Be a Part of the Exciting Changes Coming for the NAFSA 2018 Poster Fair

November 07, 2017

By Namiko Bagirimvano

Poster FairIf you’ve ever walked through the heart of the expo hall at the NAFSA Annual Conference, then you know how interesting and exciting the Poster Fair can be. Each year, the Poster Fair is one of the most popular events at the conference, drawing several thousand attendees and presenters for a fun mix of sights, sounds, and meaningful conversations.

As the poster chair for the NAFSA 2018 Annual Conference Committee (ACC), I am thrilled to announce that this year’s Poster Fair will be better than ever, with 14 compelling poster themes selected and two new fairs designed to respond to attendees’ voices and current issues. The new fairs, “Crisis Management in International Education” and “Model Practices in International Student and Scholar Services,” offer presenters and attendees an expanded opportunity to gather new information and exchange new ideas.

Awesome, How Can I Be a Part?

Posters are all about engagement. Keep in mind that proposals should highlight participants’ engagement through an interesting and compelling visual! Attendees are looking forward to having deeper conversations around various topics. It is such a great way to get feedback from your peers and make partners for future collaborations or to share your research. The Poster Fair also allows us to have another way to network with a wide range of professionals from across the globe within the 90-minute presentation time. This is the reason why I am personally so passionate about the Poster Fair!

Posters are educational. The best posters combine a great visual with a highly informative presentation. While creating posters, think about “theory and practice” to reflect on your own programs and services that you are trying to communicate with the audience. Take this as an opportunity for you to compile compelling data, visualize your ideas, effectively convey concepts, and create infographics that will support recommendations for future actions and research even after the conference is over. Attendees will be looking for as much information as possible within the short amount of time that the 90-minute Poster Fair allows.

Please also remember that posters are not promotional. They are educational and present ideas that can be replicated without advertising or selling any products or services.

If you are in a leadership position, please encourage your junior staff to consider the Poster Fair as an opportunity for them to get involved with NAFSA programs and conferences. I am forever grateful that my former supervisor suggested I collaborate to create a poster about our international living learning community when I was first starting out in the field of international education. It not only allowed me to enjoy presenting posters at a conference, but also encouraged me to become a volunteer for NAFSA.

With generous support from my mentors and networking through the Poster Fair, I now have this wonderful opportunity to serve as the poster chair for the ACC position I never would have imagined holding when I was presenting my first poster.

As our theme of the conference in 2018 will be “Diverse Voices, Shared Commitment,” we look forward to receiving proposals from a wide array of institutions and organizations that are based in the United States as well as overseas.

Remember, the Poster Fair proposal submission deadline is December 11, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. (EST). Please submit your poster proposal by visiting www.nafsa.org/philadelphia. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Poster Fair team at posters@nafsa.org.

See you in Philadelphia!


NamikoNamiko Bagirimvano is assistant director for operations, international short-term programs and housing at Tacoma Community College in Tacoma, Washington.


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