Signs of the Times: How E-Posters Upped WCP’s Reach

Author: Cristi Kempf       

e-posters

Attendees at the 19th World Congress of Psychiatry view an e-poster presentation. More than 96 percent of all presenters made their e-posters public on a dedicated conference page before the event.

This case study is part of Convene’s April CMP Series story looking at innovations in scientific and medical meetings. 
19th WPA World Congress of Psychiatry
August 21-24, 2019Lisbon Congress Centre, Lisbon, Portugal3,944 attendees

The information on a medical or scientific conference poster may be scintillating, but the presentation often isn’t. Packed with facts, figures, and other knowledge, posters can be hard to read. Research is usually shared via short monologues, without much time for attendees to dig in on a topic with the author. And there are few ways to measure what’s resonating with event participants, besides anecdotal reports of a swarm in the poster hall.

To get around those issues, the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) opted for e-posters for its 19th World Congress of Psychiatry (WCP) last August. The digital-first approach allowed attendees to better prepare, with posters being viewed nearly 12,000 times before the event. And the e-posters and most of the 2,600 abstracts submitted got more than 319,000 web impressions from delegates and researchers around the world. That’s according to conference organizer Kenes Group, which prepared a case study on the event.

To create the e-posters, Kenes Group worked with software provider Morressier, which put all abstracts and posters on a dedicated conference page. Once an abstract, which describes what a poster is going to be about, was approved, researchers created their e-poster and submitted it to the presentation site. More than 96 percent of all presenters made their posters public on the platform, Kenes Group said.

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A presenter discusses her e-poster at the 19th World Congress of Psychiatry. The e-posters were viewed nearly 12,000 times before the event.

The WCP, which last year drew nearly 4,000 psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, is where psychiatry’s latest research is presented, shared, and discussed. Before 2019, the research was “largely restricted to the offline realm, leaving its full potential untapped,” Kenes Group said.

The submission process for posters had been tedious and manual, with proposals and follow-up being done via email. Short presentation times for researchers to discuss their work on site resulted in low registration numbers for poster sessions. And WPA wasn’t getting insights about poster performance and trending research topics and keywords — information that would show which areas were picking up speed and would need more attention at an upcoming conference.

In addition to helping solve those problems, the digital approach’s streamlined submission process inspired more health-care professionals from more countries to submit their entries, Kenes Group said.

“A key goal of our World Congress is to promote collaboration and facilitate the sharing of global research in psychiatry — and we are always looking for new and innovative ways to do that,” WPA President Helen Herrman was quoted as saying in the case study. “Working, with Kenes and Morressier to use e-posters at our 2019 congress helped us deliver on that goal in three ways: It allowed us to help presenters broaden their audience beyond those who attended their poster presentation (thus making the proposition of presenting a poster more attractive than it has been in the past); it enabled wider sharing and discussion of the research presented; and it allowed us to accept more submissions from a more diverse group than ever before

“In addition,” Herrman added, “the data we later received on trends and performance has provided invaluable insights as we build the agenda for our next meeting.”

Cristi Kempf is executive editor at Convene.


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