Meetings

Daily Buzz: The Research Poster Disrupting Scientific Conferences

By / Jun 18, 2019 (YouTube screenshot)

Scientific posters aren’t designed to effectively communicate insight. So, one man designed a new type of poster to accelerate discovery. Also: why you need a membership development pipeline.

At the tens of thousands of science and medicine conferences every year, many attendees attend poster sessions, where rooms filled with research posters proudly boast their findings.

“A poster session, ideally, is this incredibly fertile ground for creative insight,” says Mike Morrison, a doctoral student at Michigan State University, in an interview with NPR. “You’re walking into a room, completely open-minded, and ready to hear and read findings around stuff that you didn’t even study before. If there are 50 posters here, it should transmit 50 new insights into your brain.”

But in reality, it doesn’t work like that, he says.

“Imagine you’re driving down the highway, and you see billboards, but instead of an image and a catchy phrase, there’s paragraphs of text all over the billboards,” Morrison says. “That’s what we’re seeing; we’re walking through a room full of billboards with paragraphs of text all over them.”

So, to speed up the scientific discovery process, Morrison created a new poster design. His version is minimalistic, with the main findings in large type in the center, brief sidebars for graphs and other key information, and a scannable code that links directly to the full-length study.

For presenters, Morrison’s design aims to spark engagement and conversation, while meeting attendees gain more room to absorb new information. And for science overall, well, the goal is similar to many research projects: to accelerate insight, discovery, and the pace of science itself.

Why You Need a Membership Audit

Nothing stays new forever—and this rule applies to your products and services, too, says Garth Jordan on Association Success.

“Older, long-established products eventually become less popular, hit maturity and decline … It even happens to ‘the product of membership,’”

To prevent membership from going out of style like a VHS tape, your organization needs a membership development pipeline to continually audit your organization’s resources and benefits and make sure they are still meeting members’ needs.

“Keeping a purposeful and holistic eye on the product and service lifecycle may help us (a) learn when/how to terminate and replace our version of the VHS and (b) become better at creating our version of [the updated] ‘streaming entertainment’ products and services,” Jordan says.

Other Links of Note

Voice assistants can help streamline tasks, but the technology is imperfect for those with impaired speech. Now, Google is partnering with nonprofits to improve voice recognition, from Forbes.

Post-conference surveys can help shape the future of your annual meeting. The Wild Apricot blog shares 30 questions you should be asking.

Set business aside and take a team-building break with these 36 ideas from the Event Manager Blog.

Sophia Conforti

Sophia Conforti is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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