The Attendee as a Conference Participant
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Fully participating in a conference implies not merely acquiring a conference badge and program, but also initiating interactions, starting discussions, involving oneself in friendly conversations, and asking questions—both formal and informal. Benefitting from participation in conferences is a product of a two-way communication street. Of course, it is not the role of this book to teach readers how to carry out casual conversations, even if they occur within the conference milieu, let alone engage in deeper conversational analysis. However, although to some extent individual personality will be a deciding factor in terms of success in opening less formalized dialogues or interactions, this chapter aims to highlight some common discourse strategies, phrases, and interactive techniques observed and noted at academic conferences—many not highlighted in popular or commercial books—which readers may find useful.