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Presenting at the General Assembly 2019: A quick ‘how to’ from the EGU

Presenting at the General Assembly 2019: A quick ‘how to’ from the EGU

The schedule is out, presentation slots have been assigned and it’s time to start thinking about putting yours together. Whether you have an oral, poster or PICO slot, we have a suite of simple guidelines to get you ready for the conference!

Orals

The guidelines for oral presentations are online. All oral presentations should have the dimensions 16:9 or 4:3 and last about 12 minutes, with 3 minutes for questions. Oral presentations take place over four 105-minute time blocks. Make sure you’re in the presentation room approximately 30 minutes before your time block starts, so your presentation can be uploaded or so you can connect your laptop to the system. There will be a lecture room assistant to help you get everything ready.

Posters

Guidelines for poster presentations are also online. Importantly, the poster boards landscape and are 1978 mm by 1183 mm. Posters should be hung between 08:00 and 08:30 on the day of your scheduled poster presentation using tape available from roaming assistants. Please retrieve your poster at the end of the day (between 19:00 and 19:30). Those that are not collected will be disposed of. By the start of the General Assembly, EGU will have sent your Authors in Attendance Time – during this time, you must be present at your display.

If there is a gap in the corresponding oral session, conveners may call upon poster presenters to give a short ad hoc summary of their posters. Therefore, it might be useful to have a couple of slides (1-2) prepared in advance to help illustrate your findings.

PICOs

For the seventh year now we have a different kind of presentation: Presenting Interactive COntent (PICO). The guidelines for PICO presentations are available online. PICO sessions combine the best of oral and poster presentations. Every PICO author presents their slides in a “2 minutes madness”. After these short presentations, all attendees have enough time to watch the presentation again on interactive screens and hold discussions with the author and other attendees. These presentations are shown on wide-screens, so we recommend producing Power Point or PDF presentations with an 16:9 aspect ratio. However, you can also prepare your presentation in the classic 4:3 format. The extra space is then used for the branding of the contribution as well as the navigation. For 16:9 presentations, if navigation buttons are needed, our PICO staff on-site at the conference determines the position of the buttons together with you, so they don’t detract from your presentation. One thing to keep in mind is that, unlike in the past, PICO presentations no longer support Prezi.

For tips on how to make a PICO presentation, why not download the How to make a PICO guide. For a first-hand account of what it’s like to take part in a PICO session, take a look at this post by early career scientists in the Seismology Division too.

Outstanding Student Poster and PICO (OSPP) Awards

If you are presenting a poster or PICO at the upcoming General Assembly you can have your presentation considered for an OSPP Award. Check out one of our earlier blog posts to learn more on how to register yourself for the award, as well as a watch our interview with OSPP judges explaining what they look for in a winning poster.

Social media guidelines

The EGU encourages an open dialogue on social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and blogging platforms during the General Assembly. The default assumption is to allow open discussion of General Assembly oral, PICO, and poster presentations on social media. However, you can request that the contents of your presentation are not disseminated on social media. The icons below may be downloaded from the EGU General Assembly website to include on slides or posters to clearly express if you do or do not want your results posted on any social media networks or blogs.

So that conference participants can embrace social media while at the same time remaining respectful of presenting authors’ work and protecting their research output, we’ve put together some social media guidelines, which you can find on the EGU 2019 website.

Time Blocks

Timetabling at the General Assembly is organised into the following time blocks:

  • 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

There is free tea and coffee available in the poster halls in the breaks between TB1 & TB2 and TB3 & TB4. TB5 5 offers refreshments, and is dedicated to networking and additional poster viewing.

No-shows

If you already know that your abstract will not be presented, you are kindly requested to withdraw your corresponding abstract as soon as possible.

Making a poster or PICO presentation: top tips from the Outstanding Student Poster and PICO (OSPP) Award judges

Making a poster or PICO presentation: top tips from the Outstanding Student Poster and PICO (OSPP) Award judges

Every year at the General Assembly hundreds of students present their research at the conference with a lot of time and effort going into preparing these presentations. With the aim to further improve the overall quality of poster presentations and more importantly, to encourage early career scientists to present their work in the form of a poster, the OSP Awards (as they were formerly known), were born. Since the 2016 General Assembly, PICO presentations have been included in the Outstanding Student Poster Awards, which have been renamed to Outstanding Student Poster and PICO (OSPP) Awards.

“There are a thousand posters in a hall, and they are all competing for attention,” highlights Niels Hovius of GFZ, German Research Centre for Geosciences and a former OSP Judge for the Geomorphology Division, “so, you need to stand out a little bit.”

But, how can you make sure your poster or PICO is a great presentation which achieves that?

At the 2015 General Assembly we spoke to some of the judges and past winners of the award and asked them to share their thoughts on what makes a top poster presentation.  We put their top tips together in this short video, which gives you a good idea of the key elements you ought to be thinking about when preparing your poster or PICO presentation.

If you are participating in OSPP, don’t forget to attach the OSPP label (blue SVGblue PNGyellow SVGyellow PNG) to your poster board. Alternatively, you might include the label in the poster itself. If you participate with a PICO, you are kindly asked to add the OSPP label to your PICO presentation header.

The OSP awards are presented at the level of the EGU Programme Groups which in 2015 saw an improved way of signing up for the award and also judging of the presentations. A post from the blog archives also has full details of how the presentations are evaluated and you can also find detailed information about the award on the EGU website.

The EGU General Assembly is taking place in Vienna, Austria from 7 to 12 April. Check out the full session programme on the General Assembly website and follow the Assembly’s online conversation on Twitter (#EGU19 is the official conference hashtag) and Facebook.

EGU 2019 General Assembly programme is now online!

EGU 2019 General Assembly programme is now online!

The EGU General Assembly 2019 programme is available here. Take a look and – if you haven’t already – register for the conference by 28 February to make the early registration rates!

This year’s scientific programme of the General Assemby includes Union-wide Sessions, such as the medal lecturesgreat debatesshort courseseducation and outreach sessions, as well as townhall and splinter meetings, just to name a few.

The Disciplinary Sessions and Inter- and Transdisciplinary Sessions encompass the oral, poster and PICO sessions covering the full spectrum of the Earth, planetary and space sciences.

There are several ways to access the programme, so you can explore the sessions with ease:

  • Browse by day & time: view the oral, poster and PICO sessions by their time and location, each sorted chronologically by conference day, time block and programme group
  • Browse by session: view the scientific sessions and their oral, poster and PICO sub-sessions by programme group
  • Personal programme: a great tool to generate your own personal programme, just select the specific presentations or sessions you’re interested in to create your own personal schedule
  • Session schedules by PG (coming soon): online view of the oral, PICO, and poster sub-sessions of a selected programme group listed by day and time block (sessions with multiple time blocks are listed repeatedly) with the option to print or generate a PDF file.
  • Sessions of ECS interest (coming soon): a list of sessions of particular interest for early career scientists (ECS). This selection is compiled by the ECS representatives and the EGU Communications Officer
  • Abstracts of special interest (coming soon): a list of abstracts which are of particular interest for the public. This selection was compiled by the session conveners.

Want more ways to browse the programme? We’ll be releasing the EGU 2019 mobile app closer to the conference, stay tuned!

We look forward to seeing you in Vienna for the General Assembly (7 – 12 April 2019).

EGU 2019 will take place from 07 to 12 April 2019 in Vienna, Austria. For more information on the General Assembly, see the EGU 2019 website and follow us on Twitter (#EGU19 is the official conference hashtag) and Facebook.

Do’s and don’ts for attending your first General Assembly

Do’s and don’ts for attending your first General Assembly

The prospect of attending a large international conference during your PhD can be really daunting, especially if you’re only in your second year and in the early stages of data collection. That’s why I hadn’t planned on going to one until my third year. But thanks to winning some travel funds, this time last year I was preparing to attend the EGU General Assembly 2018 in Vienna, a scary but exciting opportunity that I am so glad I took.

I received lots of great advice before I went, but also found out things when I was there that I wish I had known in advance. So here is my list of do’s and dont’s for attending your first General Assembly.

DO
Go on fieldtrips and events.

In 2018 the EGU Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Petrology & Volcanology (GMPV) Division organised a pre-conference fieldtrip to the Bohemian Massif in Austria, specifically targeted towards early career researchers. Not being the type to pass up a chance to get into the field, I signed up right away. This was a great opportunity to get to meet new people, and not long after we bundled into minibuses and started driving into the Austrian countryside we were chatting away pleasantly.

Making friends before the conference means that you have a big group of friendly faces that you know when you’re at the conference, a vital crutch when giving presentations!

There was also a GMPV mid-conference social event, involving what else but tango lessons! Even though I didn’t get up and dance myself, it was a fun and interesting event and another good way to meet other researchers.

To find out about such events you can look for pre/post conference workshops in the session programme, keep an eye on the division social media accounts, and make use of the resources available for early career researchers both before and at the conference itself.

Excellent example of domino boudinage on show near Spitz, during the pre-conference fieldtrip on “Deformation in the lower crust”. (Credit: Stacy Phillips)

DON’T
Be scared to talk to people at their posters.

It still takes a little time for me to stop feeling anxious and go up to people at their posters, especially if they’re eminent researchers. One way to calm the nerves is to find a poster you are interested in that already has someone there and tag along in their discussion. This gives you a little time to read the poster and decide if you want to ask a question. You could also just ask a presenter standing by their poster to give you a run-through of their work. Build up your confidence and you’ll be talking to the big-shots in no time!

DO
Sign up for the mentoring programme.

The hardest people to meet at the General Assembly are the well-established researchers in your field, but the EGU Mentoring Programme is a great way to get to those people. You are typically assigned to a mid-career researcher in your area, and you are encouraged to meet up with them at least at the Sunday Ice Breaker event and Monday morning planning meeting, if not continually throughout the week. I signed up for this and found it very helpful. Through my mentor I was introduced to lots of other people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. Although we saw each other a number of times during the week as we were attending the same talks, I didn’t take full advantage of my mentor and I wish I had. So, sign up and chat to your mentor often! The deadline to register for the programme is 31 January.

DO
Plan what you want to go see.

The General Assembly mobile app is an essential scheduling tool. It’s really easy to use and it allows you to create your own personal programme by ‘starring’ events of interest. I also found it very helpful to have the list of abstracts on hand and see what presentations are coming up next when sitting in on a session. I highly recommend downloading it and sorting out your plan of attack in advance! EGU will be releasing the General Assembly mobile app closer to the conference, so stay tuned!

DON’T
Try and be in multiple places at once.

One disadvantage of creating your own programme through the app is that you end up ‘starring’ several talks only to then find out that you can’t see them all! If you plan to chop and change rooms, leaving one session to see a different talk and then coming back, it’s very possible those two rooms will be at opposite ends of the venue. And the conference centre is HUGE! Travel time between rooms should not be underestimated (hence why venue staff can be seen zipping about on scooters!). Also, given that it’s likely one of those sessions will be running a little ahead of time or late, chances are you won’t make all the talks you want to attend. Keep it simple and try to stay in one room at a time, or at least sit near the door and give yourself a couple of talks leeway so you don’t miss out on the science!

That feeling when you realise you’ve missed the talk you ran across the conference centre for… (Part of a water fountain in central Vienna). (Credit: Stacy Phillips)

DO
Go to something you wouldn’t normally go to.

If you find yourself with some spare time, you can use the General Assembly app to see what sessions and talks are happening at that moment. Go listen to a talk in a completely separate field; you’ll learn something new and see how different people give presentations! Get involved in something that you haven’t tried before. You could wander from a talk on metamorphic petrology, to a poster on the strength of oil-bearing reservoir rocks, to a geoscience-themed games night! The General Assembly has it all!

DON’T
Spend all your time at the conference centre.

A consistent piece of advice I received was to not spend the entire week at the conference centre. There will be days or mornings where there will be nothing relevant to you. So, take the chance to explore the wonderful city of Vienna! Go on a walking tour, experience an authentic Viennese coffee house, or visit one of the many museums. Then when you return to the conference you will be refreshed and ready to absorb more of the latest science EGU has to offer. And you’ll have a handy conversation starter! If you really can’t tear yourself away from the science though, go grab some food from the small supermarket at the venue and at least have lunch in the park!

EGU attendees get reduced admission to Vienna Museum of Natural History, although we didn’t have time to make it out of the fossil and mineral section! Here’s a fabulous sample of kyanite, my favourite mineral! (Credit: Stacy Phillips)

DO
Make use of social media.

If social media is your thing, the #EGU19 conference hashtag is a great way to stay current with meeting updates as well as connect with people and find out about their work. There are lots of TV screens throughout the venue that have a live feed of the hashtag on Twitter, and seeing your tweet up there for a couple minutes of fame is pretty cool. It’s also really useful. My poster was on the Friday afternoon and I was worried that no one would be around to see it! So, I put up my poster early on the Friday morning, tweeted a photo of me next to it, and then stood by my poster whenever I had a free moment. Someone who I wanted to talk to but who wasn’t around for the poster session saw my tweet and found me. We had a really fruitful discussion, all because of one photo and 240 characters.

Presenting my poster was a lot of fun and a great opportunity to talk to people who could help guide my future work. (Credit: Stacy Phillips)

DO
Wear comfortable shoes.

I said above, I stood by my poster for most of the Friday. I was wearing comfortable shoes, but my feet were so sore the following day! (That may have also had something to do with the dancing at the conveners’ party…) You’ll be doing a lot of walking at the General Assembly and footwear is not something you should neglect!

DON’T
Bring big bulky bags.

You will be packing your bag each morning and convincing yourself that you need your laptop, your massive notebook and those papers you need to read. Sooner or later your bag will be bursting at the seams, and by the end of the day you’ll realise that you didn’t use any of the things you brought along. If you have and can make do with just your smartphone or a small tablet, then bring those (plus chargers!) and a small notebook (put in your name and details, in case you lose it).

DO
Bring a water bottle or reusable coffee cup.

Geoscientists should all be singing from a similar hymn sheet when it comes to saving the environment. So, it was great to see the abundant water fountains throughout the conference venue. Though I was surprised by the lack of re-usable coffee cups on show. There are regular coffee breaks to sustain everyone, and although there are recyclable bins where you can dispose of your cups, you could should just bring your own!

This is by no means an exhaustive list of things you should and shouldn’t do, and it doesn’t cover every aspect of what to expect at your first General Assembly, but hopefully it is a helpful guide. If you’re preparing for your first EGU meeting, you will probably be a little nervous, as I was this time last year. But I am confident that you’ll have a great week, talk about cutting-edge science, and make a wonderful array of connections, as I did in 2018. Good luck and feel free to ask questions or get in touch with me! You can find me on Twitter @Shtacy_Phillips. and do come say hi to me at EGU 2019!

EGU 2018 in numbers. See you in 2019! (Credit: Stacy Phillips)

by Stacy Phillips, PhD student at Open University, United Kingdom

Stacy Phillips is a 2nd year PhD student at the Open University. She is investigating the role of crustal melting in the Himalaya by looking at kyanite leucogranites from Bhutan, Eastern Himalaya. This involves a combination of petrology, geochemistry, geochronology and P-T modelling to understand how these melts formed. Her interests in science communication have led to the creation of the Fieldwork Diaries podcast and she is an avid user of Twitter (@Shtacy_Phillips) for science communication (and the odd rant about sports). When not busy doing or communicating science you can find her taking photos of Lego minifigures (on Instagram @ShtacyP).

EGU 2019 will take place from 07 to 12 April 2019 in Vienna, Austria. For more information on the General Assembly, see the EGU 2019 website and follow us on Twitter (#EGU19 is the official conference hashtag) and Facebook.