Powerful Poster Presentations: Follow the Guidelines

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Conference planners provide instructions for the exhibits. Read these thoroughly. The general set up is that you’re given a small display area in which to hang your poster. Often the conference will arrange a time you’re on call, usually for an hour or so, and this is when you’re expected to be available to discuss your poster with attendees. Keep in mind that your poster needs to be self-explanatory because when you’re not on call, you may still have viewers. Also,the way in which a poster is viewed is different from a paper or presentation.

The audience is likely to be interested but distracted because most posters are displayed in an exhibit hall or hallway. Often there is a social component to the interaction including the serving of food and beverages. Your audience will stop and chat only if your poster quickly conveys the main points, is aesthetically interesting, and you look friendly. A few may have decided in advance which posters to view, but many more decide where to stop based on what catches their attention during their casual stroll through the exhibit. Therefore, it is important to carefully create your poster to catch viewers and ensure you’re not standing alone talking to yourself.

Here are some poster guidelines:
Association of American Geographers

American Meteorological Society

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