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Presenting at a scientific conference

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I'm an undergrad presenting at a big international scientific conference in a month or so (around 1000+ attendees) and I'm trying to figure out what to wear - should I just go with a jacket/shirt/slacks/tie or should I go all out and buy a new suit? I'm giving a 15 minute talk in one of the 18 or so rooms. I'm presenting on the first day so no time to scope out what others will be wearing. I'm probably going business casual for the remainder of the conference.

post #2 of 20
This varies a bit from conference to conference and field by field, but:

In general, few people will be wearing ties. Fewer will be wearing suits. It's usually just the plenary lecturer types, the main events. You'll be fine with jacket and slacks, even khakis. A lot of people attending but not presenting likely will just have a buttonup and pants, even just a polo shirt.

You can always wear a tie if you want, won't take anything away from you. A suit is probably too much.
post #3 of 20
According to the last conference I attended you should make sure nothing you wear fits.

Otherwise since its a 15 minute talk just wear a slacks, blazer, tie and shirt. They should be focused on what you have to say, or at least I would think you would want them to be..
post #4 of 20
Slacks, maybe a blazer. Conferences of this size and nature are usually pretty informal and most delegates will not give a toss what people are dressed like, it is what they say that matters.
post #5 of 20

 A nod to GBR. Speakers usually wear slacks, blazers or sportscoat.

post #6 of 20
One of the fairly active academics on SF wears a deerstalker with an Inverness cape, or white Kiton jean pants with a red leather Ferrari jacket.
post #7 of 20
As someone who presents at similar conferences in economics pretty often, previous responses are spot on. Many will even forgo the blazer. I have even seen people present in a t-shirt (although these people were more established, not sure if they did the same as a junior researcher). For you as an undergrad, it's a good idea to err on the side of more conservative and wear a blazer. If you're not presenting in the first session on the first day, you can bring a tie just in case and put it on before your presentation in case you feel it is needed.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by temperest View Post

I'm an undergrad presenting at a big international scientific conference in a month or so (around 1000+ attendees) and I'm trying to figure out what to wear - should I just go with a jacket/shirt/slacks/tie or should I go all out and buy a new suit? I'm giving a 15 minute talk in one of the 18 or so rooms. I'm presenting on the first day so no time to scope out what others will be wearing. I'm probably going business casual for the remainder of the conference.

Well done my friend, well done! You are doing something amazing. Most people do not even get a chance to present a publication until they at least start a Ph.D. and even then, getting a paper accepted is quite an ordeal. Your work must be very noteworthy, and I wish you every success in your endeavors.

Regarding attire, I have presented many times at these conferences. The standard of dress is one where a suit and tie is overly formal. Even business casual may err more on the formal side here, but I would go business casual.

I personally go by:
Slacks
Sport Coat
Solid color shirt or lightly patterned
Tie is optional, but I usually wear a fairly conservative tie at these events
Shoes, keep simple, i.e. captoes.

All you now need is confidence and conviction, and you will breeze through the presentation. Keep everything simple, elegant and uncomplicated (dress and presentation).
post #9 of 20
Generally speaking everyone will be poorly dressed. Simply having something that fits will make you in the upper echelon in terms of style, but I would also suggest a sportcoat and khakis. Depends to some extent on what field of research you are presenting in though. While doing basic science research many people looked completely ridiculous, but having moved in to a different field (head and neck surgery), most presenters in this field will wear a suit.
post #10 of 20

I agree on the comments here suit and tie would be considered too formal for this event. Good luck with the conference!

post #11 of 20
I agree with the previous posters, but at conferences I have attended (materials/chemistry) a good number of people wear a suit, especially those from industry. I would not feel out of place wearing a suit as a presenter, but a jacket and slacks is certainly enough and it isn't worth buying a suit just for a conference (although you'll need one eventually). Best of luck.
post #12 of 20

Odd jacket and a nice pair of trousers. Button down top button open, pocket square. To conference folk you will be the second coming of Carey Grant.

post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 

Okay, seems everyone is agreed. Thanks for the suggestions.

post #14 of 20
Try not to take off your pents.
sheldon-cooper-no-pants_500x434.jpg
post #15 of 20
If the hotel is a golf resort or near a Disney neighborhood, dress down. Golf and beach resorts tend to make the attendees more casual. Places where the wife and kids are likely to be there do the same.
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