From a great article: How to get the most out of conferences – UIWEB.COM
“Posters: Some conferences have poster areas, where professionals or students put together summaries of their work for people to look at. This can often be a lot of fun. … Sometimes there are scheduled times where the posters are manned, so you can ask questions of the people that did the work. This can be great fun. Don’t be shy: usually they’re thrilled that anyone is looking at their stuff, much less asking questions. ”
My husband is a research scientist, and things begin what they are, I’ve wandered around a few of his conferences. Science conferences pretty much always have poster sessions, and I saw what a really terrific icebreaker they were for strangers to start conversations.
We did it last year at the IA summit, and we’re doing it this year. If you are attending, take advantage of this to both meet folks and learn what they are doing….
Potential conversation starters —
“Is food really that much better in France?”
“Have you ever eaten tongue?”
“Don’t you think you are a bit silly in differentiating rules and guidelines”
“Do you secretly hate Jakob?”
“Are you double jointed/Explain your scars”
“What’s your favorite greek island”
“Why is Wurman relevant?”
Potential conversation enders
“Why did you choose the name Asilomar?”
“What’s up with Yahoo mail?”
“What’s up with this Bush guy” (for non-americans)
“What’s going on with Yahoo! Search?” (I’ll have to just look coy, due to NDA)
“I like your book” (I’ll blush and not know what to say– better to insult or question it. 😉
Looking forward to seeing/meeting you all!!!!