What is a Poster Session?

A poster session is an opportunity to communicate your ideas to others in a relaxed and informal setting, rather like a trade fair. A good poster presents one central theme in a clear and accessible way. Your poster should be well designed and easy to interpret. Prepare some introductory remarks to welcome visitors, and be ready to engage them in a lively discussion! There will be posters sessions during the conference in a dedicated space adjacent to the main conference room.


Poster Session Guidelines

  • Size: The size of the poster board is 8 ft. wide x 4 ft high (SAND provides the poster boards).
  • Organization: Focus on the introduction, methods, results and discussion, summary, and references. Make a small-scale sketch of your poster to ascertain if all the points you want to stress as well as headlines, text, figures and tables, photos, etc., will fit into the dimensions allowed. The poster should start in the upper left hand corner and flow generally from left to right and from top to bottom. The title, author name(s) and affiliation are often at the top of the poster. If necessary, use letters, numbers, or arrows to indicate the proper flow to the audience.
  • Content: Do not crowd too much information into the presentation; concentrate on a few main points. Highlight trends and comparisons with simplified graphics and diagrams. Often it is better to use outlines and bullets than paragraphs. Avoid overwhelming the audience with too many numbers, words, or complicated graphs. Make certain your message is clear because people will study your poster while you are away.
  • Lettering: All lettering should be easily read from a distance of 3 feet. Use a bold or semi bold typeface for headings and labels. Lettering for subheads and figure captions should be larger than that of the main text but smaller than the main heading. Text in upper and lower case letters is more readable than only capitals, but capitals for headings and labels are acceptable. Use a sans serif type such as Arial or Lucida Sans for text. It is much easier to read than a serif type such as Courier.
  • Mounting: Do not use double sided tape, glue or Velcro. Use push pins only.

In summary:

  • DO use large, easy-to-read sans-serif letters.
  • DO include clear figures and tables.
  • DO NOT paste-up typed pages from a paper.
  • DO NOT clutter the poster with too many details. Posters should be understandable - even in the absence of the author(s)!
  • Remember that a poster session is more like an informal discussion. The discussion may begin with a question from an interested person. You may initiate a discussion by pointing out the particular figure that depicts the essential conclusions of your paper and allow questions and answers to flow from that point. Keep it conversational.