Why you should get involved with the Icon 2024 Conference

Are you interested in presenting at Icon 2024 Conference? Or would you generally like to learn some hints and tips on presenting? Or perhaps you don’t think you ‘have what it takes’ – whatever that might be!  

Here are some top reasons why you should throw caution in the wind and get involved:


1. Because you’re worth it! 

Just because you are new to conservation, or perhaps conferences, that doesn’t mean you do not have valuable knowledge, expertise, or experiences.   
Our Icon 2024 Conference is titled“Conservation for Change”. We want to encourage individuals and organisations from the conservation sector, but also from the wider arts, museums, heritage, charity, social enterprise, and business sectors to get involved. We want to hear from both experienced professionals as well as emerging professionals and students.  
Icon is happy to support you if you are worried or not confident about your presentation skills, so we’re offering an online presentation Masterclass at the end of January 2024 to help to allay any worries or concerns.   

As mentioned in our Call for Papers guidance, if you need to discuss your idea with us before you submit, please do email the Conference Team at [email protected], and we can provide you with support to help you with your submission.   


2. Improve your presentation and communication skills

Soft skills are important for any professional regardless of the role. Skills in presentation and communication are important whether you are a seasoned career professional, or just starting out in your career.  
Our conference will give you the chance to practice these skills in a warm and relaxed environment – safe in the knowledge that the audience really does want to hear what you have to say. Some other key things to remember: 

  • Rehearsing your presentation before the Conference will help to make you feel more comfortable and natural in front of the audience, and help you to gauge the speed at which you should talk. It also helps you see the amount of detail that you may need to include in your explanations (which will be dictated by the time allocated too)
  • Try presenting in front of family and friends before the conference. This helps you get feedback on your body language and eye contact.  Remember, your body language and tone of voice are key to making that first impression to your audience.  Being passionate, animated, and interested about your presentation subject will show in your body language, as will your tone and pitch of voice! 
  • Remember to BREATHE! 
  • Involve the audience wherever possible so that they feel more engaged with the subject matter. This could mean asking what a certain word ‘means to them’, or even just checking in to see how they’re feeling. In addition to this, answering questions after your presentation and chatting with other attendees will help to hone your communications skills. 


3. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know

  • Speaking at a conference gives you the opportunity to share your knowledge, best practice, and expertise with a wide and interested audience.  It provides you with an opportunity to engage and connect with other like-minded professionals who are interested in the subject matter of your presentation, or indeed, your professional knowledge and expertise.   
  • The Conference may provide you with opportunities to develop new relationships, new collaborations, new projects, programmes, and activities, or just hear some positive peer relationships moving forward. 
  • Whatever happens, the Conference is a positive way to expand your own knowledge, experiences, networks, and contacts.   


4. Networking is about building relationships

In July 2024 in London, the Icon Conference will bring together representatives from the conservation sector and the wider arts, culture, and heritage sectors from all over the world. This will provide all attendees with the opportunity to network and connect with a wide range of like-minded individuals and organisations.   

The value of networking at any conference is not measured by the number of people you meet, but the number of people you can introduce to others. Your generosity in connecting people will be remembered and will provide you with many more opportunities to build long-lasting and beneficial professional relationships.

As a presenter, you will be of interest to many other attendees, and the conference will provide you with the potential to share your knowledge, expertise, and experiences with others. 


So, what’s stopping you? 

If these tips have piqued your interest in presenting at our Conference in 2024, then please do submit a paper.

All those who apply to present will automatically be invited to our free online Presenting Masterclass at the end of January 2024, regardless of whether the paper is accepted or not. This will provide you with even more practical tips on how you can get the most out of a presenting experience!