I’m a hardcore list maker. I make to-do lists, reading lists, and, when it comes to a trip, you’ll never find me without a packing list. Let’s pretend this hyper-organization is an expression of the scientist in me, not the Type A, anal person, ok? SfN’s Annual Meeting, or really any huge academic conference, is a unique animal, and thus it requires a unique packing list. I hope this list is at least somewhat useful for my fellow Neuroscience 2013 attendees, especially if it’s your first Annual Meeting:
(1) Your Annual Meeting name badge – Am I the only one who has nightmares in which I travel across the country for the SfN Annual Meeting only to realize my badge is on my desk in lab? Maybe. But, either way, don’t forget your badge, or you’ll pay a pretty penny (relative to grad student stipends) to get it reprinted onsite.
(2) Poster tube AND posters – As a perpetual over-packer, I invariably check my bag when I travel for conferences. Accordingly, I am often taxed with the burden of bearing the lab’s poster tube as my personal carry-on for flights. For that week, our lab’s threatening-looking long black poster tube becomes like my own appendage. Again, am I the only one who has nightmares about leaving the poster tube at an airport Chilli’s? Also, remembering to actually put the posters in the poster tube is a plus.
(3) Advil (a whole bottle) – This item came as a recommendation from one of my labmates before my first experience of an SfN Annual Meeting. I was so glad I took his advice. Everyday, for some reason, (maybe it was all the amazing science hurting my brain?) 2:30 PM hit and my head was throbbing.
(4) Granola bars and a water bottle – Navigating the poster hall at an Annual Meeting is like a marathon (row A to FFF, people), only there’s 30,000 other people running around, and, oh, everyone’s looking at their program and not where they’re going, creating a really nerdy obstacle course. Needless to say, sustenance is a must.
(5) iPad (if you’re really snobby like me) + the Neuroscience 2013 App – Last year, I was really impressed with the Neuroscience 2012 app and the 2013 version seems to be equally as excellent. You can use the app to create itineraries, browse the program and even check an #SfN13 Twitter feed. Instead of toting around the literal books that are the programs for each day of the meeting, I find the app to be a user (and tree) friendly alternative.
Alongside my typical travel accoutrements, the above items will definitely be joining me for Neuroscience 2013. What tops your Neuroscience 2013 packing list?