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Guidelines for Presenters in the AFS Poster Exhibitions
Poster presenters have been selected to participate in an exhibition on a designated theme. Each thematic exhibition will have its own space in the exhibitions hall and will be introduced with a customized, overarching title panel that introduces the theme and offers connections to the individual projects.

Poster Logistics

In a break from past AFS practice, the Society has rented dedicated poster stands. These are different from the art easels used at past conferences. Poster stands are free standing boards that are eight feet wide and four feet high. Those in use at the annual meeting are covered with black fabric on top of a board into which push pins can be pushed. They are covered on, and will be used on, both sides.

Each presenter will share one side of a stand with another presenter. Thus the maximum available area for your poster is four feet by four feet (4' x 4'). Posters should be printed before the conference and brought to the conference ready to unroll and display. While this system does not preclude creating a poster the old-fashioned way with scissors and paste, the preferred (and more common) way to produce your poster is as a digital document printed on a large-format printer. (Helpful resources for designing and producing a conference paper in this way are provided at the end of this guide.) Push pins will be provided in the exhibition hall before the opening reception event. Each presenter will be assigned a location in the exhibition. These will be selected by the curator (museum-fashion) to maximize the coherence of the exhibition relative to the theme and the other included posters.

The four by four size is a common size for academic posters, so the staff of many university-based computing centers and commercial copy shops (where large format printers can be found) will be familiar with this size. Producing a final poster that is slightly smaller than this maximum size will prevent posters from running right up the edge of a neighboring poster.

Presenters are asked to display their name and poster title prominently and to include contact information and a photograph of themselves somewhere on the poster. Because many conferees will consult the posters after the opening reception (when the presenter will not be present), the inclusion of a photograph will help such visitors find and connect with presenters later in the conference.

The curator will take down all of the posters on Friday night and they will be available in rolled and rubber-banded form at the AFS registration table until noon on Saturday morning. Posters that have not been picked up by this time will be disposed of.

Reception Logistics

Presenters are asked to have their posters mounted and ready for display before 8 AM on Thursday. The exhibit room will be open by at least 7:30 AM for this purpose. Exhibitions curator Jason Jackson will be on site then to address any last minute questions.

At 8 AM, conferees will be welcomed into the exhibition. At 9 AM each of the three exhibition discussants will make some informal remarks to everyone in the hall about the exhibition for which they serve as discussant. Each set of remarks will last about ten minutes, with the full discussion period lasting about a half hour. The final 30 minutes will allow for a final period of informal discussion among the participants.

At 10 AM the reception will conclude. The poster exhibitions will remain in place until Friday evening. Presenters are not obligated to stay with their posters beyond the end of the reception, but they are asked not to remove them.

While those attending the reception will have the unique and valuable opportunity to discuss posters with individual presenters (and this dialogue is the highest aim of this project), the ideal is a poster that can also stand alone and communicate effectively without the presence of the presenter. In a small number of cases, it may be possible to include multi-media enhancements for a poster but these would only be in use during the reception. Costs, technical issues, and security concerns preclude the use of electronic media during the full run of the exhibitions. Those with questions in this regard should contact the curator (Jason Jackson).


General Advice
Remember that we are folklorists and presenting in exhibition-like ways is one of our specialties. Do not be put off by the fact that the poster genre is more established in scientific fields. We are making it our own! With this thought in mind, much general guidance relevant to the development of scholarly posters can be found online. Sources of direct relevance include:

"Creating Anthropology Conference Posters: A Guide for Beginners" by Jason E. Miller and John K. Trainor
http://www.aaanet.org/meetings/upload/How-to-Create-Anthropology-Posters.pdf

"Guidelines for Poster Presentations" compiled for the "Discourse 2.0: Language and New Media" conference in 2011. http://www8.georgetown.edu/college/gurt/2011/posterguide.html

"How to Design and Present a Successful Poster" by Kristen Syrett [for the Linguistic Society of America]
http://www.lsadc.org/info/meet-poster.cfm

"Advice on Designing Scientific Posters" by Collin Purrington http://www.swarthmore.edu/NatSci/cpurrin1/posteradvice.htm

"Poster Presentations" by Gary Ritchison http://people.eku.edu/ritchisong/posterpres.html

"Tips for Effective Poster Presentations" by the U.S. Department of Energy http://www.osti.gov/em52/workshop/tips-exhibits.html



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American Folklore Society
Mershon Center, The Ohio State University, 1501 Neil Avenue, Columbus OH 43201-2602 USA
614/292-4715; fax: 614/292-2199; www.afsnet.org


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