Poster presentation guidelines

Requirements and information for posters

Poster sessions

  • If you would like your abstract to appear in the Colloquium abstract e-book, please agree to the Authorship and Copyright Agreement, here in your Colloquium account (please tick the box and select 'Save' at the bottom of the page). The abstract e-book will be published as a supplement to the Cochrane Library.
  • Please stand next to your poster during the poster session of the day you will be presenting.
  • More detailed information about which day your poster has been allocated to will be provided later.

Poster dimensions

  • The size of the poster should be A0 - 84.1cm (width) x 118.9cm (length) or 33.11 inches (width) x 46.81 inches (length).
  • The posters must be displayed in PORTRAIT format (NOT landscape).
  • Please do not exceed these dimensions. Posters that do not fall within size limitation cannot be posted. 

Poster printing and transport

  • Posters MUST be printed prior to the event. Please bring it with you (as hard copy) to the Colloquium.
  • The presenter must transport all materials to and from the venue.
  • There will be NO printing facilities available at the Colloquium venue.

Design restrictions

  • All text should be in English.
  • Please ensure you create posters that are as professional and visually appealing as possible, and that you use a font size that can be read from an arm’s length from the poster.
  • Please also check whether your organization provides poster templates and has any brand guidelines that should be followed.

Mounting and dismounting

  • Presenters are responsible for mounting and dismounting their posters during the designated times, which you will receive at a later date.
  • Posters should be attached to the poster boards with double sided tape or prestick only, which will be provided to you.
  • Presenters should take down their posters by the end of the day that they are presenting. If poster aren’t collected by the end of the final day of the Colloquium, they will be discarded.

Flyers and hand-outs

  • Please bring A4 copies of your poster with you to share with interested delegates
  • We will not allow hand-outs or flyers to be left on the floor around the poster display.
  • We will not be providing envelopes or sticky tape for this purpose; the presenter must bring these themselves.


  • You will receive a map of the venue and presentation locations when you arrive. 

If you are part of a Cochrane group, there are resources and templates available to help you design your poster

Tips for first time poster presenters

We know that making a poster for the first time can be a daunting experience and so we have asked a few of our colleagues what advice they would give to first time poster presenters. These suggestions are contained in the quotes below. We thank the following individuals for their kind contributions to these tips: Arrie Odendaal, Joy Oliver, Solange Durão, Taryn Young, Tamara Kredo, Babalwa Zani, Lai Jiang and Karen Daniels.

“I always go to to find photographs for my posters. They have a great stock of international health and development images, and you can be guaranteed that permission to reproduce the photograph has been obtained from those people being photographed.  But do note that you have to register and make a request before you can use the image.  It may take them at least 24 hours to get back to you and then they may have some questions.  So don’t do it on the last minute!”
“I like it when a poster visually (lots of pictures and graphs) tells a story - this is a great way to get people to talk to/engage with you about your poster. Use text sparingly – a picture is worth a thousand words!  For more ideas/tips go to
“Transporting a poster printed on paper or soft cardboard can be very tricky.  Sometimes they’re too long to fit into the overhead luggage compartment, or otherwise they get lost after you check it in, or if they’re not in a firm enough holder then they can also get damaged.  To avoid some of these headaches and to travel in peace, consider printing your poster on cloth instead of on paper.  That way you can fold the cloth and carry it safely in your hand luggage.  Please remember to iron your cloth poster when you reach your destination – a creased poster does not display nicely!”
“Less is more. Keep to the key information and don’t try to cram too much onto the poster”
“Ask a colleague what he/she thinks about the poster - does the essential message get across? Is the poster visually interesting? A fresh pair of eyes may give you another perspective on it.”
“Prepare your poster well ahead of time. It takes a lot of thought, and writing and re-writing, so you may end up doing different drafts until you are happy with what you have. This is especially true if you are going to work with a graphic designer, as you’ll want to have enough time for reviewing the different versions of the poster.”
“Get help from colleagues to read the content and make sure it’s simple and accessible. I also suggest getting help from a design studio to ensure the lay-out is clear, the colours easy to read and the graphics are great ”
“Don’t underestimate the ability of a poster to communicate research, it could be loaded on the conference website after the conference so people can still quote you”
“Be present to answer questions for as long as possible during tea or lunch breaks”
“As they say a picture says a thousand words, consider using tables and figures instead of more text”
“Start working on your poster as soon as you receive the conference guidelines.  This will give you enough time to think and make changes and will avoid the last minute anxiety”
“Remember that a poster has three elements – oral presentation, visual display and content.  All of these elements are important, so don’t neglect any of them or give prominence to one element over any of the rest”
“Stand at your poster, even during the slots that you’re not being judged.  This gives you the chance to engage with other participants who are coming past to look at the posters.  It is a great opportunity for networking and more importantly for showcasing your important work.  A good idea would be to have some business cards ready for those who want to keep talking to you!”
“Have copies of your poster printed on a A4 size paper so that the audience can keep the poster content and the contact info easily. I found it is quite handy.”
 “Start by drawing the design of your poster on an A4 or A3 page, even if your drawing is very rough.  That way you get a sense of the balance needed between the use of photographs, diagrams and written content, as you try to find the best way to illuminate your message.”

 A suggestion of questions to ask yourself before finalizing your poster

General impression

Is this poster a visual presentation of information (i.e., using graphs, tables, diagrams)? In other words, is it a simple reproduction of a written paper in poster format?

Is this poster understandable to your colleagues without any verbal comment?

Does this poster provide a clear flow of information from introduction to conclusion?

The flow of information should be clear from the layout.

Does this poster focus on major findings (few key messages)?

A common fault is to try to cover too much in a poster. Does this poster lead you quickly to the point?

Other aspects you may like to think about(content, word count, idea flow, figure clarity, font size, spelling, etc):

Are the title and author's name of this poster prominent and eye-catching?

Do visuals used in this poster help you to understand the main messages this poster wants to deliver?

Are the visuals clear?

Are the key messages highlighted? (e.g., use boxes to isolate and emphasise specific points)

Are the key messages organized in form of short, simple and separate statements (e.g., bulletin points).

Does the poster use a clear font with large inner space (i.e. the space inside the loops of letters such as 'o', 'd', 'p')? Good examples are Arial, Verdana, Georgia or Helvetica.

Does this poster keep the word count as low as possible?

Is the text in the body of the poster big enough to be read from 1.8-3 meters away?

Thinking creatively

Is there anything that you would change in order for this poster to look differently from other posters?

 Acknowledgements and useful references:

Thanks to Emerging Voices for contributing to the list above:

Erren T.C., Bourne P.E. (2007) Ten Simple Rules for a Good Poster Presentation. PLoS Comput Biol 3(5): e102. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.0030102

Mandoli, D. F.(1998): How to Make a Great Poster

Purrington, C. : Designing conference posters

Rimon N., Elbaz Y., & Schuldiner, M.:  How to create a good poster.