04 November 2010

Don’t dangle

This poster is sound. I could quibble about the ever-present boxes, about there being a little too much text in the left column, but the fundamentals that make a better poster are there.

Except that it doesn’t fit in its allotted space.


This was not an isolated case. Because of the size and layout of the conference poster session, I was able to walk through and count how many posters dangled over the edges. There were 18 posters that didn’t fit on the board, out of 400 papers listed in the abstract book.

And the moral of the story for presenters is: Read the instructions!

And the moral of the story for organizers is: About 4.5% of your attendees will ignore my perfectly reasonable advice, which is going to cause problems if you have an unusual poster size.

Names and title of the authors redacted so they don’t think I was picking on them. Lots of other people didn’t read the instructions at this conference, either.

4 comments:

Odyssey said...

The worst is when someone has made an oversized poster and then thinks it's okay to encroach on the space allotted to adjacent posters. It's not. Ever.

Zen said...

At this particular meeting, the poster boards were all zig-zagging, so all the excess draped off the side, and couldn't go on to someone else's spot. Which was about the only decent thing about the set-up, alas.

Dave Bridges said...

is this the poster equivalent of giving a 75 minute talk in a 60 minute slot?

Zen said...

Dave: I'd say going over time in a talk is the worse offense. You can't change a poster after you walk up to the poster board and discover you've made a mistake. But you can change how fast you talk, and what you put in and leave out. There's no excuse to continue to inflict an long talk on an audience.