Publication Date

December 4, 2014

Last week, in preparation for the poster sessions at our 2015 annual meeting in New York, the AHA hosted a Google Hangout to discuss strategies for creating an effective conference poster. Participants included AHA director of scholarly communication and digital initiatives, Seth Denbo; poster guru Colin Purrington; and Kelly Spring, winner of last year’s AHA Annual Meeting Poster Contest. If you’re planning a conference poster, here are some top tips from our experts for making your poster stand out from the crowd:

  1. In your poster introduction, describe a particular question your research attempts to answer and why it is important.
  2. Employ graphics such as photographs, charts, maps, tables, and arrows to visually engage your readers and direct their attention to various parts of the poster.
  3. Have one or two speaking points prepared ahead of time that summarize your research so you’re ready when someone wants a quick description.
  4. Be flexible. Some people will want to hear only your elevator speech, some will ask questions requiring elaboration, and others will simply look at the poster.
  5. Don’t make your poster too long. The joy of a poster is that it is a graphically appealing, exciting synopsis of your research, so a good rule of thumb is to limit your text to 800 words.

For additional inspiration, Colin Purrington’s “Designing Conference Posters” is a great place to start; Stephanie Krom’s “Poster Tips for Humanities Conference Posters” gives ideas specifically geared towards humanists; and more guidelines can be found on the AHA website.

Watch the full Google Hangout here:

Poster Session #1
AHA Session 213
Time:Sunday, January 4, 2015: 11:30 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Location:2nd Floor Promenade (New York Hilton, Second Floor)

Poster Session #2
AHA Session 242
Time:Sunday, January 4, 2015: 2:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Location:2nd Floor Promenade (New York Hilton, Second Floor)

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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