Guidelines for Poster Submissions

What is a poster session?

Poster sessions are a common feature of professional conferences, especially in fields where research and innovation play a significant part, like Head Start/Early Head Start. They are often scheduled to coincide with receptions or meals, to encourage the largest possible number of attendees. In general, poster presentations are less structured than a conference presentation, but they allow for a greater and more detailed exchange of information and personal contact between the presenters and their audience. For example, a poster may highlight the implementation of a new initiative to increase family engagement; an activity to increase technology use in the classroom or highlight the program's strong governance structure.

The posters are typically set up in a designated room or area where conference attendees can walk around and look at all of them, and speak with the presenters one-on-one about their projects. Presenters may have handouts that summarize or expand upon the poster content; in some cases, they may also have technical demonstrations, hands-on components, samples—or a stack of business cards to encourage people to keep in touch!

Why would I present a poster?

You can use a poster to quickly and effectively report findings from a recent project, highlight a current project, discuss project outcomes, or announce the launch of a new initiative. Well-designed posters convey essential points and ideas quickly, and poster sessions are especially good at stimulating substantive interactions with your audience. Poster sessions also enable you to showcase a variety of work and projects happening in our programs.

How do I submit a poster proposal?

Complete the Poster Proposal Form thoroughly. You can access the Poster Proposal Form here.
Your proposal should indicate the general subject of the poster; whether this is a completed project, work in progress, a new initiative, etc.; and give some idea of how visual elements and text will be combined in the final poster design.

Will you be printing my poster, or do I print it myself?

Unfortunately, FHSA cannot cover the costs of printing the large number of posters we expect to present this year. However, there are several places where you can have a digital file printed in color at the appropriate size such as OfficeMax, Office Depot, FedEx, and Staples. You may also have access to free or discounted large-format printing services at your program and/or facility.

How should I format my poster?

All presentation materials should be prepared for quick assembly 30 minutes before the beginning of the scheduled poster session. The poster materials are to be attached to an 45" by 90" display panel by presenters approximately 30 minutes before their session begins. You are strongly encouraged to use a larger font and minimum picture size of 5 x 7 to ensure all content is visual to a large audience. Presenters must remove their materials from the display panels at the end of their session for the next presenter.

You are encouraged to be as creative as you like; however, please keep in mind that space will be limited for each poster presentation. Below is a sample layout to help spark creative thought around displaying your project.