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Template: Interactive poster session

Introduction This cloud describes how to run an 'interactive poster' session. This is a great way...

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Gráinne Conole
29 January 2010


This cloud describes how to run an 'interactive poster' session. This is a great way of getting people to engage with a project or research where you want to explore a number of sub-themes and get discussion/feedback.

Often poster sessions are awkward; the author(s) stand nervously about, whilst someone looks at the poster; the reader feels as if they are about to be pounced on and required to stay and talk at some length about the work being presented. An interactive poster session provides an alternative approach, which enables delegates to review all the poster material at their leisure and then choose which posters they would like to engage with in more detail. The interactive poster session is designed to be a fun and engaging way for participants to get the most out of a series of posters.

Structure of session and activities
The workshop is designed as a round robin session, using an ‘interactive poster approach’. A range of posters are made available, along with two sets of post its - one yellow and one pink. In the first part of the session, delegates walk round the posters, engaging with each poster in turn. The authors of the posters will not be standing by their posters at this point. Delegates can therefore add post-it notes on each poster – asking for points of clarification on the work presented (on pink post its), reflections on the work or perhaps indications of related work they are doing (on yellow post its). In the first parallel session, delegates choose one poster to go back to and have a more in-depth conversation with the authors. In the second parallel session, they can choose a second poster to go and discuss in more depth. A final plenary presentation will summarise some of the key discussion points that have arisen.

Format and indicative timeframe

  • Introduction  – 5 mins
  • Poster round robin activity and lunch – 15 mins
  • Authors return to the posters and address clarification issues - 5 mins
  • Parallel session 1 (in-depth discussion with the poster authors)  – 20 mins
  • Parallel session 2 (in-depth discussion with the poster authors)  – 20 mins
  • Plenary report back of discussions - 20 mins 

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