to students what a conference is, why people go, and how to read the program.
  • Tell students they’re not obligated to go to everything.
    • Let students know it’s okay to be overwhelmed. Remind them to take some time to reorient themselves in these moments.
  • Have a discussion about conference norms, like:
    • Is it okay to use a laptop or phone during sessions?
    • Is it okay to leave one session to go to another?
  • In small groups, have students introduce themselves, read the program, discuss what sessions they want to attend, as well as make plans to meet up for plenary sessions and meals.
    • You can also make plans for the entire orientation group to meet up for meals and sessions throughout the conference.
  • Before students leave, remind them not to spend the whole time doing homework.
    • There are so many once in a lifetime opportunities at a conference; it’s important to take a break from homework to take advantage of them.

More about this tip

External Source

"Preparing Undergraduates to Make the Most of Attending CS Conferences" by Janet Davis, Christine Alvarado, Miranda Parker, and Jennelle Nystrom.