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Conferences have long been a major part of professional practice in almost all disciplines, allowing scientists to meet and exchange knowledge and views. As well as networking with colleagues, delegates want to access the information that is on offer at meetings, which now range from small, local affairs to vast international gatherings with big name speakers and busy programmes. In this Commentary, Rowe and Ilic argue that poster presentations – an established and popular medium of communication at conferences – are an outmoded and inefficient means of disseminating research. Is it time for the poster format to evolve?