Attending academic conferences is a useful method of staying current and it is invaluable for networking with colleagues in your research field. An academic conference is a meeting for researchers (not per definition academic), in a particular discipline or on a particular subject, during which new research results can be presented and discussed. Conferences are, together with academic journals, one of the most important forms of scholarly interaction and exchange of ideas and contacts.
Although this may vary from conference to conference, most conferences include one or more keynote speakers, regular presentations, workshops and poster presentations. The papers of the presentations usually are bundled into conference proceedings and published after the conference.
Conferences consist of 'tracks' (presentations/workshops); depending on the size of the gathering, the conference may be single track (one joint session) or multiple track (multiple sessions at the same time in various rooms).
For information on how to publish via academic conferences, see the section ‘Publishing via a conference’ in the e-course The basics of scholarly publishing on the Training & Support portal of the University Library.