Attending Scientific Meetings on a Budget

Posted By: Ann Klinck, Communications & Marketing Assistant; and Amanda Olsen, Meetings Assistant, ASHG

The ASHG 2018 Annual Meeting will be here before you know it! Sessions are being crafted, workshops organized, exhibits developed, and people from the around the world are preparing to gather in San Diego from October 16 –20 to discuss the newest, most exciting research in human genetics. In this three-part blog series, we’re hoping to answer some of the many questions that come up while planning to attend a conference.

This month, we’ll tackle how to make the trip affordable. Look out for future posts on how to navigate a meeting alone and how to make the most of your time there.

Ask Your Institution

Some institutions build professional development into their annual budget, so don’t be afraid to ask. Before going to your department head, do a little research and prepare reasons why this meeting will benefit you and your institution. Use our Return on Investment (ROI) Toolkit to aid your pitch. Think about which sessions you would attend, the value of networking, and the opportunity to learn about new products. The Toolkit is also useful for tracking the sessions you attended to help retain information and act on it when you return.

Start Early

According to a recent Forbes article, 70 days prior to travel is the best time to purchase an airline ticket – during this window, fares average within 5% of their lowest price. As of today, we are 83 days away from the meeting, so now is the time to look. ASHG provides reduced hotel rates through our official housing partner, onPeak. Make your reservation early, as the hotels with lower rates fill up quickly. Check with colleagues if they will be attending and consider sharing a room to cut down costs.

Limit Personal Spending

Know what food might be complimentary: get a hotel that offers breakfast, drink the coffee at the meeting. The Convention Center is in a walkable area with many shops and restaurants, so we encourage you to explore on foot and use mass transportation to keep local travel costs low.

Awards & Membership

ASHG offers awards that can help defer meeting costs, such as the Developing Country Awards, and the ASHG/FASEB Mentored Travel Awards Program for Underrepresented Trainees. To be considered for these awards, you must submit an abstract in early June. Missed out this year? Add a reminder to your calendar if you’re considering attending ASHG 2019. You also get a discount on registration if you register before October 15 and if you’re a current member, so join or renew before registering.

Hope to see you in San Diego!

Ann Klinck is Communications & Marketing Assistant and Amanda Olsen is Meetings Assistant at ASHG. For more information on ASHG 2018, check out the 2018 meeting website.

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