Preparing for a Pharmacy Conference

This past weekend, I attended the PharmacyU conference in Toronto with some fellow pharmacy students – a full-day in-person event filled with educational seminars, networking, free samples, and food! As a pharmacy student, I took this as an opportunity to not only learn, but to also network. If you are planning to attend a pharmacy conference in the future, take note of these tips to make the most out of your experience.

1. Dress to impress

Many pharmacy professionals will be in attendance and some of them may even be your future boss or colleagues! That being said, you should dress professionally to leave a good first impression. Business casual is usually a safe bet, but if you are not sure, try to find pictures from the previous year’s conference to get an idea of what people typically wear.

2. Research the speakers

Pharmacy conferences are stacked with educational seminars by decorated speakers. If there are certain seminar topics that speak to you, take the time to research the speaker and learn about their pharmacy background. After the seminar, take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the speaker and ask any questions you may have about their work or their seminar. If you want to take it a step further, introduce yourself BEFORE the conference and let them know that you will be attending so that when you talk to them after the seminar, they will be more likely to remember you.

3. Bring a notebook and pen

There will be a lot of information to digest during the conference, so it will be handy to take notes during the educational sessions that you can refer back to later on. You can also jot down any contact information you get while networking.

4. Network, network, network

Don’t be shy to introduce yourself to other conference-goers. If you’re not sure where to start, you can ask them which breakout sessions they’ve attended. Networking opens the door to a world of opportunities, even if you are not actively looking for a job. Pharmacy is a small world, and you never know when your connections will come in handy.

5. Have your elevator pitch ready

If you are job hunting, be prepared to give your elevator pitch. Time flies during networking breaks, so your pitch should be short and sweet. The most important points to mention include an overview of your skills and past experiences, and what kind of opportunities you are looking for.

6. Share business cards

If you have the means to create your own business card, do it! Aside from your contact information, I would also advise to include your LinkedIn profile on the cards. While networking, share your business cards with others, or ask for their business card so that you can follow up with them later on.

Pharmacy conferences are great opportunities for learning and networking within the pharmacy profession. To get the most out of it, keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to fellow pharmacy professionals.

Do you have any other tips for preparing for a pharmacy conference? Leave us a comment!

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