Many specialist societies present ‘best poster’ prizes, yet without generally agreed assessment methods. 31 posters at a neurology meeting were divided randomly into two sets; 14 neurologists, randomized into two groups, were each assigned one poster set. They ‘quick scored’ the first half, viewing posters for 10-15 seconds, and ‘detailed scored’ the others. 11 administrators and pharmaceutical representatives quick scored all posters. Neurologists' quick score ranking correlated highly (r=0.75) with other neurologists' detailed score ranking, and identified four of their six top-ranked posters. Correlations were strongest for presentation (r=0.65), message (r=0.65) and star-quality (r=0.64), but weak for facts (r=0.09), originality (r=0.15) or science (r=0.02). Non-neurologists could not identify the posters ranked highest by neurologists. We conclude that quick ranking by specialists can efficiently identify the best posters for more detailed assessment. On this basis we offer poster-scoring guidelines for use at scientific meetings.