Creating a conference poster – for newbies and old-hands….




February 2020


Nicola Roberts, Senior Lecturer, Glasgow Caledonian University

Research and Education Sub Committee ARNS

So I have been attending conferences and looking at posters for more years than I care to admit, and to be honest I thought I had it down to an art.  I started researching this blog and I am blown away with some of the cool things you can do and how to improve your impact when you are presenting.

First check out this you tube video (link at the end) by @mikemorrison on the #betterposter format, this is something I’ll be looking out for at the next big conference I go to and has changed the way I think I will design my posters. Mike has also suggested some sites for images so I’ll post this at the end.

Although it is good and quick to use someone else’s template it is good to do your own thing and then you are more likely to stand out in a vast room of posters (see image below). Make sure you plan enough time to design your poster properly.  Once you hear whether your abstract has been accepted now is the time to start thinking about what you are going to include.  Also consider where you are going to get your poster printed and how you are going to transport it.  Final thoughts, be ready to answer questions or talk a conference participant through your poster!  And enjoy the discussions J




Top ten tips

  1. Look at the conference website for guidance on size and shape
  2. Have a clear title and strong message (make sure it stands out)
  3. Set the scene, describe the relevance/importance of your work
  4. Viewers need to read/see the poster from a distance (around 1.5 metres) so don’t make font sizes too small and use dense paragraphs/sentences
  5. Less is always more, you don’t have to fill ALL of the poster
  6. All of the content doesn’t need to be the same size, for more important components – GO BIG!
  7. Use a splash of colour – a little goes a long way…
  8. Pictures, graphs, cartoons can all help describe your work – put them in where you can
  9. Have additional materials, copies to take away or if you go technical, embed a QR code or link into your poster
  10. Keep it simple

This could be you at our next conference in May 2020, please look out for details on how to submit an abstract.

The conference is in Liverpool on the 15th and 16th of May – Save the date!


Useful links

. (how to embed a QR code for your references)


For those who are looking for a more traditional poster design here are some other videos

Thanks to all our Partner organisations

AstraZeneca Boehringer Chiesi NAPP gsk