Want to know how to make the most of your experience at the AFS Annual Meeting in Atlantic City? Below are some helpful hints for how to do so:

  1. Consider becoming a student member of AFS before registering to attend the Annual Meeting. Members get a discount on meeting registration. In addition, being a member is a requirement to apply for some student travel awards, which can help defray your cost of attending the meeting.
  2. Plan ahead. You should be prepared well in advance for your own talk or poster, but don’t forget to take time to review the program, read some abstracts that interest you, and get familiar with the list of attendees and meeting format. Spending some time up front to think about and make note of talks you want to hear and people you want to meet will allow you to spend more time networking and enjoying the meeting.
  3. Check out the jitney schedule. There are jitneys available at no cost for transportation between the convention center and hotels.
  4. Have your contact information readily available. If you have business cards, you can store them in your name tag holder so you will always have them with you.
  5. Local grocery/convenience stores or may provide more affordable food options than the hotel restaurant/café. Stock up your favorite goodies at an affordable price!
  6. Network! Attend the scheduled networking events and take the initiative to introduce yourself and meet new people. You never know where that next job is going to come from. Not to mention you also get some great food at these events too!
  7. Go to the food buffets furthest from the entrance/doors of the networking events. They often have more food left.
  8. Attend some presentations outside your area of interest/expertise. There are a lot of great presentations at AFS, take advantage of it, you never know what you could learn!
  9. Visit the trade show and speak with the vendors. A common misconception about the trade show is that the staff manning the booths are only interested in selling their products. This is not the case! These professionals can offer interesting perspectives on jobs in the field and are always happy to answer your questions.
  10. Looking for a roommate to split the cost of a hotel room? AFS has a Facebook Group that can be used to reach out to others attending the meeting.
  11. Check out this post from the Fisheries Blog for some additional advice.

If you have a helpful hint not listed here that you would like to share, please forward it to Student Activities Co-Chairs, Jessica Valenti (valenti@marine.rutgers.edu) and Paul Jivoff (pjivoff@rider.edu).