The SPNHC conference FAQ is a useful document for anyone who is attending the conference or is considering doing so.
Conference Social Events
What’s the Welcome Reception?
The Welcome Reception is the first social event of the conference where you can connect with colleagues in an informal atmosphere. The event is free. Be sure to wear your conference badge.
What should I expect from the Welcome Reception?
The Welcome Reception is very informal and usually includes drinks. If you are new to the conference it is a great opportunity to meet other newcomers or identify potential mentors.
Emerging Professional Luncheon
Who is considered an emerging professional? I’ve been in my profession for 3 years. Am I still an emerging professional?
The Emerging Professionals Committee is geared toward early career individuals and students but does not specifically limit the group to a number of years in the profession. Anyone can identify as an emerging professional.
What can I expect from the Emerging Professionals luncheon?
The Emerging Professionals luncheon is a great opportunity to meet other students and early career colleagues who not only may work in similar areas to yours, but may also have the same questions and anxieties about joining the natural history profession. This event will connect you with these colleagues and make you feel more confident as an emerging professional.
What is the Ceilidh? Should I attend?
This is a special event for the 2022 Conference, to give you a taste of local culture. A Gaelic word for a casual party with music, dancing and entertainment, ceilidh (pronounced “kayley”) is the term commonly used to refer to Scottish country dancing. Many of the steps, including the do-si-do and swing-your-partner moves are similar to those performed in American square dancing. It’s more about fun than getting the steps right, but there is always a “caller” with the band, who leads everyone through each dance. This is not a free event. The cost covers the rental of the venue, dinner and the band. Beverages will be available for purchase.
Sponsors Drinks Reception
Should I get a ticket for the sponsors reception?
Absolutely! It’s free and a great way to connect with other professionals in a social setting. You can always decide not to go to the reception, but extra tickets are not always available at the conference. We suggest that you get your ticket with your register for the conference.
What should I expect from the sponsors reception?
Every reception is different but usually there are appetizers and some type of entertainment. It’s in the middle of the conference so it’s a great opportunity to follow up with previous speakers.
What is the Pub Quiz? Should I attend?
One SPNHC tradition is the Pub Quiz. This consists of a visit to a pub or restaurant in the city where the conference is held for a trivia competition. Questions range from facts about the city or country of the conference to of course, natural history. This is not a free event. The cost covers the rental of the venue and light refreshments. Beverages will be available for purchase.
Should I go to the banquet?
The Gala Dinner is not free. Similarly to the Pub Quiz, attending the Conference Banquet should be weighed against financial obligations.
What should I expect from the banquet?
The Gala Dinner is usually more formal than other conference events. Some wear cocktail attire, some dress casually. There is no dress code so be comfortable! There will be a seated dinner and usually dancing. It’s another opportunity to socialize with colleagues in a relaxed atmosphere.
Can anyone go on the Field Trips or are they specific to your discipline?
Field trips are open to everyone for participation and are not discipline specific. Although there is an associated cost, the field trips introduce conference participants to local sights and scenery, places of significance, and gather people together in a fun and informal environment. Field trips are typically held in the days either before or after the conference programme, so you may need to plan to travel for a longer period of time if you include this in your conference schedule.
Which sessions do I go to?
The schedule format for the general session varies from year to year. Sometimes sessions are grouped by common themes but not always. Abstracts for the talks and poster sessions are available online. You are free to go to as many general session talks as time permits.
Do I have to stay in one conference room the entire time?
No. You are able to move freely between rooms. Each talk is on a strict time schedule, so it is best to plan your moments in advance.
When should I go to the poster session?
Poster sessions are held during lunchtime, so plan ahead to either eat first or see the posters. If you are presenting a poster, make sure you get something to eat at some point. And don’t forget water! It is very easy to get dehydrated during conferences, so make sure you are ready for a poster session full of interesting conversations by getting some in advance.
Who should attend committee meetings?
Everyone. SPNHC encourages everyone to participate in the committee meetings. It’s a great way to get involved in SPNHC. Committee meetings are listed in the programme. There is no need to register for the committee meeting – just show up!
Can I go to the Council Meeting?
The Council Meeting is for SPNHC Executives, Members-at-Large, and Committee Chairs. It is a time for those members to discuss the business of running SPNHC. You will hear highlights of this meeting at the annual business meeting.
Annual Business Meeting
Can I go to the Annual Business Meeting?
Yes. The Annual Business Meeting is the best way to know the future plans for SPNHC. You will also get a sneak peek of next year’s conference!
Are the workshops for those just starting or do they require previous knowledge?
Workshops are for everybody! Many of the skills taught during workshops are harder to find in other settings, so attending may be helpful for your career needs. That said, there is a cost to attend most workshops, so finances are to be taken into consideration. If you are unsure whether the workshop is good for you or if it is worth the extra cost, make sure to contact the Organisers to request more information.
What are the Collection Tours? Who can attend?
Collection Tours let you see and learn how other institutions house their collections and often include the presence of scientists/students talking about their research. During these tours, you may also expect to see wonderful specimens that are scientifically or historically important, or that are simply too cool. Anyone is invited to these tours and there is no charge. Don’t find it surprising if you come out with a novel idea for research, tips to take care of your collection, or even a fun story to tell.
How do I get involved in SPNHC?
First of all, become a member! We also suggest you attend the committee meetings at the Conference that interest you the most and talk to the chair(s) to inform them of your will to get involved. If you are not sure of which areas of SPNHC you would like to help with, you can contact the chair(s) via email after the conference as well. And if you are still unsure, visit www.spnhc.org to learn more about the Society and then contact us.