17 March 2011

Stay or go?

The Gripping Cell blog raises a recurring question for poster presenters: Should you stick by your poster as much as possible, or should you see other posters?

When I presented my poster this time, I made the stupid mistake of being present by the poster for only the required duration of 1.5 hrs (every odd numbered poster presenter is required to be present for 1.5 hrs, followed by the even numbered ones for another 1.5 hrs). The reason I bailed out for the other 1.5 hrs was to go see some other posters I was interested in.

What is your strategy for posters sessions?

(Update, 13 April 2011: This post originally had a poll , which has now closed and replaced with the poll results; click to enlarge!)

And, of course, feel free to elaborate in the comments!

Personally, I want the full poster experience. I try to get the poster mounted early, and I try to stand near it almost the entire poster session, and am often one of the last ones out of the hall.

Not everyone shares my enthusiasm, however. Planning is important to get the optimum mix of presentation to viewing time.

Some people scrupulously review poster abstracts in advance, hunting for certain keywords and names. I used to do this a lot, and still do it a bit for big conferences, like Neuroscience.

In general, though, I have developed a much more relaxed planning method for deciding what posters I want to see. For small to medium sized conferences, I walk through the halls outside the scheduled session times, checking out the posters and trying to figure out which ones look interesting, and making mental notes about which ones I should try to get back to later so I ask the presenter questions.

This is something I hope conference organizers are aware of. I hope that they might split topics into two sessions at different times, so that you could see at least half of the posters in your field. It’s a problem for small conferences.

Related posts

Dear conference organizer

Picture by James Cridland on Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

1 comment:

Becca said...

I've always stayed at my poster the whole time. Hearing other people's questions or comments about my work in "real time" is priceless--I figure I can always email people whose posters I miss.