Friday, March 21, 2008

ho-tel, mo-tel, holiday inn...

I'm back from the ICEID 2k8, and sorely disappointed by the lack of free pens, highlighters, keychains, and lanyards. I had big plans for all those Beckman Coulter and Bio-Rad freebies I was expecting.

I did get a handsome tote bag emblazoned with the ICEID logo, though. So that's nice. I mean, I hate to go to a conference and come back completely empty-handed. If we want to be all mature and professional about it, we can say that the real thing we're supposed to take away from scientific conferences is the knowledge and networking opportunities, but I think if we're really being honest with ourselves, we know that a conference without free pens is really just a week ill-spent.

Speaking of networking opportunities, this fall I received no less than 500 business cards with my name, title, and work contact information on them. I brought a healthy stack of them with me to the conference, with all grand intentions of handing them out to the leading scientific minds of the world.

"Doctor Lipkin," I'd say. "I was absolutely riveted by the presentation on your work with the high-throughput sequencing and MassTag PCR. Allow me to introduce myself. Andrea Lorenz, Emerging Infectious Diseases fellow. My card." And I'd whip it out with great flourish.

Right, then what? I don't have any conversational objectives for those kinds of interactions. I know, I know, CONNECTIONS. NETWORKING. Whatever. I feel like a royal tool giving my CARD to a "real" scientist. So I didn't give any out. I have no natural talent for being a social or career climber. I need someone to do my PR for me (provided, that is, I have some sort of skill or product that is actually worth marketing-- jury's still out on that one).

Anyway, I'm glad to be back. I can only take so much of a.) crowds, b.) being with the same people all the time, and c.) being obligated to stay in the same place. In this case, I was obligated to stay with all three by virtue of the conference being in the hotel in which everyone stayed.

More on b.) ... It's gonna be a real hoot if/when I get married, because even the most innocuous little personal tics and habits tend to drive me up the wall after I've spent a LOT of time with someone. I bet it's different if you're close friends or in love with them, though. I just kinda maybe hope I marry someone who doesn't have a little sucking/slurping/shivering breathing noise they make all the time because they never try breathing through their nose...

1 comment:

DaForeigner said...

Ok...so after consulting the oracle (google) what ICEID was...things started making a little more sense. :P Seems like it would have been interesting to attend, and I hope that you learned something. Sorry you didn't get your yearly supply of pens!! hahaha. Your opinion is correct though, you always assume you will be walking away with some sort of items. The network security guys I work with are the same way. They attend these SANS conferences and come back with a million things to hand out.

As far as your future husband to be...hopefully he doesn't have that snorting habit you mentioned a few posts ago. :P Wouldn't that just be some karma!!

Good to see you back bloggin. Take it easy!

Rob