Poster Sessions in a Virtual Event: How to Present Your Research

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Hydee Mariazeta

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Are you a student who has completed some significant research? Are you a professor looking for new and innovative ways to present your students' work? If so, virtual poster sessions may be the perfect solution for you.

Presenting research during a poster session is one of the best ways for students and professors to draw attention to their work and get feedback from experts. Virtual events make this possible by breaking boundaries and removing restrictions that may cause scheduling and attendance issues, such as traveling and being confined in a classroom setting.

So how do virtual poster session presentations aid event organizers, students, and researchers?

Exposes your work to a vast audience

Poster sessions in virtual events are a great way to get your work noticed by more people. For instance, at a physical conference or trade show, you might only have the opportunity to show your poster to a handful of people at the event venue. However, with virtual events, you'll have the chance to reach a broader global audience since anyone can log in online to see your work.

Boosts rate of participation

Schools and researchers rely less on printed materials since submitting online has become more convenient. As a result, students and researchers can skip several conventional steps, such as finding a suitable printer that can print particular sizes and dimensions and coordinating with the printer for the pick-up or shipment of their poster. Not to mention that going back and forth to the printer and then posting the poster to the physical venue can take hours or days. 

With the virtual poster sessions, people can readily upload their posters after the creation process. This process takes less time to accomplish. Apart from saving on printing costs, you can conveniently update your posters even during the event itself.

If you're an event organizer, please note that you will always have the capability to edit and spell-check the posters anytime, and you can always upload the updated version. In addition, you'll be able to focus your attention on the other areas of your event since the students and researchers can work independently on their posters. 

Furthermore, with the advanced technology, most platforms would only require you to upload your posters. Gone are the days when a poster maker had to stay up late at night designing and creating the poster's framework. Instead, there are now templates that you need to fill in the information. 

Lastly, Poster participants usually have the opportunity to receive funding, scholarships, or recognition based on their work. For this reason, the engagement tools that a virtual event platform can provide can make a powerful impact on their career and research.

Flexible timing

Poster sessions in virtual events offer more flexibility when it comes to timing. Usually, there's a scheduled time during the day for poster sessions in a physical event. In addition, it's unfortunate for a poster creator to work tirelessly on the presentation only to have a few or no attendees show up. However, with the increasing popularity of virtual poster sessions, your poster can be up and viewable by attendees 24/7. Even if someone can't view your poster during the planned poster session time, they can still check it out later on their own time. 

With Accelevents, you can set your pre-event access so the attendees can view your posters ahead of time, and the event stays open for 30 days after it concludes. The extended access provides a significant advantage since some posters have a lot of information, and the attendees may need a second look to digest the information. In addition, extended access gives the researchers a wider window of opportunity to get scouted, acquire funding, and make their work known. 

Improves the process of receiving feedback

It is often difficult to remember what the audience has to say in a physical poster session - you can't be taking notes all the time! Feedback is essential to a poster creator. By conducting your poster session online, the attendees can leave feedback via the comments section, chat, send you a direct message, or even by joining your live stream. Have a Q&A section where your attendees can ask for clarification and where you can answer their inquiries more conveniently. 

Reduces carbon footprint and saves the environment

Of course, some students or researchers would likely still want to present their research in person. However, having an option to do both - online and in-person provides additional viewing time. Furthermore, this benefit can come at no cost to the Organizers by allowing the researchers to upload the posters independently.

As for the more significant effect, virtual poster sessions can help reduce carbon footprint. Can you imagine the enormous paper and a large amount of ink used to create one poster? 

For instance, in a particular university, let's imagine that there are ten posters and 100 participants each. That might not seem huge to you but think of how many universities and organizations conduct poster sessions each year and how many people attend. How many of those attendees drive? Those small things and actions build up.  

With poster sessions done in virtual events, they don't have to print out as many materials. As a result, they will save time, effort, money, and energy for the researchers, attendees, and organizers. 

Preparing your digital poster

Format

Unlike the traditional poster session, your digital poster should convey the whole message of your research. You may not be there the entire duration of the event, so the attendees should be able to understand what your work is about by having enough information on the poster. A digital poster should include but not be limited to the following:

The title of the research

The title should talk about your research. The title is, without doubt, the first thing that your audience would read. It should neither be too long nor too short. For example, if your research is about viruses and antibodies, avoid adding unnecessary words like "A Group Research Observing and Investigating the..." On the other hand, it is also not advisable to make it too short and generic. For example, "Viruses and Antibodies" does not provide any information on the focus of the research.

Your name as well as the other contributors

Acknowledge all researchers and contributors. You can place their names underneath the title, or you may dedicate a separate section for this.

The abstract

An abstract lets readers get the essence of your poster and helps readers remember key points from your paper. A good abstract is concise but has an impact. Avoid jargon, as this section of your poster should be understandable even by those unfamiliar with the topic. 

A brief introduction to the research

State your purpose, how you've done the research, and the facts you're trying to establish. Please note any previous related research that encouraged you and your team to conduct this work.

The type of research (e.g., empirical, theoretical)

Indicate the type of methodology used to conduct the research. Depending on the timeline and purpose of the study, different approaches may apply. For example, ask yourself whether you're trying to understand a particular phenomenon, find solutions to specific problems, or add additional information to a piece of already well-known information.

The date or period of the research

It would be best if you did not leave out this vital element of the digital poster. Instead, indicate the relevant dates of your research to quickly identify whether the study is still up to date and will enable you to follow any emerging trends or developments.

Results or findings

The results section represents the core findings derived from the methods applied to gather and analyze information. The results should be without bias an interpretation.

Any conclusions that you drew from the research

Indicate the findings and value of your research. A well-written conclusion should make the readers of your poster understand why your research matters. You may also add your recommendations on new areas for future research.

Charts, graphs, and photos

Use a poster maker to create an interactive poster that will engage your audience. Place links on your poster so the viewers can quickly access more information about your research. You can also add audio or video content to make it more dynamic and exciting!

Graphs and charts compact extensive amounts of information into easy-to-understand layouts that absolutely and effectively convey essential points.

Other things to consider

Apart from what I have mentioned above, it would be best if you would contemplate some other important considerations when preparing your digital poster. Ask yourself these questions to make your poster stand out:

What is the purpose of my poster?

One of the most important things to consider when creating a poster is the poster's purpose. Determining your poster's purpose will help you focus on the most critical information that you need to convey to your audience. It will also help you organize and design your poster in a way that will be easy to understand.

There are different purposes for posters, such as:

  • To introduce a new topic or research area
  • To present research findings
  • To advertise or promote an event or product
  • To call for papers or proposals
  • To provide information about a conference
  • To raise awareness about a cause or issue

Who is my audience?

Your audience may fall into one or more of these categories:

  • Researchers working in a related area
  • Students who are new to the topic
  • Practitioners who may be able to apply the research findings
  • The general public who wants to learn more about the topic

What is the tone of my poster?

The tone of your poster should be consistent with the purpose and audience of your poster. For example, if you present research findings, your poster should be factual and objective. On the other hand, your poster may be more colorful and upbeat if you intend to advertise or promote an event or product.

How much information do I need to include?

You don't need to include everything in your poster! However, the essential information you need to convey should be on the poster. You may have a call to action (e.g., add your contact email and ask them to send you a message, include the link to your website and ask them to leave their inquiries on the Contact page, or leave a general phone number and ask them to call and leave their message). 

Go beyond the poster

A poster session is not limited to digital posters. You can add elements such as a video introduction or a 3 to 5-minute video walkthrough. Having a video walkthrough is beneficial for those who are not that familiar with the topic. Include ways for people to know more about you by adding your social media handles or links. You can also add other essential information, such as downloadable handouts or other reference materials to support your presentation. 


As you craft your poster session for your next virtual event, keep these things in mind. With a bit of effort, you can produce an exciting and enlightening presentation that will create a lasting impression on your audience. And who knows – it may just lead to some new connections or business possibilities! 

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