Poster Session FAQs | AIChE

Poster Session Frequently Asked Questions

1.  What size are the poster boards?

Answer:  The live display of poster boards may vary depending on conference. Please reach out to your conference organizer to confirm poster board details. Some typical board sizes include*:

  • 3.75 feet wide x 3.75  feet tall (110 cm x 110 cm).
  • 30" x 40"

*Please make sure your poster is slightly smaller than the confirmed board size, so that it fits in the space.

2.  What do I use to put my poster on the actual board?

Answer: AIChE supplies push-pins to put up your display. You can pick up the push-pins when you enter the poster area.

3.  Is there any audio visual equipment allowed in poster sessions?

Answer: No, none allowed.

4.  Are electrical outlets supplied to the poster boards?

Answer: Electricity is NOT supplied to poster presenters.

5.  How do I locate the poster board I should use for my poster presentation?

Answer: AIChE will provide you a list of presentations with the poster board number next to your paper title.

6.  When should I set up my poster?

Answer: It all depends on how complicated it is, but anywhere from thirty minutes to one hour before the actual start time of the session is appropriate.

7.  How should my poster look on the board?

Answer:  It should be done so that the viewer can easily follow it - type should be large enough to be viewed from several feet away - flow charts should be simple, leaving more complicated explanations to verbal interaction between the presenter and the viewers. Some guidlines to improve your poster can be found here or here.

8.  When should I take down my poster?

Answer:  Immediately upon conclusion of the session, unless otherwise stipulated.

9.  Is there a grant program that could cover the registration or travel expenses?

Answer:  AIChE does not have a grant program that awards funding towards meeting registration or travel expenses. Take a look at specific Division or Forums to see if they offer any travel stipends or awards that include stipends here.

Guidelines for Effective Posters

A poster is a visual communications tool. It can be thought of as an illustrated paper. Designed to convey research findings, its ultimate aim is a fruitful exchange of ideas between the presenter and the people reading the poster. Use the poster to give the big picture. It should include a statement of the problem and its relevance to process safety, a description of the method of approach, a presentation of the results and your recommendations, and finally a short summary of the project.

An effective poster:

  • Delivers a clear message
  • Is highly visual
  • Is read easily from 2-3 feet away

Many posters suffer from easy-to-fix problems that make them ineffective, including:

  • Objective(s) and main point(s) hard to find
  • Text too small
  • Poor graphics
  • Poor organization

Some useful tips for layout:

  • Concentrate on main points
  • All visuals and text should relate to those points and conclusions.
  • Headings help readers find key sections - objectives, results, etc.
  • Balance the placement of text and graphics
  • Display word sections in small units (chunks) of text
  • Text should be large - at least 36 point for title panels; 24 point for text
  • Use white space creatively to define flow of information.
  • Don't fight "reader gravity" that pulls eye from top to bottom, left to right
  • Bulleted lists are very effective
  • Sometimes a question-and-answer format may be appropriate for part of the poster
  • Include contact details for follow-up with readers

Some practical suggestions:

  • Have a 3-5-minute presentation prepared for people who ask you to walk them through the poster
  • Have your business cards and some documentation handy for viewers to take away.

Question from a Faculty Candidate: 

Considering that these project proposal ideas are just that (unpatented/unpublished ideas), and that multiple faculty search committee members all over the country will read them, should I be cautious about the amount of specific information I include in my research statement? There’s no NDA/CDA in the application process that I’m aware of and some of these ideas are actually grant proposals I intend on submitting with specific collaborators and disclosing IP. What are your thoughts re. IP when you look through research statements?

Answer: You should indeed be careful about what you say, since since both your abstracts/poster in the Meet the Faculty Poster session and your application packet that you send to employers will serve as public disclosure. So definitely do not include your "secret sauce" into it.  You could also ask the patent lawyers at your school to review the materials that you plan to release, if you already have a provisional patent in place.