Common Questions

Q: Are posters less prestigious than talks or published papers?
A: Talks (oral presentations), published papers and poster presentations are all important in their right. Published papers are important because they offer a formal written record of your research, and oral presentations are important because they allow you to market and advertise the key points of your research to a large audience. Whilst oral talks are just a monologue with the audience, poster presentations uniquely offer the medium to have individual dialogues with people, and freely discuss ideas. They also provide a great opportunity to be creative and express research in new and exciting ways!

Q: Do I have to have completed research to present a poster?
A: Posters can be a very useful tool at any point in the research journey. After one has completed some research, or published a paper, posters offer a chance to advertise and market your work. Copies of the research can be given directly to interested visitors. However, posters are also important at earlier points in the research journey. If one has an initial idea or concept, a poster can be a sounding board to check to get feedback. When one has some preliminary findings, posters can be a great way to discuss these with other people, and get new ideas. Dialogue can open many new doors.

Q: What are the title and abstract for?
A: The title and abstract work as an initial advertisement for your poster. In large conferences with more than 25 posters (some conferences have up to 10,000 posters), many people decide which posters to visit by looking through the titles and abstracts beforehand. An interesting title and understandable abstract is thus a vital tool in drawing people to your poster. The abstract should summarise the important points of the poster, and would be printed as part of a conference booklet. However, it is not usually advised to repeat the abstract on the actual poster itself.

Q: What should be the target audience of my poster?
Before designing your poster, it is worth understanding the target audience from the type and scope of the conference. Often the conference website, and histories of previous meetings can be valuable sources of information. Every visitor should be able to learn something from a well-designed poster.