Wildan@WBC2024: Presenting Poster from the Presenter’s POV

In this post, I’d like to briefly describe my experience presenting the poster in WBC2024. Miyawaki-san already gives brief explanation on the opening ceremony and the conference venue in the other post (Go read it.)

For your reference, our department has a poster printer on the 3rd floor. So, we could print the poster prior to our flight to South Korea. We can select the paper type of the poster. We chose the one that is almost like a cloth, so, we can fold it without worry. So, there is no need to bring the “tube” to bring the poster roll.

In some big conferences, in which of course WBC is one of, if not the biggest in the world, poster printing service is available on-site (Figure 1). So, there might be no need to print before the flight. 

Figure 1. (a,b) Photographs of the poster session in WBC, (c) on-site poster printing service.

During registration, we got a bit of problem, since we were asked to show QR code, which is supposedly sent by the committee via email. But, me & Kazama-san cannot find the QR code. Fortunately, as long as we paid, we’re okay. Turns out, the email went to spam (not junk). So, please frequently check the spam of your email, just in case.

When we saw that the poster presentation time is from 6-7 pm, we thought no one would come. So, I decided to also stay during lunch time and coffee break. But, not many people come during this time. So, we looked around to see other posters. We found many interesting points: interesting research, interesting poster design, etc.

I told Miyawaki-san that different countries have different cultures in presenting scientific research, including posters. For example, some countries prefer to put many text on the posters. Some countries prefer the paper to be in a landscape rather than portrait. The important point is to make sure to check and follow the guidelines prepared by the committee. 

Another interesting point is that some countries showed lots of data in the poster, while others only a few.

Based on my experience, there are two important rules in poster presentation: 

  1. The audience should understand your poster even without your presence. 
  2. Poster “talks” by visual language.
    The color palette of the poster (soft color, sharp contrast), panel division in the poster (their position, their size, their balance), how you set the panel to dictate how the readers read your poster (highlight point or the most important point should be seen first and understood well. and then, how the audience read your poster, from left to right or from top to bottom), is the visual language of the poster.

Of course, those are the rules of thumb, and as mentioned different countries and perhaps even different universities/labs have different systems for preparing posters. 

When we looked around for other posters, I was glad to see other researchers who I followed, I cited, or papers that I frequently read, such as Prof. Mano from the University of Aveiro, Portugal; Wiels and two other members of Prof. Leitjen from the University of Twente, Netherlands. But, the most interesting surprise would be that my poster is in front of two students from Prof. Choi from the University of Western Australia (Figure 2). Prof. Choi’s paper in PNAS is the one who inspired me to make the proposal to study stem cell mechanotransduction on hydrogels with anisotropic stiffness in my postdoc, the exact study that I presented in my poster just across from their students.

Figure 2. Me and PhD candidates from University of Western Australia. All 3 of us are doing research on the hydrogels with anisotropic stiffness.

We talked a lot about our respective research. I got about 10 people to visit and ask questions about our studies, including the keynote speaker of the WBC2024. In contrary to my initial thought that no person will go to the poster section, it is fully packed session, with lots of interactions. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the session and glad that I can introduce our research to the broad scientific community.

Hope all readers and more Sakai-lab members can experience what we experienced, in the future.

PS. I cannot show the posters since it’s generally prohibited to take photos of it.





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