This issue gets raised whenever we’re preparing a poster for a researcher who is presenting at a conference just about anywhere outside North America: Why do domestic conferences usually specify a horizontal aspect ratio for scientific posters when conferences elsewhere (especially in Europe) usually require posters to be vertical?
This came up again recently and the discussion ended with the usual unsatisfactory conclusions (tradition and the American preference for more personal space). I’ve tried finding an answer online and although there are many, many sites devoted to creating good posters, none of them dealt with this question.
Personally, I prefer working with the horizontal format because it seems to lend itself to creating a good poster; the flow of the content is just more fluid and there are more options available for making it all fit together.
If you have any insight into this apparent cultural divide in the conference world, I’d appreciate it if you would drop me a line or share it in a comment attached to this entry. Thanks.