Newbie academic conference tips via Twitter

by Sayraphim on July 18, 2019

So I’ve never been to an academic conference before. Sure, I’ve been to Vidcon a couple of times  and when I was a teen I went to roleplaying conferences, but I’ve never been to an academic conference before.

And suddenly, I learned I was presenting out edutube at one, the 4rd Annual Young Creative Connected (YCC) Research Network Seminar in Brisbane, with the awesome Zoe Glatt and my soon-to-be-supervisor Kelli McGraw from Kelli’s Channel! Totally awesome and not at all terrifying.

The YCC is a satellite event to the The Association of Internet Researchers annual conference, also in Brisbane which starts a day after the YCC one. In between that, there are some pre conference workshops, including a full day Digital Methods for Digital Media Research which spends a lot of the day looking at how to analyze  data from YouTube. So since I’m going to be in Brisbane for the YCC, I might as well spend the week up there learning ALL THE THINGS.

So I went to twitter to ask Having never been to an academic conference before, suddenly I’m going to three of them in a week, including presenting at one of them. What tips would you give a first timer?

I got loads of responses which were all super helpful so I thought I’d put them all here so a) I could find them again and b) so other people could too.

Jenny Sinclar suggested:

Coffee. Follow everyone you can find who’s presenting then you get highlights of papers you have to miss. And the hashtag of course.


Also please tweet them for us!

Jade Koekoe (MissKokoLib) said 

Leave time for you to think and reflect. Over booking your timetable = more stress 🤗

Dr Tal Fitzpatrick suggested

Tell a story, focus on conveying a max of 3 take home messages, have facts/theorists to back up any new claims 👍🏼 you got this @Sayraphim

Gemma Steele reminded me to

Pace yourself!

[and that I should]

Have fun! I reckon there’s no shame in skipping a less interesting/relevant session if you need a break as well 💚

Amy T also reminded me to

Feel free to take time out alone for a breather, it’s super exciting meeting people, learning and sharing ideas etc at conferences but can also be really draining. Good luck with your presentation!


And Grace suggested

Relevant for multi-day events: socialise, but go easy on the alcohol; eat properly, but enjoy the canapés; and maintain your normal exercise/mindfulness routine – I always take my bathers just in case there’s a decent pool, my runners in case there isn’t, and a meditation track.


So, pace yourself, don’t go to everything, have some sits and thinks about the stuff you’ve seen and heard and drink plenty of coffee.

Excellent advice all!


Image by Alice Pasquini, found on pintrest here:

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