Blog Post

At CAPS Virtual, Your “Poster” Doesn’t Have to Be a Poster

At a traditional academic conference, a poster is like an abridged version of a peer-reviewed article, layed out and printed onto a 48’x60’ sheet, and pinned up for passerby to read and discuss with the author. 

CAPS Virtual isn’t your traditional academic conference.

At a virtual Conference for Advancing Participatory Sciences (CAPS), presenters will compile their work into a shareable format, but you are encouraged to choose the format that works best for the information you’d like to share, the engagement you are hoping to receive, and an online audience. Your “poster” could be formatted like a blog post with images and graphs, a video, as a Storymap, or a slide deck — feel free to break the mold. Or don’t: You can still create a traditional poster and share a PDF if that’s your preference!

You’ll upload your “poster” to AAPS Connect, where it will be available to conference attendees for the entire month of the conference. Event attendees can click through different topics and browse the associated posters. There, in the comments, you can discuss your work with the community without being limited to the conference time frame. Each poster will have a unique URL that you can share with other event attendees to direct them to learn more about your work.

Presenters are invited to give a 5-minute lightning talk about their poster during one of the virtual discussion sessions at CAPS. This is meant to be a short teaser that will spark conversations during the session and encourage attendees to visit your “poster” in the online portal after the session. Learn more about our poster discussion sessions.

Virtual posters from C*Sci 2022 shared with permission. Explore more examples in short video here.

What should your poster be about?

Your poster — again, probably not an actual poster — should share your unique insights for advancing the field. We are not looking for general descriptions of projects or discipline-specific scientific results, rather we want to hear what you’ve learned from your project that might inspire others, challenges you’ve faced that might spark conversation, or new findings from your research on the field itself. The poster serves as a touchstone to start a conversation, to share your ideas, invite and ask questions, and learn more through discussions with the community about your work.

Example of a poster that includes an embedded slide deck from C*Sci 2022.

How should you make your poster?

We have lots of resources available for first time (and returning!) presenters, including a poster toolkit with detailed information on how to craft and share a virtual poster plus a template for how to structure your 5-minute talk. We also host poster peer-review sessions and open office hours in the month leading up to the event where you can get support and feedback on your presentation.

Here are just a few ideas for your poster:

  • Write a blog post with photos and figures (see example here)
  • Embed a slide deck from Google Slides
  • Link from your post to existing related videos or audio (see example here)
  • Pre-record your 5-minute lightning talk and link it on your poster for people who miss it live
  • Create an ESRI Storymap
  • Use Prezi, Loom, Zoom, or Canva to add interactive elements 
  • Share a pdf of a traditional poster (see example here)
  • Tell a story in a narrative
  • Include downloadable resources

Virtual poster from C*Sci 2022 shared with permission.

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