At Dioxin 2011 in Belgium recently, the first e-Posters that I’ve ever seen at a scientific conference were presented. The e-Posters were arranged by NEXT, a European technology provider for conferences and meetings, and consisted of touch-screen monitors (screens approximately 1m wide x 0.5m high) on stands placed strategically throughout the poster venue. Dioxin posters were prepared in PowerPoint as 6 slides maximum, and loaded on all e-Poster monitors where they could be accessed at any time during the conference by searching authors, keywords, poster number, etc.
According to conference attendees I spoke to, the e-Posters got mixed reviews. Most of the graphics were very good, but some presentations showed reduced resolution, making tables and text illegible. And while there was a convenience to seeing any poster you wanted in one place, that meant you had to actually call the poster up, rather than just walk up and see it. However, a MAJOR benefit was being able to accommodate more posters in less space, which means that more scientists could present their work at the meeting.
I remember when we used to present our posters tacked up as multiple 8.5 x 11 inch panels years ago before PowerPoint (or Lotus Freelance Graphics; anyone remember that one?) and large format printers revolutionized that industry. I suspect that is what we’ll see with e-Posters also, a revolution, and I congratulate the Dioxin 2011 organizers for being at the forefront. Given that younger people are always early adopters of e-technology these days, it’s only fitting I leave you with a photo of my colleague, Michelle Misselwitz, standing in front of her e-poster on large volume injection for PBDEs and pesticides.