A “First-Timer’s” survival guide.
1. Make a plan
You will get the most of the conference if you do some preparation work in advance of the meeting. Spend some time thinking about the most important sessions and talks that you would like to see. The meeting programme is available online. You will be able to read all the abstracts and make your own itinerary with the online programme planner available by mid of May 2018. It is far better to do this before you get to Milan. Maximise the use of your time on site!
Familiarise yourself with the colour coded session types: different types are designed for a different audience. Avoid being disappointed by a session that will be too basic or too specialised for your interests, despite an interesting title.
2. Pace Yourself
The meeting has a packed schedule. You will probably find something interesting and useful from 8:30 until 20.00 hrs each day – but we would not necessarily recommend to do so! You will get saturated pretty quickly and by Monday or Tuesday, your ability to absorb useful information will be severely diminished. Again, prioritise what is the most important.
3. Parallel Events
When you attend a session (educational or scientific), you might find that not all of the session is relevant or interesting to you, or you might have spotted a talk in another parallel session room that you’d like to see. It is completely okay to leave one session and join another (but etiquette dictates that you wait for the end of a talk to leave / join the audience). Also note that a number of sessions (all Educational Sessions and selected Plenary Sessions and Symposia) are available as on-demand video after the conference (see list further below).
Make the most of the opportunity to network. Most people (junior or senior) are delighted to meet new faces and to chat about their work – so don’t be afraid to approach those big names and introduce yourself, and just start chatting!
5. Ask Questions
Don’t be shy about asking questions at the microphone! This is especially true in the educational programmes. Everyone in the audience is there to learn – and so if you have a question, there’s every chance that others will have the same question.
Note that, especially in large halls, it is sometimes difficult for the chairperson to see you in the dark, especially if you are standing in the back. Do not hesitate to address the chairperson in case she or he does not see you.
6. Get There Early!
This is a principle that will serve you well on many fronts. We have literally thousands of people attending the meeting, and yet some people are surprised to find lines at the registration desk on Saturday afternoon. You will not want to miss the opening plenary this year – so get there early (registration opens on Friday afternoon) – and is open all day Saturday to Tuesday.
It is similar for the queues for food at the opening reception (Saturday evening) and networking party (Monday evening). Just think, with 3000+ people, it is IMPOSSIBLE for everyone to get served immediately.
7. Stay cool and relax!
Sounds cheesy…. But the meeting is extremely busy, and you could try and push yourself to run between every single talk that you want to see, to try and see all 1,500 posters, to go to every session, workshop and so on….. but you’ll be exhausted! It is far better to have come away with some new friends, have chatted with a ‘big name’ in your field, and have two or three ‘nuggets’ of information that will shape your research.
8. Business Cards
Although these are becoming a dying breed, we noted that having business cards ready to exchange was helpful, especially when another meeting attendee passes you theirs, but it is a matter of personal preference.
9. What are the ribbons?
You’ll see ribbons of various colours hanging off people’s badges as you walk around the meeting. These are used to highlight particular roles in the society and/or conference. For example, there is a ribbon that identifies someone as a Chairperson/Organiser of a session, another denotes Faculty and Scientific Programme Committee members, another might indicate that the person is a Board member of the Society. If you want to know more, just go and ask the wearer!
How to get the most of ESHG 2018
New registration & preview centre opening hours
For the third time, the registration desks and the preview centre open already on Friday, June 15, from 13.00 – 19.30 hrs. So in case you are already in Milan, pass by and avoid queuing on Saturday morning.
The ESHG 2018 Congress App
Do you always want to be up-to-date? The ESHG Congress App will guide you through the programme day by day or by session type, will make available profiles of speakers and delegates, help you to find exhibitors by name or by service provided. Add papers or entire sessions to your mobile calendar, receive push messages with important reminders and give feedback on talks or sessions.
Do you have a specific comment on the running presentation? To discuss with colleagues, know that many attendees will be using twitter with the hashtags #eshg2018 #sessionnumber (e.g. #eshg2018 #S01).
For all sessions, remember to use the discussion microphones in aisles of the lecture halls.
For the third time, a number of posters will be presented as e-Posters at 40 e-Poster stations in the poster area of the exhibition hall. The list of available posters can be viewed on any of these screens. From there, they can be selected for viewing. Use the zoom-in, zoom-out function to focus on specific parts of the e-Posters and the navigation icons to browse though the multiple slide posters.
Live streaming and on-demand webcast of selected sessions
For the second time all Educational Sessions will be available as webcast after the meeting. So in case you are interested in a Symposium and a parallel Educational session, no worries, you can watch it at home or whenever you have time.
As usual, the Plenaries on Tuesday (including the Building Bridges Session joint with the ASHG) and the Symposium joint with the European Society of Cardiology-ESC will be available as live webcast and as on-demand streaming after the conference.
The following sessions are planned to be available:
- PL3, PL4 & PL5
- joint session with other European Societies
Note that the actual availability of the talks depends on the consent of the speakers.
Overflow area in the exhibition
Is your lecture hall crowded? All lecture halls are equipped with a live transmission possibility to the overflow area in the exhibition. The programme of the room with the highest demand will be transmitted to this area. In case no rooms are crowded, the programme of the plenary lecture hall will be shown.
Note that only the slides and the audio signal will be transmitted.
Posters: New Times for poster viewing with authors
Since 2016, the number of poster discussions (‘Poster Viewing with Authors’) has been doubled. Posters will be discussed in 4 groups, 10.15 – 11.15 hrs and 16.45 – 17.45 hrs both on Sunday and Monday.
We hope that this will facilitate interaction at the posters and increase convenience for the presenters.
All posters will remain on display from Saturday to Monday.
Young Investigators in Focus
A workshop (‘W02 . Career Development for Scientific Millennials on Saturday) aims directly at young investigators attending the conference to show them how to present, how to network and how to enhance their career.
Various types of fellowships for young investigators from European and (new) Non-European countries. See here for all details.
You might also be interested to know, that the Scientific Programme Committee decided to have at least 30% of its members aged under 40 years.
Post-doc Young Investigator Award Winners of the last meeting will be invited to co-chair a session at the next conference.