As I said before on this blog, I do like poster sessions. The poster sessions at the just finished American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting didn't offer food and drink, but were otherwise very enjoyable. The meeting is probably special because a lot of high quality research will be presented as poster, as there is just not enough time for enough oral sessions. Many of the poster presenters were senior faculty. I also like the printouts that were available from most posters – but there still was a lot of picture taking with digital cameras. A very good feature was the oral summary of some of the poster sessions: 15 minute presentations of 5-10 posters, summarized and commentted on by an expert in the field.
I had some very informative discussions with a number of poster presenters. When you are familiar with the research topic it is often possible to go straight to the interesting issues, the nonlinear and interactive format of a poster is then often better than an oral presentation. The downside of a poster presentation is obviously that the format is good for presenting to a small audience only. But the poster presenter will usually get much more feedback than from an oral presentation.