Veronica McNew, SETAC North America Membership Committee

The Buddy System is a free program that takes place at every SETAC North America annual meeting. Coordinators of the Buddy System place seasoned SETAC members with first-time meeting attendees to help them navigate through the meeting, enhance their personal and professional experience, and encourage involvement with SETAC North America or other geographic units of SETAC. Please sign up for the program when you register for the upcoming SETAC North America 40th Annual Meeting, which will be held from 3–7 November, in Toronto, Canada. Participating as a buddy requires little time commitment and the knowledge you can pass to a new member is invaluable. If you have attended at least one SETAC meeting, you are qualified to be a meeting guide.

Who Should Be a Buddy?

If you are coming to the SETAC North America annual meeting for the first time – this is the program for you. You will be paired with a seasoned SETAC member, who can explain the ins and outs of the meeting and be a friendly face to look for throughout the week. Your meeting guide can also be a valuable asset to ease your fears about jumping into the networking culture of SETAC, which helps you build long-lasting relationships with other SETAC meeting attendees.

Who Are Meeting Guides?

The program requires a minor commitment. Meeting guides will be asked to provide helpful hints about the meeting and networking opportunities over an informal coffee or drink ahead of the meeting. You can sign up quickly and easily when you register online.

Meet and Greet

There will be a meet and great for buddies from 4:30 p.m.–6:00 p.m. on Sunday, 3 November, right before the opening ceremony and reception. This is the perfect time to network and learn about the upcoming meeting.

Here is what past members have said about the Buddy System.

“My buddy and I had several meals together, and we also shared research interests. He came to my talk to support me, and I went to his poster as well. It was nice to have a friendly face!” –New Member, 2018

“The best part was how easily we connected. As soon as we were paired, we connected on LinkedIn and Facebook, and the first night I arrived, we had dinner and socialized. It made me a lot less nervous to be at my first conference.”New Member, 2018

“This was a lovely program. I felt it was a really nice way to give back to new people of SETAC. I wish this program was around when I started SETAC.”Meeting Guide, 2018

SETAC members interested in being a meeting guide or any first-time or international attendees can easily sign up for the Buddy System when registering for the annual meeting. Any SETAC members who are interested in participating in the Buddy System Committee to help organize or to contribute ideas, please email Laura Swanson at laura.swanson@setac.org.

All pictures in this article were used with permission from SeeNile Photography.

Author’s contact information: vmcnew@eeusa.com

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