I’ve done a number of conference presentation posters in the past seven years, and when I was asked to produce one for the first time, I did the usual ‘of course! no problem’ followed by a sneaky search on google find out what the hell they are.
Basically, for those not in the know, some conferences (particularly ones that feature presentations on projects) have a poster presentation component, where participants will present their project pictorially on a poster (usually no more than a 100cm square) that is displayed during the conference. They are a good idea – they allow delegates to get a quick overview of each project even if they were unable to attend the more detailed verbal presentation, and allow delegates to take down contact details of the project coordinators if they work in a similar field and want to find out more.
The posters are often judged and awarded prizes. The judging is not so much based on the design, rather than the content and the perceived value of the project. They are an interesting design challenge because they are so text and graph heavy, and the hierarchy of the information needs to be structured correctly to maximise their impact. I often edit the layout and text to achieve this, and in the case of the Open Disclosure poster, actually wrote the information for the poster from the presentation the client planned to give, as she had run out of time preparing for the conference.