I recently was able to attend the 102nd Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition (CCCE) that took place in Quebec City a few weeks ago! For those that don't know about this, it is a huge conference that takes place every year that is all about everything chemistry.
This year a group of us went to a retreat before hand called LOGIC (leaders overcoming gender inequality in chemistry) which was such an amazing experience to attend as a fellow women in chemistry. The retreat lasted two days and consisted of many truly amazing speakers that talked about their experiences and offered such inspirational for us trying to succeed in this profession. Day one started at Laval University where we heard from wonderful speakers about dealing with shame, how to be successful, and a wonderful talk from Dr. Imogen Coe who told us that we need to choose our partners carefully, and not to let the hand you hold hold you back. The first day ended with a very nice wine and cheese event where we were able to mingle and meet new people. Day 2 started off with talks from truly amazing people! We had a fabulous talk by Dr. Polly Arnold who shared with us that we should not be fixing the women. One of the talks I found great was one about becoming tenure track faculty (my dream job), it was all of the information I wanted to know about the process from start to finish. In the afternoon we had two workshop about careers other than academia and mentorship. It was refreshing to hear all the wonderful options that we have other than academia that are equally as fulfilling as a chemist. The retreat ended off with a banquet dinner as of course a live stream of the Raptors game. Overall it was such an amazing and informative experience and I am really grateful both my supervisor and faculty supported us in going to this event.
For the next couple of days we went to CCCE 2019 that was near old Quebec so of course it was the perfect opportunity to explore before the conference officially started!
The conference was very busy there was a lot going on at all times so it was a lot of running from room to room. This CCCE was special to me because I was giving my first oral talk! It was very intimidating to me speaking in a room full of experts in electrochemistry (also I was battling a cold so that really bummed me out as well) but after competing it 3MT nothing really terrifies me anymore! The rest of the conference after my talk went well, lots of new people I met as well as many open bars (thanks Proto and Bruker).
I also thought it might be useful to discuss some important things that you should bring when travelling to conferences. This one was finally one where I didn't forget one single thing and I was well prepared (yay!)
1. Umbrella- for us it rained a bit and it was SO handy to have one!
2. Sweater and long pants (yes even in the summer)- While it was relatively nice outside the whole time we were there, the conference center was SO cold so thankfully I brought my sweater
3. Bandaids. So many bandaids. I thought Quebec would be the perfect place to wear my brand new shoes. Boy was I wrong. They were not broken in and hurt my feet terribly and needed bandaids for the rest of the week
4. Advil and Pepto. After many beers and late nights this is what got me through so I could attend the wonderful keynote speakers at 8am.
5. Eye sleeping mask- I am one of those people who will be immediately woken up as soon as the sun rises no matter how long I have been asleep for, and this has really ruined some conferences for me. I brought a mask this time and I could put it on if I was woken up to get those few extra hours of sleep in.
6. USBs with presentation- I made sure before I left that I had emailed myself and a friend a copy of my presentation, uploaded to my google drive, as well as had it on 3 USBs. You never know what can happen so it is always best to make sure that you have your final presentation saved in a few places.
Do you have any tips and tricks of things to bring to a conference? Are you going to a conference soon? let me know which conferences you are going to!