How to Go to SBL/AAR on a Budget
Still, there is no substitute for attending. Going to professional conferences allows you to build your professional network, to engage the latest research in your field, and to meet people who share your interests.
My advice: go to the regional meeting of SBL or AAR in your area. The regional location may be closer to you than the Annual Meeting site. Also, the regional meetings are shorter, less expensive, and more intimate than the Annual Meeting. It’s a great way to get your feet wet. Start making plans now!