Wednesday, 19 December 2012

How to get your poster to stand out from the crowd

Having been to a number of conferences this summer in which people have done really innovative things with posters (ECCB12 having some particularly interesting ideas), I'm now at a conference in which people haven't really.

Admittedly it isn't a very big conference...

However, it got me thinking that I should put together some of my thoughts on the interesting stuff that people are doing with internet technology to really enhance posters. Particularly since the University's advice page seems to be a relic from the past.

N.B If any of these photos are your poster, I'd love to give you credit (or I'm happy to take it down if you don't want me to use it).  Please get in contact if you recognise it.

Really Simple Ideas

These ideas don't really use any 'technology', they're just great ideas.  And everyone at the conference can benefit, not just the technologically-able.

1. Tape a plastic folder to your poster board with a copy of your poster in it.  It means people can go away and peruse it at their leisure and then come back the next day with more detailed questions than they would be able to come up with on the spot.

2. Tape a plastic folder to your poster board with a copy of any of your relevant papers.  There are loads of down times at conferences, if conference delegates have a copy of your paper in their bag they may just use that time to read it.

3. Stick some copies of your business card (you don't have any? You can get the free from some companies, a great idea even if you're just a Phd student) somewhere by/on your poster board.  People aren't going to necessarily remember to write down your email address for future contact.

4. Use post-its.  Use them to add in things you forgot, your email address, your website.  Or use them to get feedback while you wander off and look at the other posters like this guy did

Technological Ideas

5. QR codes.  These take no time to make, there are 100s of websites that will make them for you.  And you can put anything on the other end:
                  a) Recent Papers
                  b) Extra Data
                  c) Equations that you think might put off some people!
                  d) Your Lab website
                  e) The Software you're using

6.  Augmented Reality apps.  These might be a bit advanced for lots of people, but they're really cool.  There was one poster with it at ECCB12 and I think every single person at the conference went to see it.

I hope you find some of these ideas helpful.  Would love to hear about other great ideas people have seen as well.