First time at an EGU General Assembly? We got you covered!

First time at an EGU General Assembly? We got you covered!

Europe’s biggest geoscience conference is only 5 weeks away! Each year, the EGU General Assembly brings together over 15,000 researchers, scientists, academics and journalists to discuss and share the latest developments in planetary exploration, Earth observation, polar science, climate change, natural hazards, and much more. And it is held at the Austria Centre Vienna (ACV) which is big enough to confuse even the most directionally gifted of us!

If this is your first time attending the EGU General Assembly, we would like to make your experience less overwhelming and more fulfilling, so you can make the most of our exciting science. So read on for a quick “ABCDE guide” on how to plan for your conference week.


Allocate your time well

Each day of the EGU General Assembly begins at 08:30 and ends at 20:00 and is organised in time blocks (TBs) with a number of breaks. Here’s an overview of what each day will look like:

Time blocks Presentations
TB1 08:30–10:15
TB2 10:45–12:30
TB3 14:00–15:45
TB4 16:15–18:00
TB5 18:00–19:00
Networking time
TB6 19:00–20:00
Medal lectures and townhall meetings


Each time block further comprises a number of presentations, which – needless to say – can be quite tiring to sit through an entire day. It would be wise to shortlist sessions of your interest and plan to attend them accordingly through the week. More information about the meeting format is available here.

Don’t forget to take regular breaks to keep stress levels at bay. Try our favourite 5 minute coffee meditation or 5 min yoga stretch at your desk, and feel free to recommend to a friend!


Book your travel and stay NOW

Vienna is a hub for conferences and tourism alike, and EGU23 alone is expected to bring in up to 15,000 participants to the city! This means fierce competition for accommodation and travel, so we recommend booking right away if you haven’t already done so.

For those travelling by plane to the conference, a top tip is to look for flights to Bratislava. The Slovakian capital is only 80 km away from Vienna and well connected via bus, train and even boat! Bratislava airport is served by a good selection of low-cost airlines and it’s often cheaper to fly there than directly to Vienna. A bus ticket between the two cities can cost as little as five euro (if booked well in advance) with the average for a return train trip being around 14 euro. If that’s not enough to persuade you, it’s worth factoring in a little time to discover the city. It’s a warren of quaint little streets, an imposing castle and good, affordable beer and food.


Bratislava (Credit: Rudy Balasko /


Connect with others to grow your network

Don’t just limit your conference experience to attending presentations and mingling within your own circle. EGU23 offers the perfect opportunity to broaden your professional network – whether on-site or virtually. If social media is your thing, the #EGU23 conference hashtag is a great way to stay current with the meeting as well as connect with others to find out about their work.

We also strongly recommend signing up to be a mentee with EGU’s Mentoring Program. This unique program supports first-time conference attendees (mentees) by pairing them with experienced mentors. Register here before 25 March.


Inside the Austria Center Vienna during the EGU 2018 General Assembly (Credit: EGU/ Tim Middleton)


Download the EGU23 app

The EGU General Assembly 2023 mobile app will be available two weeks prior to the General Assembly. Check the EGU23 website for release information. For first time attendees, the app can be a great pocket guide to browse and search the meeting programme, select presentations to add to your own personal programme, and find out more about the General Assembly on Twitter.

Another good source of information at the General Assembly is the daily digital newsletter EGU Today, which highlights sessions and events at the meeting each day of the week. Issues are available online on the General Assembly website and through the conference app during the meeting, so keep an eye out!


Explore beautiful Vienna

The city’s public transport is exceptionally well planned and connected, so do your best to explore some of Vienna during the conference week. Staying along the U1 underground (U-bahn) line ensures quick and easy access to all the main tourist spots and the conference centre, but don’t fret if your accommodation is already booked elsewhere – you’ll be able to get around the city fairly easily either way. Vienna has plenty to offer, from picturesque parks and gardens, through to impressive architecture and a plethora of museums. A good starting point is Wien Info where you’ll find tips on how to enjoy the city to the full, without breaking the bank. The site has information about arts and culture events, free wifi spots, the best places to go for a bite to eat or a drink, as well as a selection of affordable sport options too. And here you’ll find information on the Vienna City Card to get around during the week.


So there you have it! Our ABCDEs to help you make the most of your first General Assembly experience. Stay tuned for further conference updates which will be shared regularly via the EGU blog and on social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Reddit and Mastodon).

Avatar photo
Gillian D’Souza was Media and Communications Officer of the European Geosciences Union between 2022 and 2024. She oversaw the Union's blog writing, press interactions and external communication. She has been a science writer on various subjects including health and the environment for close to a decade, and has an M.Sc. in Food Microbiology and Biochemistry from Mumbai, India.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>