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2017 Poster Session Information
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Preparing Your 2017 AAACE Annual Conference Poster Presentation Exhibit
Wednesday, Nov. 1   3:45 - 5:00 p.m.

Posters will be featured during the Wednesday evening Wine & Cheese Reception at the 2017 AAACE conference providing the opportunity to interact with attendees as they celebrate the rich landscape of adult learning.  Digital versions will be available on the conference app for attendees to view throughout the conference, giving you the opportunity for discussion at any time.

What is a poster presentation?

A poster depicts one element of a research study’s findings, or a project, program or theory. Effective posters draw viewers’ attention with color, graphics, and images, using just enough text to summarize the details. During the session, presenters have a one-breath statement to market their poster’s topic and importance to passers by, who hopefully will be interested enough to spend a few minutes reading the poster and discussing its contents.

Why present a poster?

By popular demand, the 2017 AAACE conference poster presentation coincides with the reception to provide a relaxed, socially-engaged atmosphere for presenters to:

  • Network one-on-one with all conference attendees
  • Share new approaches and/or best practices with colleagues
  • Discuss how “lessons learned” are being used to improve programs
  • Showcase programs or projects to current and potential funders
  • Disseminate information about their research, program, or project to a broader audience
  • Enjoy some snacks while interacting with their audience

The top poster in each of the following three categories will be recognized at the awards luncheon Thursday, November 2: (a) Highly Relevant, Novel, or Insightful Topic, (b) Standout Conceptual or Methodological Framework, and (c) Significant Findings or Lessons Learned.

Elements of an effective poster

Posters should focus on and highlight one element of a program, project, or study, rather than trying to depict every component of it. For example, if a program, project, or study has five components, select one of those components and prepare a poster about it. Ask yourself what would be most interesting to those viewing the posters, including peers and funders. Imagine you are giving a two-to-three minute report to a peer. What would you say? What would you like to see others present if you were attending the poster session?

Information presented on a poster should not overwhelm the viewer. Ideally, viewers should be able to read all the text on a poster in less than five minutes. Select graphics carefully, choosing information that conveys the most important message from the poster. Graphics and titles should be clear and large enough to read easily from at a distance of at least five feet. Include the following elements, in a logical arrangement, on the poster board:

Elements to be included:

  • Purpose of the poster (can also be clearly stated in the title)
  • Clear title, authors/presenters, and funding source (if any)
  • Introduction: The context or background in three to five sentences (can be a graphic or photograph)
  • Conceptual or theoretical framework
  • Methodology
  • Findings or lessons learned
  • Conclusions
  • Implications for future action (where this could lead)
  • Citations and references, formatted in APA 6th edition style
  • At least one graphic (can be a photograph) illustrating the program/project/study’s progress and who is involved. Several graphics are recommended.

Make sure your most important points are clear

in your mind so they will be clear on your poster.

Be prepared to concisely articulate your program, project, or study in about 2-3 minutes to the attendees.

Specifics about preparing and displaying your poster:

  • You may use one large poster, several small posters, or carefully-arranged individual sheets of paper.
  • PowerPoint templates are helpful. Search the Internet for “academic poster templates” for some ideas.
  • Local or online print shops and some universities can provide professional printing services if desired. A recent trend is to print the poster on fabric instead of paper (see the poster design testimonial, below).
  • Large portable bulletin boards (partitions) positioned in the exhibit areas will be available beginning Wednesday, November 1.
  • Poster materials should cover most of one side of a poster partition. Each side is 4 feet by 8 feet.
  • Attach your poster materials to one entire side of any vacant poster partition without re-positioning it. Expect another presenter to use the other entire side of your partition.
  • You should attach your poster materials to the partitions using the push pins or staplers AAACE will provide.
  • Reviewers will vote for presenters with an assigned two-digit number.  At the conference, presenters will be provided with transparent tape (removes easily and leaves no residue) to attach their number card to the aisle side of the frame of the partition they choose, first come, first served.
Posters should be removed from partitions/boards at the close of the wine and cheese reception on Wednesday, November 1. If you have additional questions, please contact

We look forward to your unique contribution to this exciting learning opportunity at the conference!

- The 2017 Poster Committee


  Remember to make your poster visually pleasing!  

The following testimonial is provided with no intention of endorsing a specific product or vendor:


Poster design recommendation from a graduate student and previous presenter

One company that makes really nice and inexpensive cloth posters is Spoonflower, They have a helpful tutorial that explains how to save a PowerPoint file in a format that works for their system and then how to upload it.  Step-by-step:

I recommend the Performance Knit fabric.  I folded it carefully in my suitcase and did my best to avoid crumpling/balling it up (to minimize wrinkles), which worked fine.  This is a stretchy fabric, so most of the wrinkles come out when you pin the poster on a board (assuming it wasn’t wadded up in the bottom of a bag for days).

One thing I didn’t know to expect before I received mine was that there is extra fabric on each side of the poster, and some extra printing outside the poster image itself (e.g., a bar code in black ink and some kind of alphanumeric code in blue ink).  I decided to trim the extra fabric away, which worked ok except that it was very difficult to cut a straight line because the fabric is stretchy.  Some people fold it under when they pin the poster up.

Overall, I highly recommend Spoonflower!  The print quality was exceptional, the service was fast, and they have helpful FAQ details on their site.

The cost was great: my 48” x 36” poster cost less than $25.  Normal shipping was only $3.00.  Can’t beat it!

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