In this episode of SSP’s Early Career Development Podcast, hosts Meredith Adinolfi (Cell Press) and Sara Grimme (Digital Science) talk about how first-time conference attendees can get the most out of their experience.

They start by talking about how much planning to do ahead of time. While it’s helpful to get a basic idea of the themes and topics that will be covered and to plan on attending a few sessions, you shouldn’t overwhelm yourself here! Next, they touch on how to present yourself, both in words and with your clothing. Meredith and Sara also talk about how to avoid feeling overwhelmed with the large number of people to meet and sessions to attend. Finally, they give tips to help you make time for yourself as a well-rounded individual and to use this time to grow both professionally and personally.

For those attending SSP’s annual conference, here are some specific tips and activities:

General tips and support

  • Sign up for a meeting buddy – a member of the Annual Meeting Program Committee (AMPC) who will act as your meeting “buddy.” This person will be someone you can turn to with questions before and during the meeting. Your buddy can aid your networking by introducing you to fellow attendees.
  • On-site, members of the AMPC will also be identifiable by their “Ask Me Anything” badges and will be happy to help out during the meeting with questions of all sizes.
  • There will also be a “First Timers” discussion thread in the Whova event app for newcomers to share questions, comments, and concerns in the run-up to and during the conference. Make sure to download the app!


Wednesday 5/29/2024

  • 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM | Opening Reception/Exhibitors Marketplace

Network with your colleagues and other professionals at the SSP Annual Meeting Opening Reception. Meet with exhibitors and see what new innovations are being offered by industry service providers.

Thursday 5/30/2024

  • 7:30 AM – 8:30 AM | New Member/First-Time Attendee Breakfast

If you are a new member of SSP or this is the first time you’re attending the SSP Annual Meeting, plan to attend!

  • 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM | Meditation for Mental Health

Join SSP members and experienced meditators Byron Laws and Judy Luther on Thursday and Friday mornings for an introduction to meditation. Learn about the history, purpose, and benefits of meditation followed by a short primer and guided practice.

  • 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM | Awards Luncheon/Annual Business Meeting

Friday 5/31/2024

  • 12:15 PM – 1:30 PM | Get Involved in SSP Volunteer Fair

SSP is successful because of the active participation of dedicated volunteers who serve on the Board of Directors, committees, and task forces. Learn about joining them!

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Background on this podcast series

SSP’s Career Development Committee launched this podcast series in 2019 to offer advice and discussion on how early career publishing professionals can add to their skill sets, develop networks, and take advantage of new opportunities. The series presents interviews and insights from experienced professionals on how to navigate one’s career in a diverse and ever-changing landscape of scholarly communications. If you have any feedback for the hosts, creators, or for future episodes, please email


1 Thought on "SSP’s Early Career Development Podcast Episode 18: Industry Events for First-Timers"

The deadline to “sign up for a meeting buddy” has apparently already passed.

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