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As you prepare to travel to the meeting, consider the following tips:
Arrange for a proper carrying case for your poster. A worthy investment can prevent damage to your poster and your reputation.
Don't check your poster as luggage. Carry the poster with you at all times. Better your clothes get lost than your poster.
Come with some basic equipment. Although these items are typically provided at scientific meetings, you may not have quick access to them. Bring with you:
Push pins, tacks, or stapler
Know where and when to set up your poster. The room or area reserved for posters is usually noted in the meeting program. Arrive early to set up your poster. This will allow you to adapt to any surprises in the physical layout or unannounced changes in the method of displaying the poster. Additionally, it's easier to put up your poster when there are fewer people competing for space and equipment. Most scientific programs assign a unique identifying number to your poster that corresponds to location of the poster in the display area. Find out what your number is and place your poster in the corresponding spot.
Know when to "stand by" your poster. Wear a name tag and introduce yourself. The time will be listed in the meeting program. Arrive on time and stay until the end of scheduled time. Don't wander off; you may miss the judges, your next fellowship director, or your next partner or employer.
Listen carefully to questions. Be prepared to provide details for experts and an overview for interested passer bys. It is often helps to restate the questions, in order to insure clarity.
Know when to take your poster down. Meeting rooms turn over fast. Have a clear understanding when the poster session is over and when the poster must come down. Failure to take the poster down at the appointed time can result in the hotel or convention staff (not so gently) removing it.
Be prepared to promote yourself. Consider bringing handouts and business cards for those who visit your poster. Use this opportunity to "network" with other professionals who share similar academic interests.