Every January, we meet up to decide which conferences we'll be attending throughout the rest of the year. There's no real script on how to go about this, just a main goal: make sure we cover as many of our subject areas as possible, attend high quality conferences, and get exposed to as many great stories as possible. There are other considerations as well, including increasing the journal's visibility, networking, targeting specific topics ("hot" areas, emerging fields, established topics that maybe we haven't been giving enough attention to lately?), the list goes on... Personal preference also plays a part: some editors prefer larger meetings, whereas others like smaller ones; some enjoy local gatherings, whereas others like to travel further away. Whatever your preference, Nature Reviews Microbiology puts together a pretty comprehensive list every year, so check it out and pick your favorites : http://www.nature.com/nrmicro/info/info_conf.html. They also update it regularly, so if there's anything they've missed, just add a comment below and we'll pass your suggestions along.
I feel that I gain more from smaller meetings (where I get more chances to bump into the attendees and get to know them) and, for family reasons, now prefer to mainly travel locally (not to spend too much time away from the kid). So for 2017, my provisional schedule looks like this:
September 9-14: EMBO/EMBL: Bacterial networks (BacNet17)
I'm also considering CRISPR 2017 (great line-up, but really hard to get to Montana from London) and the EMBL/EMBO: Hijacking host signalling and epigenetic mimicry during infections.
If you see me at any of these, please stop me, say hello, and let me know what you're working on