Poster layout guidelines

The maximum length or width of the poster should not exceed 45” (114 cm).   

  • Remember that a poster presentation provides the ideal opportunity to meet and talk with colleagues who have a direct interest in your work. It offers a more intimate forum for information exchange than does a spoken presentation. The posters will be displayed in “bays,” generally containing 8-12 posters on the same topic. This layout design allows traffic to flow in the wide aisles outside the bays, while people who are interested in a particular topic can enter the bays and discuss it with the presenters.
  • Good posters are essentially extended abstracts with easily readable graphics to make the main points. The poster should clearly describe your research and its results without need for extended explanation.

With these goals in mind, we offer the following practical guidelines:

  • TITLE: The title of your poster and the names of the authors should be large and clearly visible from 20 feet away. This means that the font should be at least 1 inch (2.54 cm, 72-point font size) in height. Affiliations and contact details (including e-mail addresses) of authors should be included. 
  • ABSTRACT: The full text of your abstract may be included, or an abbreviated version.  Some presenters find a pictoral abstract to be effective.
  • TEXT: Any text should be kept to a bare minimum, keeping in mind that the main points of your poster should be contained in the figures and illustrations and their captions. The text should be in at least 18-point font size to be easily read.
  • GRAPHICS: Graphics, such as tables, figures, and illustrations, should contain the majority of the content of your poster. They should be clear and concise and should convey their primary meaning with little effort from the viewer. They do not, however, need to be simple. All graphics should include a brief heading or caption describing their content and meaning, and expressing the primary point of the graphic. A brief figure legend should be included below the main caption in smaller type, containing a more-detailed description of the points of the graphic. The legend should include a description of the graphic as well as the conclusions derived from its content.
  • LAYOUT AND DESIGN: Posters can be produced by using design or presentation software such as Microsoft PowerPoint. The entire poster can be laid out as a single file, including text, tables, figures, and photographs. Modifications to the design can be accomplished easily until the desired layout is achieved. The poster can then be printed using large color ink-jet printers at printing service centers. Another option is to use thin mounting board, with text and graphics tacked or glued on top. Remember you will have to tack or pin your poster to the poster board and tape is usually not effective on such display boards. 
  • OTHER: You may also consider providing ‘mini’ versions of your poster as handouts for colleagues to take with them for further study. These are easily done if your poster is produced using presentation software. Laminating your poster in thick plastic and then transporting it in a tube can make the poster unwieldy to put up. Take some time to uncurl your poster prior to attempting to display it.

More advice on presenting posters well is readily available on the Internet. One such website is: Poster-PerfectIf you have further questions, contact our conference poster lead, Kimberley Davies here:


Displaying your poster at the conference

Group A presenters can set up their posters on Sunday between 15:00 and 18:00 h or Monday from 08:00 – 12:00 h.  Group A presenters are required to present their posters during the Monday afternoon and Tuesday evening poster sessions.   Group A posters will be taken down on Tuesday evening after the evening poster session.  Any Group A posters not taken down by their authors on Tuesday evening will be discarded.

Group B presenters set up their posters on Wednesday between 08:00 and 13:00h.  Group B presenters are required to present their posters during the Wednesday and Thursday poster sessions.  Group B posters will be taken down after the Thursday evening poster session.  Any Group B posters not removed by their authors on Thursday evening will be discarded.

See the poster schedule page for more information.


Finding your poster bay and board in the Scotiabank Centre

All posters are located in the Scotiabank Centre.  Each poster has been given a unique poster bay number and poster board number in the format (Bay#. Board#).  For example, Bay 28.1 means your poster is located in poster bay 28, poster board 1.  You can find your poster bay number and session schedule by finding your abstract in the online scientific program hereAll mounting equipment (boards, pins, signs etc.) will be provided at the conference.  You do not need to bring these with you.

Find your poster bay number on the Scotiabank Centre poster floor plan webpages for Group A  and Group B.  


Poster uploads

You are not required to upload your poster if you are not a student or do not wish to be considered for a student award. Of course, you are welcome to upload your poster (as a PDF) if you would like to share your work with other delegates through the conference app (soon to be launched).  Please note however, uploaded PDFs are not secure, so if you do upload your poster you should be comfortable with the work being accessible by the general public. The upload portal will remain open until October 20 If you have problems uploading your poster, contact

Instructions for uploading your poster:

1.) Log in at

2.) Go to Profile Home

3.) Go to SMM 2017 Abstract Submission

4.) Click on the poster icon next to the abstract you are presenting.

5.) Select "Attach Poster Here" button

6.) Attach and upload a PDF of your poster. 


Student poster awards

All students who want to be considered for awards should have uploaded their posters by Oct 9.  It is okay for students to make minor changes and re-upload posters before Oct 21.  Final scoring will take place in person at conference.  See the Awards FAQ page for more information.


Poster pods

Poster Pods are a free, fun and voluntary event that will take place during the SMM2017 poster sessions! Poster Pods consist of ~ 10 people who are led through a theme-based series of posters by an expert in the field, and converse with poster presenters along the way. 

As poster presenters, you may be visited by a pod.  You will have ~ 5 minutes with each pod to present your poster to them, then there will be ~5 minutes of discussion time with pod participants before moving on.

See the Poster Pods page for more information or to sign up to participate in a pod.



I can no longer attend the conference.  Can a co-author who is registered present in my place?
A registered co-author may present in your place if they are not already presenting at the conference.  Please contact for assistance.
Where in Halifax can I print my poster?
The Printing House is a print shop that is 2 blocks from the conference venue (1809 Barrington St) and offers custom poster printing services.  You can order online (  or call them at  1-902-422-7730 to make an order.  Hours of operation are Monday - Friday 8:00AM - 6:00PM. 
Note: we have so far been unable to find a print shop that is open on weekends in Halifax.  If this changes, we will update this FAQ page.
Why can't I see anything when I go to my abstract submission profile?
Make sure you are signed in under the email address associated with your conference (registration and abstract submission) profile. If you think you may have two conference profiles set up, or your SMM membership profile uses a different email address than your conference profile, please contact Katherina, the Society webmaster at for assistance.
Why can't I see the red folder where I am supposed to upload my poster?
You must be signed in under the email address associated with your poster presentation and be the designated presenter of your poster in order for this red folder to appear beside your presentation. We have found that handheld devices do not display the upload interface as well as laptop and desktop computers. 
What if my student poster is not ready for the October 9 upload deadline to be considered for an award?
Please contact Lindsay and Katherina at to let them know so that they can assist you.
Do I need to bring my own mounting equipment to attach my poster to the board?
No.  All mounting equipment (boards, pins, signs etc.) will be provided at the conference

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