Okay, disclaimer alert, I’m on the RMS SPM section committee so obviously I think it’s a complete no-brainer to attend the #mmc2019UK conference.
But even if I wasn’t, it would be the one conference I wouldn’t want to miss. Here are my five reasons why:
Getting to talk to people who know what YOU need to know…
It’s an obvious one but seriously the conference is a fantastic opportunity to network with people you might not otherwise meet or have a chance to chat to.
If you’re not sure who you should be talking to, then check out the scientific programme and filter by ‘Session Type – SPM’ you’ll see there are sessions that cover the latest developments with AFM across the material sciences, the soft and biological applications and in pharmaceutical and biomedical arenas from the people working in these areas.
I’m endlessly amazed how much more you can pick up about what is going on and how AFM is being used at these kind of talks vs say reading a paper. People are much more willing to talk to you about research that isn’t yet in the public domain for example. This programme includes updates from key group leads such as Jamie Hobbs and Kislon Voitchovsky and I’m looking forward to hearing the latest from Alice Pyne too.
Opportunity for you to learn new skills at the Monday Workshops
There are three workshops taking place on Monday 1st July, just ahead of the conference opening formally. Given the presenters and the topics covered the workshops are really reasonably priced, starting at £50 per session, and you can book* a place on them irrespective of whether you’re attending the whole conference or just the free exhibition.
They’re set to be very hands on, with practical sessions and lectures – and actually I’ll be presenting at the SPM Workshop. The workshops are an informal space, with plenty of opportunity to ask questions, to have a go at and develop skills in areas that you might not always feel you have the time to when you’re back working in the lab.
*There are still a few spaces at the time of writing but please do get in touch with the organisers ASAP if you’re interested in any of the sessions to make sure you secure your place.
Even more learning opportunities at the FREE exhibition
This is Europe’s largest exhibition dedicated to microscience and microscopy. With 80 Exhibitors showcasing their latest products and services, exciting ‘turn-up-and-learn’ training opportunities with many experts in the Learning Zone as well as free and interesting training including Commercial workshops that you can sign up to on the day.
You can take a look at the exhibitors list for full details but to be honest, all of the AFM manufacturers you care to name will be there. It’s a chance to take a sample, book a slot and have a play on their kit – and you can repeat that process with each of the instrument manufacturers that you’re interested in, a kind of try before you buy level of quality checking that just isn’t possible in other circumstances.
It can help you raise your profile
In addition to the obvious chatting to people and networking you can do at the conference, there are also Publishing Workshops being held by Wiley, publishers of the Journal of Microscopy. These are especially useful if you’re a student or early career researcher and you’re looking for tips on getting papers published. Again, they’re free, so there’s nothing to lose and who knows, might just be the inspiration you need to get writing on your journey home!
Financial help available for your travel costs
If you’re quick you can get help covering your #mmc2019 journey costs with a £50 Day Visitor Travel Bursary. For more information and to apply click here.
Reason number six would obviously be – because we’re there! I’ll be at the NuNano stand (835) in the Exhibition centre a lot of the time so come on by and say hello if you get the chance!