Top 5 Tips for IASLC World Conference on Lung Cancer Newbies
The IASLC 19th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC 2018) is the world's largest meeting dedicated solely to thoracic cancers. Drawing together over 7,000 attendees from nearly 100 countires, the conference presents the latest updates on all aspects of lung cancer. WCLC 2018 is also an unparaelleled opportunity to meet with people from every area of the lung cancer community. The conference assembles oncologists and pathologists, radiologists and pulmonologists, advocates and patients, allowing you to gain new perspectives, forge novel collaborations, expand your network and create lasting friendships.
Considering the size and scope of the conference, the WCLC can, at times, be an overwhelming experience - particularly for first-time attendees. Because of this dynamic, the IASLC decided to enlist the help of Dr. Anne-Marie Baird, a cancer researcher, patient advocate and former IASLC fellow, to provide some helpful tips on how WCLC newbies can optimize their experience at the conference and turn their participation into a longterm personal and professional advantage.
1. A Little Prep Can Go a Long Way
It sounds simplistic, but try to check out the conference program beforehand, particularly given that this is a big meeting and a large number of sessions run concurrently each day. The online program is a great help, as you can refine your search based on speaker, track and date. Once you have a better idea of which presentations you would like to attend, download the conference app and start building your schedule. In parallel with this, orientate yourself, as conference centers are massive! The Metro Toronto Convention Centre covers over two million square feet of space. It is always good to have a look at the floor plan and building layout, particularly as it may be a bit of a trek between session rooms, and you may be stuck for time and unable to take the scenic route.
2. Attend the Young Investigators Session
This session, which runs from 7:00 - 11:15 on Sunday, September 23, is hosted by highly-respected experts. Speakers cover a number of important areas such as career development and planning, and ‘how to’ talks such as getting papers published, writing grants and presentation skills. It concludes with a talk on tips on how to get the most out of your conference experience.
3. Check Out the Posters
Again, look to your conference program and get planning. Catching up with presenters at their posters is a great, informal way to discuss data and ideas. It is an invaluable opportunity to network and collaborate, and to introduce yourself to amazing researchers on a one-to-one basis.
4. Reach Out
Have an idea you’d like to discuss with someone in the field? Have a grant coming up and would like to include an international collaboration? Want to get involved in patient advocacy and need advice? Now is your chance to reach out to WCLC attendees and arrange a meet up in person over coffee, at the welcome reception or at the conference dinner. Given that it is a busy meeting, not everyone will be available - but you never know unless you try!
5. Get Social
If you are on social media or are interested in it, set up accounts and practice before you attend the WCLC. Know the appropriate hashtags to use during the conference, e.g. #WCLC2018, #LCSM. If you would like to cover particular sessions, check if session speakers have an online presence and note their Twitter handle in advance. The use of hashtags and including the speaker’s handle will help increase your engagement rate. Don’t forget to sit closer for those perfect pictures and check out the IASLC social media booth for hints, tips and advice on all things social.
Anne-Marie Baird PhD PGDip (Statistics) BSc (Hons)
Research Fellow, Trinity College Dublin and St. James's Hospital, Ireland
Visiting Research Fellow, Queensland University of Technology, Australia