How To Prepare a Poster

The Basics - how big is poster board and what is the set-up like?

At the ASMS annual conference, each poster presentation is provided one poster board. The usable space on each 'poster board' is 7 feet 10 inches across (239 cm) and 3 feet 10 inches high (117 cm). Each poster board will be numbered on the upper left corner.

ASMS Poster Board Example (Download PDF)
PosterBoard Visual_cropped

There will be a table under each poster board. This table will be used/shared by two posters (the front and back of each poster board.) Approximately 8 inches of table space will provide a ledge under your poster. Poster boards are push-pin and Velcro compatible. 

ASMS provides push-pins at the Poster Supply counter located just inside the entrance of the poster hall. Also provided are special 'Poster Presenter' badges and 'I'll return in ___ minute' signs. 

What is a Research Poster?

A research poster is like a short story (or haiku) of your abstract. It should summarize information or research concisely and attractively to help publicize it and generate discussion. Typically a poster is a mixture of a brief text mixed with tables, graphs, pictures, and other presentation formats. At the ASMS annual conference, each poster is assigned a day (Mon, Tues, Wed, or Thurs) and during the poster session (10:30 am - 2:30 pm) the presenting author stands by their poster and 'presents'. ASMS has devised shifts for poster presenters within the full poster session which are described on the Presenter Guidelines page.

Key Points for a Well-Designed Poster

  • Important information should be readable from 8-10 feet away
  • Title is short and draws interest
  • Text is clear and to the point
  • Use of bullets, numbering, and headlines to make reading easy
  • Effective use of graphics, color, and fonts
  • Consistent and clean layout
  • Includes acknowledgments, your name and institutional affiliation

Sample of well-designed poster

Well-designed Poster

Image credit: Poster Session Tips by, via Penn State

Sample of a poorly-designed poster

Poorly-designed poster

Resources & Inspiration for Your ASMS Poster

These resources may give you a fresh perspective on designing you poster.

How to design an award winning poster by Dr. Tullio Rossi founder of Animate Your Science

How to create a better research poster in less time a viral YouTube video by Mike Morrison.