During PyCon US 2021, we will celebrate projects large and small through our Poster Session, where dozens of creators will get to interact one-on-one with conference attendees.

The PyCon poster session is an excellent opportunity to present ideas, topics, or projects and have one-on-one interactions with members of the Python community. Typically, the session is held in the large event hall to facilitate as many brief and interactive presentations as possible, so it is particularly well suited for topics of interest to a smaller subset of the community and often acts as an incubator for further discussions.

To help recreate this experience virtually, this year presenters will have the opportunity to record a 15-20 minute presentation on their poster that attendees can watch on Sunday, May 16, 2021, from 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. Eastern Time, since that is when this year's poster session was originally scheduled to take place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After watching the presentation and viewing the poster, attendees will then have a chance to engage with the speaker via video or live chat.

Important Dates

  • December 22, 2020 — Call for poster proposals.
  • February 12, 2021 — Poster proposals are due.
  • March 18, 2021 — Notifications are sent to presenters.
  • March 25, 2021 — Deadline to confirm participation.
  • March 30, 2021 — The schedule is posted on the PyCon website.
  • April 28, 2021 — Deadline for presenters to submit their poster.
  • May 16, 2021 — Poster session takes place virtually from 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m (ET). You can view what time that is locally here.

Proposing a Poster

You will be able to propose poster sessions beginning on December 22, 2020. To submit a proposal, sign up then log in to your account and proceed to your account dashboard.

Step One: Speaker Profile

You will have to create a speaker profile on the website (and be logged in) in order to submit a poster proposal.

Be sure to include a one-paragraph biography written in the third person (e.g., “Nicole leads a machine learning workgroup…” or “In his spare time, Jason enjoys teaching Python…”). Your bio should be creative and express the most important things you’d like the community to know about you. You could include where you work, projects you’ve hacked on, publications you’ve written, volunteer activities, a community you’re a part of, or anything else that is meaningful to you. Please note that we include this information in the conference guide and other promotional materials.

The primary author should submit the proposal, after which they may add additional authors who will also need to create their own speaker accounts. While an individual may be listed on more than one proposal, they cannot have more than one poster accepted, regardless of whether they are listed as the primary author or as an additional author.

After final poster proposals are selected, we will reach out to you regarding your needs. We understand situations can change and are here for you. If you have any questions, let us know at

Step Two: Choosing a Topic

For general advice on developing and submitting a proposal see :

Also, take a look at past poster sessions to get a sense of the breadth of topics.

If your questions still aren’t answered feel free to email the Posters team.

Step Three: The Poster Proposal

There are five primary parts to a poster proposal:

  1. Title
  2. Description/Abstract
  3. Category
  4. Level
  5. Additional Notes

The title is the first thing your audience will see about your poster. Make it brief and descriptive — straight to the point is often the best bet!

The description or abstract will be published in the conference guide and promotional materials. Rather than giving an exhaustive summary, the abstract should provide enough descriptive information to convince your audience to come seek out your poster (~1-3 paragraphs). Note that the description is written in Markdown and can include links to other material.

New this year, presenters will get to choose from a list of more than 40 possible categories that presenters can select from to help attendees search and find topics that they are interested in. Please select the one you think best represents your poster topic.

Also new this year, you should select the level—Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced—that best represents the audience that your poster will be targeted towards.

Finally, the "Additional Notes" section is a place for presenters to communicate with the reviewers. You can use this space to describe anything you think might be relevant for us to help make you successful in your presentation. Additionally, you can include more materials related to your poster proposal that may help inform us about your topic.

Preparing a Poster

If your proposal is accepted, you will then have to design or create your poster. Here are some general tips for designing your poster:

  1. The title should be short and draw interest.
  2. Content should be clear and to the point.
  3. Use graphics, images, colors, headings, numbers, and bullets to bring visual interest.
  4. Layout your work in an easy to follow narrative.
  5. Use enough whitespace so your poster isn’t crowded.

Generally speaking, the document size should be 48" width by 36" height. We recommended to leave a 1" white margin around the edge, which will leave you an area 46” wide x 25” high for your poster. You should save your file as:

  • High-Resolution
  • Print-Ready PDF at FULL SIZE
  • 330 dpi

You can use a variety of software to design your poster. We recommend Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Draw, or your favorite presentation software because they easily allow you to add basic shapes, text, and images to your document. Of course, you can also use the Adobe Creative Suite tools, Inkscape, or Gimp to design and layout your poster, though this is slightly more advanced. Just be sure to set your document properties so that you have the correct size and resolution. For example, if you are using Microsoft PowerPoint on a Mac to create your poster, you should start by setting your slide size.

  1. On the toolbar ribbon, go to the Design tab.
  2. Select Slide Size near the far right end of the toolbar.
  3. Select the last option, Page Setup.
  4. On the pop-up window, for Size set Width to 48 in and Height to 27 in.
  5. For Orientation, you should also check that the Slides setting is set to Landscape, which is icon on the left-hand side and is the default setting.

If you are using PowerPoint on a PC to create your poster, you can take the following steps to set your slide size.

  1. On the toolbar ribbon, go to the Design tab.
  2. Select Slide Size near the far right end of the toolbar.
  3. Select the last option, Custom Slide Size.
  4. On the pop-up window, set Width to 48 in and Height to 27 in.
  5. On the right-hand side of the pop-up window, under Orientation, you should also check that the Slides setting is set to Landscape, which it should be by default.

To set the correct resolution using PowerPoint on a Mac, go to the File tab and select Compress Pictures. Then from the dropdown menu next to Picture Quality, select HD (330 ppi).

To set the correct resolution using PowerPoint on a PC, go the File tab and select Options and then Advanced. Then from the dropdown menu next to Default Resolution, select 300 ppi.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’re excited to present the poster session and we know you might have a lot of questions. Hopefully, we can cover them here, but for anything we missed, email us!

Q: What makes a good poster presentation?

First, a good proposal. Poster sessions are intended to give you the chance to present interesting ideas and start conversations with others. Additionally, proposal titles and abstracts are one of the major tools the audience will use to identify posters of interest, so it is important to communicate clearly.

Second, the poster itself. It is important to understand that a poster is neither a paper nor a slideshow. The poster isn’t there just for the audience to read—it is a visual abstract that should provide audiences with a concise summary of your research and help fuel further discussion. During your presentation, you will use it as a visual aid to help explain your work and be able to refer to it to answer questions. Use this session as a way to make connections with people that you can continue through the open spaces or informally during the conference.

Q: What technology or software will I need to give my presentation?

We are still working on finalizing this information. However, we will post it on this webpage as soon as it is available. Thank you for your patience!

Q: Can I submit both a poster and a talk proposal?

Absolutely! We encourage everyone to submit a poster proposal even if they have also submitted a talk proposal. If both are accepted, authors are encouraged to adapt their presentation to make the best use of each venue. Even if a talk proposal can not be accommodated by the program committee, it may still be well suited for a poster presentation.

Q: How good do the posters have to be?


  • How professional do the posters need to look?

The poster session is about facilitating one-on-one interactive presentations with an interested audience; therefore, we encourage you to spend more time considering how best to organize and show your work.

You are highly encouraged to take the time to look at some of the posters from previous years that are linked to above. Were there certain formats or layouts that you found easier to follow? For the posters you found most engaging, what type of attributes did they share? And for the posters that were difficult to follow or that were less appealing, what do you think the presenter could have done differently to improve it? By taking the time to think through these questions, it will help you plan out how to best layout and present your own work.

Q: Does my poster need to be in English?

Nope! If you feel there will be a significant audience for your poster in a foreign language, you may implement your poster in that language. The difficulty is that the reviewers won’t necessarily speak or understand the language that you’re presenting. Clear communication with us is necessary if you’re interested in presenting in a language we don’t understand. And of course, you will need to adhere to the code of conduct even in a different language.