I'm presenting at a national conference!!! Help!

  1. In addition to my work as a staff RN, I do research into all things night shift related. My MSN capstone is being published later this year in a peer-reviewed journal. (I cannot believe I just typed that sentence )

    Anyway, I have submitted several abstracts to national conferences - and I actually got accepted to the Nursing Management Congress, 2013 in Chicago next month! It's a poster presentation, and, while i realize I will not be speaking to the group, I will be able to put myself and my research 'out there' to a much wider audience.

    Any of you who are experienced in this sort of thing- I beg your advice. Anything you can share will help me. Wardrobe, protocol, networking tips - anything!

    I am a night shift nurse. Scrubs are my 'professional attire', and blue jeans on my day off. How dressed up should I be, and how much is too much?
  2. Visit meanmaryjean profile page

    About meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

    Joined: Sep '12; Posts: 6,292; Likes: 25,565


  3. by   HouTx

    Dress professionally, but with very comfy shoes; you'll be on your feet for a loooooongggg time - LOL. Nice slacks & blouse are fine. Have a light jacket handy - it conveys a more 'authoritarian' appearance.

    Be sure to have a lot of copies of your abstract - with your contact information - as handouts for people who view your poster. Take some business cards also - it's a great opportunity to network. Talk to your organization's marketing department & your nurse recruiter.. it is very positive publicity so they may have some fun trinkets that you can give away. This has been OK with the Nursing Congress folks in the past & attendees love them. The meeting organizers will have specific information for you - times you must be in attendance, do's and dont's, etc.

    Have fun! I love me some Chi-town.
  4. by   meanmaryjean
    Thanks! I contacted the coordinator- the projected attendance is 800-900. How many copies of the abstract should I bring?
  5. by   Meriwhen
    Congratulations on getting published, the capstone and presenting!

    Business casual is appropriate. Wish I could tell you more but I've always been on the audience side of any conference I've gone to--I haven't presented or published anything...yet.
  6. by   BSNbeDONE
    How cool is that!!! That them I said hi! Congratulations!!!
  7. by   cookiemonsterpower
    Quote from meanmaryjean
    Thanks! I contacted the coordinator- the projected attendance is 800-900. How many copies of the abstract should I bring?
    Before I begin : how many pages is it?

    Copies now a day are around 10 cents. If that many are attending you should have between 75-250 Minimum. If your abstract is not to long. You could have at least between 100-250 . If it too long then keep it between 50- 75.

    We don't want you spending too much now do we?
  8. by   MrChicagoRN
    I'd contact the conference, and seek guidance.

    You'll be doing a PowerPoint presentation, or what? How many will really, really want a copy?

    Do the presentation, maybe provide a handout, and supply a link or email address so people can request the full data if they want it.
  9. by   Nurse2BeInGA
    Depending on where you go to school, the Print Shop there (if they have one) may be able to print your poster. I learned that the hard way when I had to print my poster for my Masters. I paid Office Depot a small fortune and later found out the Print Shop at school would have done it for free. I took copies for the projected number of attendees, and I think one-third took copies. Have fun!
  10. by   meanmaryjean
    I asked this question of the clinical specialist group and they seemed to indicate that I should make 11 x 14 copies of my actual poster. Does this sound right?

    I am only doing a poster presentation (I stand by my displayed poster during designated times and discuss it with anyone who happens by). I think I could make the copies at work as my employer is paying my expenses as part of Shared Governance.

    I finished the actual poster last night during some downtime- and need to get it uploaded to allsigns.com. Need to change out the Magnet logo for the 2013 version is all the tweaking remaining.

    Thank you all SO MUCH for your input. This new chapter in my professional life is exhilarating and confusing/ anxiety provoking to me all at the same time. I am so incredibly grateful to be supported by my hospital in this venture. When I got the acceptance email, I was really dismayed by the substantial cost. My husband and I have two kids in college, and my chances looked pretty grim. I emailed the VP for nursing, and asked if I could just send my poster up with someone who was planning to attend. She emailed me back immediately (at night) saying the hospital would pick up the tab!!
  11. by   mamagui
    Nice! When I was in grad school I presented an essay at a conference (a lit conference). It was nerve-wracking, but makes you feel so good to know that your research is worth something Congrats! My advice for you would be, if possible, make small copies of your poster to hand out but only if you can still read the content. Be sure to include where your article will be published so that attendees will be able to look it up. Ditto to professional wear with cozy shoes. Also, do not drink too much caffeine beforehand as it may make you even more nervous. The good thing about presenting a poster is that you get lots of one-on-one time to network- you never know who you will meet. Good luck and have FUN!
  12. by   nurseprnRN
    If the conference is giving CEUs for attending the poster sessions, they will probably ask you for one to three questions for the attendees to answer after viewing yours. Write them in behavioral/objective terms because you want to have them demonstrate what they learned. "Attendee will describe the difference between two pain rating scales," "Attendee will state three positive effects of the intervention applied in this situation," "Attendee will state two limitations of this study with suggestions for further investigation."

    Comfy shoes for SURE. People attending will also have sore feet from going all around the exhibits and will smile at your Danskos or Birkenstocks even when paired with your good suit. I'd wear the suit, not business casual, because the general rule is to dress like the people who will be your bosses, and this is a nursing mgmt conference. You're gonna need one anyway, go shopping. I got a fabulous suit for less money online knowing it wouldn't fit me and paid the extra $ to have it altered. Worth it to save the time I would have spent going all over town looking for one I liked

    The conference may be compiling all presentations, videos, posters, handouts, etc. into a disk or download for attendees, so make yours up in PDF or whatever they ask for and get them in soon. They usually ask for a brief bio too, and perhaps a picture. (Call and ask them, because you don't want to have to do it at the last minute just because some support person forgot to send out the email )

    You can get good-looking business cards pretty cheap from Vistaprint-- don't do the DIY ones on your printer at home. You want your name, credentials, position, and contact phone and email on the front, and the topic of your presentation and the name of the conference and its date and venue on the back, so the people who pick it up will remember you later.

    Rule of thumb for handouts is 1/3 the number of attendees, and the conference will probably have a business center that will make you more if you need them in a hurry at the end. Bring a copy to photocopy and an electronic copy of everything on a thumb drive.

    Last: They always have jewelry and scarf-ish-like stuff vendors at these things. Get yourself something nice as a souvenir!
  13. by   meanmaryjean
    Thank you so much. I've already submitted my three objectives to the conference, and the bio was a part of the application process.
    Comfy shoes? Check- After 36 years at the bedside, all I OWN are comfy shoes (well, except my 'meeting Peyton Manning at a fancy party' shoes- those are out!)
    Business wear? Check- I have a black skirt, black dress pants and three jackets. Should do for a three day conference.
    Business cards? Check - I <3 Vistaprint.

    The poster place just called to verify my address, so it's being shipped this afternoon.

    Right now I am in the midst of packing my youngest up to leave Wednesday for her freshman year of college. This was my critically-ill-we-need-to-have-the-ECMO-conversation-baby who tried really, really hard to NOT stay alive. Thwarted by the power of prayer, she is now a lovely, quirky, mature 18-year-old wannabe occupational therapist.

    My life is pretty darned good right now.
  14. by   LadyFree28
    I only wanted to say CONGRATS!!!