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Be a poster child!

by Shauna October 3rd, 2014
two people standing in front of a poster at PyCon 2014

CC BY 2.0 by Taavi Burns

Would you like to present at an open source conference, but aren’t sure what to talk about, or feeling shy?  A poster can be a great way to get started.  Not only are they less nerve-wracking to present, they’re often more likely to be accepted than talk proposals.  Yesterday evening, October 1st, we held a meetup on our IRC channel to brainstorm poster ideas for PyCon 2015.

Here’s some of the advice that was shared.

From Jessica McKellar:

How to get your poster proposal accepted:

1. Pick a topic that plausibly appeals to at least 20% of attendees.
2. Write a thorough proposal, and include supporting information, convincing the interviewers that you will be a good presenter.
3. That’s it.

Posters are an opportunity to have a conversation around a topic.  So what are some topics you’d be excited to have conversations around — to get other people excited about?  Programming or diversity outreach you’ve done in your community, an experiment or study you ran, data that you analyzed, a set of tools for getting something done that you care about — whether or not you built it, choices when designing systems — a project you built and the way you broke it down and solved it, and how other people can do it too.

Diana Clarke covers the practical side:

You don’t need to have the actual poster ready until the conference.  (You do need to print it and bring it with you to PyCon. You can’t print it on site.)  All you need at this point is a topic, including a description of what you plan on covering.

And if your poster does get accepted, Karen Rustad has some practical advice:

Good posters are a conversation piece. At least one visual item of interest is helpful to that end. Charts, graphs, photographs of people… Even if your project is purely text-based software, find *something* big and graphical to put up!

You can read more about PyCon poster submissions here.  You can also look at accepted posters from previous years: 2014, 2013, 2012.

Sorry you missed the session? Let us know – if there’s enough interest we’ll host another one.

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