Scientific conferences are occasions for intellectual exchange, but they are by no means disembodied. They have been shaped by material infrastructures operating at different scales, from railroad and postal networks to congress halls and sound amplification technology. Their organisation yields paper trails including correspondence, programmes, and proceedings. They also give rise to a wide range of memorabilia, from photographs and albums to badges and ‘goodies’. Our gallery showcases the material culture of conferencing, that reflects specific occasions and localities but is also a widely shared practice. Conference objects may seem mundane and unremarkable, but they tell us a lot about how communities are made, maintained and performed via the medium of the conference.