Basically, a conference poster is a summary of research or a project that you led or helped support, displayed on a big piece of paper; however, it has more importance than this simple definition. When you create a research poster, you are making a concise and interesting way to advertise your hard work and findings that will help further laboratory processes, science and policy in the future.
Displaying information using a research poster is a great way for students and young professionals to attend conferences with a purpose, start conversations, get exposure through networking and expand their CV for employment purposes. For established professionals, it can highlight major projects, such as a new automation process in the lab or validation of a new point-of-care device, helping to support career expansion and workplace recognition. Lastly, for researchers, the poster signifies a way to present research that may not be big enough for a presentation but is still important enough to share with peers. It simply provides an avenue for a presentation that may be most appropriate (e.g., describes a project mid-process, provides exciting preliminary data and/or fills in an information gap).
Once you have finished the conference, hang your poster in your department and spend time discussing your work with other health professionals to show them that medical laboratory professionals are active in, and conducting, research.
The poster itself is usually a mix of pictures, graphs and text, which are displayed in the same type of layout as an abstract. The design you use depends on the type of image you are selling and the type of research you have conducted. Think of the poster as a marketing tool, with a strong focus on design. As we know, the presentation of commercial products brings consumers to the table.
The reader should be able to understand your project within three minutes of glancing at your text and should be able to read the entire poster in five to seven minutes.
Do you need help structuring the text and visual components of your LABCON presentation poster? Download and read our comprehensive “How to Create a Conference Poster” instruction manual by visiting: go.csmls.org/ConferencePoster
By: Laura Zychla, Researcher, CSMLS