Last month, I’ve been to Nice, France to present an article at the Cloud Computing 2012 conference. It was a rather small conference, with only about 150 people divided to some 7 tracks. The Cloud Computing track was by far the largest, with about 50 people presenting and at least 20 attending every lecture. Although small, it had some markings of a prestigious event – the article acceptance rate was around 30% and the proceedings should be indexed by renowned library services like Thompson Reuters and Elsevier.
These conferences have several pros about them. Beside getting credit for a scientific publication (in my case PhD student credits, which I need to finish my studies), they are place for meeting new people, ideally interested in something similar as you. I’ve got a list of articles and authors that I found interesting and whom I should contact. And of course, between blocks (containing four presentations (in case everyone was present)), there were coffee breaks, which most people used find and talk to the presenter of the most interesting lecture of that block. So I have already spoken to some of the people from my list right on the spot, and several have sought out me.
Well, and the last good thing about conferences is that you get to see some new place. I imagine that for some of the attendees, Nice could have been quite an exotic spot – there were people from Taiwan, mainland China, Japan and South Korea. But even for us europeans, the French Riviera is a very nice spot to spend a week. Even if for most of the day we were locked in a room with curtains and a dataprojector, I managed to see all of the city in the evenings and try the sea a few times during the lunch break.