This guide is for the accepted authors of the FSE-12 Poster Session. It includes information on posters in general, poster materials, and schedule of events.


What is a poster session? This section is particularly useful to those of you who have little idea of what a poster session is all about. Research presentation through a poster sessions differs from oral presentation in two major ways:


Poster sessions are frequently used to communicate technical data. They are usually held in conjunction with symposia and technical society meetings and have become increasingly popular. Poster sessions are often used to support or replace slide presentations given to larger groups. One advantage of a poster is that specialist audiences can be targeted and reached effectively, especially when the poster presenter is available to answer questions. A poster that is self explanatory will still be an effective marketing or educational tool even when the presenter is not there. In these notes, guidelines are presented for getting started and for using a poster.

Getting Started

Each student will be provided with a board and an easel for their poster. Posters are usually divided into sections, such as The title should include your name and academic institution. The title should emphasize a primary benefit to the target audience and should be visible from "across the room". Photos, figures, and tables should stand alone (be self explanatory); your audience should be able to walk up to the poster and understand it. Focus on a narrow topic or key points rather than trying to put the entire text of a speech onto a poster. Begin by determining what is unique about your concepts, then select important points to support that main idea.

Drafting the Text

Keep in mind that your text must be presented in a typeface that can be read from 3 to 6 feet (1 to 2 meters) away. Therefore, all text should be simple and concise. The poster should not be an outline, but should be brief like an outline. Omit unnecessary articles (a, an, the, etc.) when possible. Use easily recognized abbreviations, but use them sparingly; some people may not be familiar with them. Bulleted items are a better way to highlight selected data and significant results than paragraphs of information. The easier it is for readers to absorb the information, the more likely they will retain it. If detailed information is important, consider supplementary handouts or verbal explanations. If you use handouts, be sure they include a summary of the presentation along with your name, address, and institution.

Visual Appeal

The poster's visual appeal is important. Use high quality photos and simplified graphics to explain key ideas. Use well chosen figures and tables to save words and to improve the overall appearance. Color can both enhance the message and give useful information (for example, use color to represent a particular concept throughout). Consider using bar charts or line graphs instead of tables or tabular materials.

Using the Poster

After the poster is designed, proofed, and built, be sure you have a hard copy of the design layout to take along as a reference for setting up the poster correctly and quickly. You may want to number the back of each piece and sketch a small drawing of how it will appear on the poster board. If the poster is used again, the design layout will be readily available. Keep in mind other uses for the poster after the session, such as a laboratory display or slides from individual figures, view graphs, or report art.


Other than easels, we will not be providing any construction materials. Please bring your own pins, tacks, tape, and whatever other set-up materials you need to assemble your poster. Practice your setup at least once before coming to the conference. Please note that electricity will NOT be provided to the posters. Posters should be taken down immediately following the poster session. Authors are responsible for taking down and transporting their materials home.


We hope that we've covered the information that you need to help you assemble an outstanding poster, to get you to and through the poster session itself, and to help you enjoy this process. If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to contact me.