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Preparing for a Poster Session

June 22, 2013
Chicago Lakefront

Chicago Lakefront (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the past few weeks I have been hard at work with my colleague on creating a poster for our upcoming poster session at ALA Annual in Chicago. While creating the poster was our main focus, there were a number of other decisions we had to make along the way. I thought it might be useful for future reference for myself, and possibly others, to share a list of things to consider when presenting at a library conference such as ALA.

The Poster:

  • What size do you want it to be? There may be a recommended size, but is that guaranteed, or might the board be smaller?
  • Where will you print your poster and how long will this take? What file format does the printer prefer?
  • How will you transport your poster? Will it be protected if the weather doesn’t cooperate?
  • What will you use to hang your poster?

Informational Materials:

  • Will you be creating handouts or some other form of free information, such as a bookmark? How many will you need?
  • Will you provide a sign-up sheet for further information, such as a pdf file or a link to a website?
  • What additional information would you want to include in a handout, pdf file, or website?

Other items worth mentioning:

  • Will you have a table, and if so, do you want to cover it? (I’ve seen a few that were quite ugly, so this can make a difference.)
  • Is there anything else you want to hand out to attendees, such as promotional materials or business cards?
  • Will you have an “elevator speech” prepared to share with attendees?
  • Are there any other supplies you want to bring along, such as pens or clipboards for a sign-up form?
  • Will you be using a laptop or tablet as part of your presentation? (If so, be sure it is fully charged beforehand)
  • Do you have comfortable shoes to wear since you’ll likely stand for the entire poster session?

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go address that last point for myself, since ALA is coming up quickly. If you’re planning to be there and want to stop by and say hello, our poster session is on June 30th from 12:30-2:00pm. You can read more about it in the scheduler here. Hope to see you there!

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