A Poster Session is an advertisement for your research/work. A successful poster combines text and imagery to create a visually pleasing presentation that can engage and hold the attention of your audience in the brief seconds as they walk by.

IMPORTANT. Before you begin to plan your poster, check with your Conference or Event for poster regulations, guidelines and expectations. These will define your size, content and layout.


A Successful Poster Should:
  • Efficiently communicate your research topic in <5 seconds – the time it takes for someone to walk by
  • Be legible from a distance of 6 feet – a comfortable viewing distance for your audience
  • Be well organized and pleasing to the eye – people viewing your poster will typically be viewing several others as well. Make it easy on their eyes, and they will be grateful
  • Be clear, concise and to the point – it should take less than 10 minutes to go through
  • A picture speaks a thousand words – replace text with images wherever possible


Page Set-Up

Once you have determined your size, you can either visit our template page to download one of our existing PowerPoint templates, or you can set-up your page yourself. A couple of things to note about setting up your file:

  • Proportion: Make sure that the dimensions of template you start with are the proportional dimensions you want to end with. The PDF file you send us must be proportionate to the poster size you order. If you send us a “square” (ie 36” x 36”) file, but choose a “rectangular output size” (ie 36” x 48”), then there will be six inches of white space on either side of your content. It isn’t feasible for us to stretch your content to fit the wider page. The content will still be 36” x 36”.
  • Size: PowerPoint will create a default document that is (and that prints at) 8.5” x 11”. If you want to produce a document that is a different size (for example: 48” wide by 36” high), you need to select: File>Page Setup> and then enter the size in the corresponding boxes. If you design your poster at standard page size (8.5” x 11”) and then try to print it in a larger format, the resolution will be diminished proportionately. As a result, all of your images. graphs and charts will be ‘fuzzy’, and your poster will not be legible. One of the most common mistakes people make is failing to adjust the “real” size of their poster template when beginning a design.
  • PowerPoint has a maximum page width of 56 inches. If you are planning to order a poster with one of the dimensions larger than 56” and are building your file in PowerPoint, you will have to use a smaller proportionately sized page set-up. For example, if you want a poster that is 36” x 60”, you would need to create your poster at 32.4” x 54.” at 450 dpi. You can still select a larger printing size, so long as the proportions are the same. Increasing the dpi will ensure that your text and images remain sharp when scaled-up for printing.
TIP. If you are offered a 48” x 96” display area, you don’t have to fill the entire space. In fact, we recommend against it. A poster of that size is hard to transport, and difficult to hang. Also, it is likely that you will end up blocking parts of your poster when you are presenting it. In most cases, a 36” x 48” poster is sufficient.


Not all Sections May Apply to Every Discipline