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Newcomers Reception… and the top ten things you should know about going to CHI!

The countdown to May begins and we are excited to meet, greet and have an evening of fun intermingling with all newcomers to this year’s CHI! If you are new to CHI and are not quite sure how to navigate and tame the complex beast that is CHI, come and join us!

We are organizing a fabulous welcome reception for Sunday May 5th at the Conference Centre. Come to mingle with other newcomers as well as people who have been coming to CHI for years as part of our theme of ‘Weaving the Threads of CHI’. This will be a great opportunity to compare notes, get useful tips, make new friends and help set the foundation for a great week. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed when you look at all the things going on, this is the meeting for you.

We’ll start the evening off with some welcomes from some long-time CHI attendees. Find out what over 100 CHI attendees think are most important for newcomers to CHI to know!

From 5pm-6pm, CHI veterans, CHI2019 organizers, and Scottish and HCI special interest groups will welcome you and share tips and providing insights and advice. From 6pm, we’ll be joined by the Associate Chairs and Subcommittee Chairs for a joint reception.

Remember to sign up for the reception on your registration form!

While prepping for the event, we started polling ideas from members of CHI Meta, to pick their smart brains and get insights on what they think it’s most important for newcomers to CHI to know. We asked them what do you wish someone had told you? and asked them to vote their favorite options out of a pre-populated list or to add extra options for us to reflect on. Here are the top 10 tips that came out of the exercise:

  1. Don’t try to do everything on the schedule. Take breaks to rest or exercise or whatever you need to do to recharge and be present.
  2. If you find someone’s talk interesting, go up to them afterwards and introduce yourself.
  3. Make new friends. Introduce your new friends to your other new friends.
  4. Go to workshops — great way to network and get inspired (also, it’s a more relaxed setting than a paper presentation)
  5. Don’t feel like you have to fill every slot on your schedule. Make a new friend and go and explore the city!
  6. Go to the panels! You can always read papers later.
  7. As a student, consider signing up to be a Student Volunteer {side note: while too late to sign up for 2019, CHI2020 will offer plenty opportunities!].
  8. If you want to meet someone in particular, reach out in advance and invite them to chat about research at a coffee break.
  9. If you don’t know many people, poster sessions are a great way to meet presenters and other people looking at the same things you are.
  10. Tweet about presentations that inspire you, and read tweets of other CHI-goers. I’ve met several people this way!

There’s much more, and we’ll be presenting this and more information about how to navigate the glorious and exciting event which is CHI. Ultimately… Don’t take it too seriously, engage with people who are interesting (rather than focusing on rock stars) and, if someone blows you off when you try to talk to them, assume it is a problem with them not you — they may feel maxxed out, stressed out, exhausted, introverted, sick, etc.
Be generous and kind, and we look forward to seeing you at CHI!

Daria Loi
Jofish Kaye
Co-Chairs, CHI’19 Newcomers Reception