Preparing Clinical Posters: Start Early

Procrastination is the antagonist of successful clinical poster presentations.

Deadlines for abstracts may occur months in advance of an event. Sometimes researchers are still awaiting final data. Pay attention to abstract due dates so as not to miss a presentation.

Do not rely on general 3-day or 9-day turnaround times. Delivery dates can be skewed by approval delays, changes in specifications or design studio production schedules.

A word about proofreading is in order here. Rarely, if ever, has originally submitted text made it to final print. Even if multiple authors have signed off on the content, after revisions it is necessary for them to read the fully formatted poster. Companies with legal counsel may even have the poster reviewed before printing. Potential trade secrets and proprietary technologies are often expunged. With this in mind, try to avoid waiting until the last week before the event's poster deadline to begin preparing content.

Coordinating poster preparation among several authors can take several weeks. Some corporations may concurrently prepare dozens of posters. Each poster in a group may need to be compared for formatting consistency. Supplemental printed materials or CDs may require a much earlier due date than the actual poster presentation deadline.