Poster Sessions

The Poster Sessions, scheduled for Monday and Tuesday during the meeting, are prominently displayed in well-attended areas of the meeting. Presenters benefit from the interactive critique, suggestions and encouragement from colleagues working in similar areas. A panel of prestigious OR/MS leaders will review posters presented for the competition, with three prize winners selected each day.

For the second  year we are amping up our poster presentations with the introduction of the E-Poster Walk. All poster competition semi-finalists will have the option of presenting an electronic version of their final poster to be digitally displayed during the E-Poster Walk Session.

Important Dates

General Poster abstract submission deadline for those choosing not to enter the poster competition is September 1

Poster Competition abstract and poster submission deadline – August 14, 2017

Poster presentations and competition – October 23-24, 12:30-2:30pm, in Houston

Competition and Awards

INFORMS places special emphasis on high-quality poster submissions. As in past years, a Poster Session Competition will be held to recognize the best posters. If you would like to enter this competition, you are required to submit a soft copy of your poster (in pdf format). Three winners will be selected each day (Monday and Tuesday), with awards given for first place ($350), second place ($250), and third place ($150). The winners will also receive a certificate and be recognized in INFORMS newsletters, OR/MS Today, and on the INFORMS web site.


How the Poster Competition Works

Participation in the poster competition is voluntary. That is, an author may elect to enter the General Poster session and make a poster presentation without entering the competition. For those who wish to compete, there are three rounds in the competition. In Round 1, participants will submit their posters prior to the conference for judges to review. The judges will select a set of semi-finalists to be evaluated in Round 2. Round 2 will involve judges evaluating the semi-finalist presentations at the conference. Based on their evaluation the judges will select a list of finalists who will move to Round 3, the final round. In Round 3, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners of each day of the competition will be identified and awarded. The recognition includes a certificate, an award check, and announcements on INFORMS web site and in the INFORMS newsletters.

What is an E-Poster?

An E-Poster is an electronic poster displayed digitally instead of printed on paper as a traditional poster. In 2017, the Competition Semi-finalists are urged to present their final poster this way.

Before the Annual Conference

Step 1. Abstract Submission: Only one poster abstract submission will be permitted per presenting author. Have the following information ready: contact information for yourself and any co-authors, the title and a 50-word abstract.

Step 2. Poster Submission for those entering the poster competition: By August 1, 2017 participants who wish to enter the competition will be requested to submit their poster in PDF format for review, using the submission procedure listed below:

  • A complete entry consists of an abstract and an electronic PDF file of your poster.
  • Please see the guidelines for poster formatting details at the end of this page.
  • You can make minor changes to the submitted poster before your presentation at the conference.
  • A PDF of your poster should be uploaded in the Oasis Abstract System.

Step 3. Poster Review for Competition (Round 1): Judges will select semi-finalist posters that will be later evaluated on-site at the conference center. Up to 50 posters will be selected for judging during this round. (Note that all posters are accepted for presentation, whether or not they are selected as semi-finalists for the poster competition.)

At the Annual Meeting

Step 4. Poster Presentations, E-Poster Walk & Judging (Round 2): Authors of the semi-finalist posters will give a 5-minute presentation to the judges, using either an electronic poster or a traditional printed poster. The time limit will be strictly enforced as the judges will need to listen to a number of presentations within the limited time slot. The presentation will be repeated for at least two judges. Please see below for more information about the E-Poster Walk.

Step 5. Finalists & Judging (Round 3): The top (5-6) finalists will be determined by the judges on each day of the competition. A second round of presentations and judging will reveal the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.

Step 6. Awards Ceremony: Winners will be announced after the competition. The winners will be awarded certificates and checks. The check awards for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners are $350, $250, and $150, respectively.

After the Annual Conference

Step 7. Further Recognition: The winners of the poster competition will be announced on INFORMS website, in INFORMS newsletters and in OR/MS Today magazine.
You can view previous winners here.

Poster Presentations Guidelines & Instructions

Minimal Requirements

Traditional Poster: Each presenter not entering the competition should bring a poster display in the form of a printed single large sheet of paper/plastic that can be mounted on a bulletin board (Board will be provided by INFORMS.) The bulletin board provided by INFORMS measures 7.5 feet wide by 3.5 feet high. Your overall poster must fit within that space.

Printing Your Poster: We strongly recommend that you have your poster printed locally or by an online site before you travel to the meeting, rather than attempt to have it printed onsite in Houston. The following online sites offer design and printing services:

E-Poster: Each semi-finalist presenter in the poster competition should either bring a traditional hard copy of the poster as described above or submit their poster as an E-Poster in the form of a 1 page PDF file in portrait orientation. In Pixel: 1080 width x 1536 height. In Centimeters: 38.1 width x 54.2 height. Font size: 16. A link with information about the E-Poster system and the uploading of E-Posters will be sent to all abstract submitters who have registered for the poster competition. All E-Posters should be previously uploaded. All previously uploaded E-Posters will be available on the conference webpage.

Audiovisual equipment: E-Posters will be displayed on a LCD television. Please note that there will be no audio equipment available so be sure to speak up. If the poster presenter cannot be heard the judge will summarize the answer for him/her.

Each poster should include the poster title and full names of all contributors, their affiliations, addresses and an email and/or web link.


Suggested Best Practices

For all posters, please follow these guidelines:

  • Maintain a good contrast between background and foreground text.
  • Avoid acronyms and extensive mathematical notation as much as possible.
  • Include one or more of the following: a short description of the problem, objectives of the work, the methodology utilized, conclusions, relevant diagrams, graphs and charts in order to present an overview for the application.
  • Organize your poster into sections, e.g., Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions, and Literature Cited. (Avoid using too many citations.) You may wish to use numbers to help sequence sections of the poster.
  • Arrange the material into columns.
  • The title should be readable from 15 – 20 feet (approximately 4.5-6 meters) away.
  • The text should be large enough to be read easily from at least 6 feet (approximately 2 meters) away.
  • The poster should not rely upon your verbal explanation to link together the various portions.
  • Avoid densely packed, high word-count posters. Posters with 800 words or less are ideal.
  • Self-explanatory graphics should dominate the poster.
  • Below are web pages that provide more guidelines and free poster templates:

Duties of the Master Judges

  • To moderate the presenters & attendees through all posters in the walk. You will be the one summarizing the results with the option to ask the presenter to answer specific questions.
  • Stick to the time table! It is important that you stick to the allocated time for you E-Poster Walk so that everyone gets a chance to present.
  • Ensure the best use of the limited time allowed for discussion.
  • Ask questions of the presenters in case there is no discussion from attendees.

Information on Chairing an E-Poster Walk

  • Arrive 15 minutes early to meet your poster presenters. (Poster presenters have also been asked to arrive 15 minutes early.) If any of your presenters do not appear, please continue the poster walk. If the presenter is late, discuss their poster at the end of the walk.
  • Please check the number of posters in your session beforehand. Please also check whether all posters have been displayed.
  • The poster presenter should introduce themselves briefly before the start of their presentation.
  • At the end of the session thank the poster presenters and inform the conference participants of the next point in the program.
  • Please fill out the scoring form provided at the end of each session.