The NIH Research Festival is held every fall, and a major feature is the Poster Sessions, where over 100 research posters are displayed at each of three or four different sessions over the course of the Festival covering research in 24 different broad categories.
We have been hosting and managing the NIH Research Festival website and the Poster Abstract submission system for the NIH Events Office since 2000.
We start each new Research Festival website and poster submission form by making a copy of last year's website and database, deleting all records, incorporating the new design, and adding new features or requirements as necessary. The poster submissions database entries are used to generate the Poster Session pages of the Festival website, the MS Word files used for the printed Festival directory, and the email messages to presenters with specifics about their posters. The site also allows users to search the abstracts by Presenter, IC, or keyword.
A Food Fair was introduced in 2001, allowing a limited number of tickets for a free lunch to be distributed to NIH staff on a first-come, first served basis. The system only allows users with NIH email addresses to register. The user must select which timeslot they would like to attend, and the system first checks to see how many tickets are available before accepting the registration. An email confirmation message is sent, which is used at the door to verify registration.
Both the poster submission system and the Food Fair registration system can be set up in less than a day at minimal cost. Each year enhancements are added to improve ease of use and data integrity.