How to Make Your First EAG a Success

post by SofiaBalderson (sofiabalderson) · 2021-12-06T15:13:42.634Z · EA · GW · 2 comments

Contents

  Summary 
  Pre-conference 
    Application process
    Setting priorities for the event
    Planning your schedule
  During the event
    Practicalities
    How to avoid getting overwhelmed
    Tips for engaging with other attendees
    How to have enjoyable and productive conversations with others
  After the event
  What I would do differently next time
  Conclusion
None
2 comments

I was very fortunate to attend my first in-person EAG in London in October 2021. Having attended some conferences in the past, I was aware of the risk of feeling isolated and lost, especially considering I haven’t been a part of the EA community very long. Unlike other people, I didn’t have lots of friends to say hello to. I made sure to compensate for this by preparing well. In the end, I had an absolute blast in terms of social interaction and professional benefit. In this blog post I will speak about what preparation I did (including resources, time planning tips and networking), list some tips to make your time at the conference a success, and share what I would do differently next time to make it even more valuable for me and other attendees.

I hope that some tips I shared below will come useful, especially if this is your first in-person EAG or you’d like to have a better experience at your next conference.

Summary 

I absolutely loved the conference and, even though the preparation appeared to need more time than I originally thought, I felt that the time I invested in both preparing for it and actually going there paid off immensely. I made some super valuable connections and I am totally going to the next EAG :) My top takeaway is you will get out as much out of the conference as you put in, both with preparation and how much you’ll help other attendees.

Pre-conference
 

Application process

Setting priorities for the event

  1. Firstly, to put some faces to names, as I met a lot of people online but never in person.
  2. Secondly, priority was to meet up with some organisational leaders and ask for some advice about running organisations (as I got my first leadership job two weeks before the conference) as well as potentially meet up with anyone interested in insect welfare.
  3. Thirdly, priority was a broad one: to just have a good time, not get overwhelmed and get new ideas and inspiration from fellow EAs.

Planning your schedule

During the event

Practicalities

How to avoid getting overwhelmed

Tips for engaging with other attendees

How to have enjoyable and productive conversations with others

After the event

 

What I would do differently next time

 

Conclusion

Definitely consider going to the next EAG, apply as soon as it’s advertised and make sure you factor in all the planning time too + reinforce it with a good follow-up. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this blog: anything that particularly resonated with you? Anything you don't agree with? Any other tips you'd like to leave for future participants?





 

2 comments

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comment by Vaidehi Agarwalla (vaidehi_agarwalla) · 2022-04-01T00:05:32.536Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Thanks for writing this! I agreed with basically everything you said, especially the parts about staying flexible with your schedule, taking breaks even if you're a people person and keeping an open mind !

Replies from: sofiabalderson
comment by SofiaBalderson (sofiabalderson) · 2022-04-04T07:34:14.808Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Thanks a lot Vaidehi! Hope to meet you at the next EAG!!