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Attending Your First IMC

Three delegates stood laughing and smiling on the University of Leeds Campus

Three delegates stood laughing and smiling on the University of Leeds Campus.

The International Medieval Congress aims to attract and foster an academic community of scholars from all walks of life and scholarly experience.  

Since its inception in 1994, the IMC has sought to create a safe space for delegates, irrespective of race, gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, religion, or status. We want to provide delegates with an inclusive environment, to help them expand their collegial network and professional development.  

Speakers, moderators, and attendees are expected to be respectful, open to constructive criticism, and to listen to all those speaking and asking questions. We recommend that you read the University of Leeds Policy on Dignity & Mutual Respect, as well as the University of Leeds Equality and Inclusion Policy. 

Our Suggestions 

We realise that attendance and experience of attending the IMC differs from person to person and varies due to many factors. To ensure that anyone coming to the IMC for the first time has a positive experience and makes the most of all the opportunities that the congress has to offer, we have some suggestions to help make your first IMC run smoothly. 

Sessions and Networking Tips 

If you are presenting, we recommend that you update your profile on any online academic forums, such as Research Gate, Academia, or LinkedIn. This helps other delegates to access and learn more about your work, which could strike up potential conversations and collaborations.  

View the IMC Online Programme to get an idea of what you would like to see and do. Closer to the time, use the IMC app to mark sessions you are interested in attending to help organise your time. 

The IMC is spread over four days and gives you flexibility to balance your time between attending sessions, networking, and participating in workshops, events, and excursions. Also don’t forget the IMC Bookfair, Craft Fair, and Making Leeds Medieval. 

Broaden your horizons and attend sessions and workshops that you wouldn’t normally choose. You may find that the questions and concepts explored there, may help you to see a new potential strand or perspective to your own research.

Most sessions will be recorded, so you will have another chance after the IMC.  

A delegate holding an IMC Programme talking to another delegate at the IMC Craft Fair

A delegate holding an IMC Programme talking to another delegate at the IMC Craft Fair.

Other delegates and speakers may come across as confident, but they are often just as nervous as you are. If you enjoyed another participant’s paper, do tell them! If you do not get a chance or forget to ask the questions that you wanted to ask, you can message them using the IMC app or send an email if they have shared their contact details. Interactions like these can be the foundations of larger networks. 

If you are presenting, be honest as to what stage your research is at. Conferences like the IMC are about listening to different viewpoints and receiving feedback as much as it is about presenting your hard work. Do be prepared to listen to the responses and questions you will receive, it isn’t meant to discourage you, but can offer you with different perspectives and ideas that wouldn’t necessarily consider.  

 When you present your paper for the first time, remember that the questions posed may focus more upon the other panellists in your session. This can speak to the composition and interests of the audience rather than a reflection upon the quality of your own work. The moderator is expected to make sure that all the questions are spread across the panel to give you a chance to explain your research further.  

Although the term 'networking' can seem quite impersonal, we'd like to think of it as a chance to connect with others due to a shared interest. Sessions aren't the only chances to meet other participants; delegates often strike up conversations in the Refectory or while queuing for coffee during breaks. We strongly recommend that you try to attend papers happening in concurrent sessions, especially if they are taking place in different buildings. 

Session moderators have the discretion of when the question portion of the session will occur (either between papers or at the end of the session), which makes it hard to know when papers will be presented. 

Overall, however, try to pace yourself, and give yourself time to explore everything the IMC has to offer, not to mention the wider campus and the city of Leeds.  

Travel Considerations 

Every year, delegates travel to the IMC from all over the globe, and therefore we have some travel suggestions which may assist with your planning.  

Remember to bring your Passport and other necessary travel documents. 

Check whether you need a visa to visit the UK - check the official UK government information. 

Pack comfortable walking shoes, a refillable water bottle, and any medication you need. The congress can be a packed week, so do take the necessary precautions to avoid becoming tired and overwhelmed. There are cafés on Campus where you can buy snacks, cakes, and drinks. Click here to see all the water points and cafés on campus.  

Accommodation can be booked when you register. We strongly suggest that delegates who wish to book on-campus accommodation register early, and once sold, it is unlikely that any more will become available. 

International delegates should bring an electrical adaptor to enable them to charge any devices they rely on. For United Kingdom, the associated plug type is G, which is the plug that has three rectangular pins in a triangular pattern. United Kingdom operates on a 230v supply voltage and 50Hz. 

Check in advance about your mobile phone provider's arrangement for international travel, especially about data roaming charges and the cost of making and receiving international phone calls. 

If you require an international sim card, set this up prior to arriving at the IMC. Whilst Wi-Fi will be available on campus and at accommodation halls for all delegates who have requested access, a suitable plan is needed to access mobile data across the city.  We run a luggage store from 10.00-20.00 daily – especially useful if you do not have time to check in at your accommodation before your first session or need to store belongings on your final day at IMC. 

Around Leeds Campus 

Many delegates sat or stood around benches chatting and smiling near Esther Simpson Building on The University of Leeds Campus.

Many delegates sat or stood around benches chatting and smiling near Esther Simpson Building on The University of Leeds Campus.

The IMC Team is always ready to help you in any way that we can about sessions, social events, workshops, library access, and other key facilities. The IMC Information & Payments Desk is in the Leeds University Union next to the Refectory and open from 07.00-22.00, Monday through Thursday, and 10.00-20.00 on the Sunday. 

You can pre-order lunch and dinner during the conference. Should you wish to book, meal tickets can be purchased when you register for the IMC online. It can be reassuring to know in advance that you will be able to get food from venues on the University of Leeds Campus. Visit the meals page on the IMC website to find out more. Please note that the lunch credit is not valid for Café Nero or Food Outlets at Leeds University Union. Conversely, you can carry on your conversations with new connections over lunch or dinner at other venues on campus. 

Make use of our wellbeing facilities – including our Quiet room, faith centres and a lactation room for any nursing adults. The University of Leeds is also privileged to have galleries on its campus, which highlights items from the library's collections.  

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